Fun With Math: How Much Has the Bailout Cost?

I recently used this data in a client presentation to illustrate, and give context to, the cost of the 2008 bailout versus other large expenditures in US history.  The numbers themselves come from Bianco Research LLC and only factor in expenditures as of mid-December, the dollar amounts have only grown since then. 

Marshall Plan 115.3 billion
Louisiana Purchase 217 biliion
Race to the Moon 237 billion
S&L Crisis 256 billion
Korean War 454 billion
New Deal 500 billion (est)
Gulf War/ War on Terror 597 billion
Vietnam War 698 billion
NASA (cumulative) 851.2 billion

Total 

3.92 trillion
2008 Bailout 4,284.5 trillion

All figures in US Dollars, adjusted for inflation

Only World War II comes close to the total cost of the 2008 bailout, at an inflation-adjusted cost of $3.6 trillion.  Back then we were fighting for freedom from fascism.  I still haven’t figured out exactly what we’re fighting for here…

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