U.S. Involvement in Syria Would Cost Billions

U.S. Involvement in Syria Would Cost Billions

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U.S. military involvement in Syria could cost more than $1 billion a month, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) on Monday.

Dempsey said the cost of training the rebel troops would cost about $500 million a year, while employing long-range strikes on military targets, as well as potentially needing thousands of special operations forces to thwart the use of chemical weapons could wind up costing billions. But Dempsey warned that costs could escalate if the U.S. commits to aiding the insurgency: “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”  -  Read more at The New York Times

FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS LEFT BEHIND IN HOUSING RECOVERY    First-time home buyers accounted for about 30 percent of purchases of existing homes this year, down from an average of 40 percent over the past 30 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Wall Street Journal’s Conor Dougherty and Dawn Wotapka write, “The depressed level of first-time buyers could prove to be a drag on the housing rebound and the broader economic recovery over the longer haul.”   -  Read more at the Wall Street Journal

$5 MILLION IS THE NEW ‘RICH’ – A new survey by the bank UBS found that the majority of investors define wealth as having no financial constraints on what they do---and said it takes about $5 million to be considered wealthy. Only 31 percent of millionaires consider themselves wealthy, the survey found.  -  See the full report here

CYBERCRIME COSTS U.S. $100 BILLION EACH YEAR    It turns out that hackers aren’t bleeding the economy dry as much as we thought. The nonprofit Center for Strategic and International Studies and computer security firm McAfee estimate that the annual cost is $100 billion, about a tenth of what McAfee estimated in a previous study.

Part of the problem is calculating just how much the theft of data costs. "Cyberspying is not a zero-sum game," the report said. "Stolen information is not really gone." As the Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Gorman explains, “If the Chinese steal intellectual property, they might not know what to do with it and the cost of the theft would be limited. Likewise, if one U.S. bank is knocked offline by a cyberattack, customers might just use another U.S. bank."  -   Read more at The Wall Street Journal

80% OF AMERICANS DON’T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT One in five Americans say they trust the government to do what is right, according to a new poll by the Bipartisan Policy Center and USA Today. The survey also found that young people under the age of 30 were significantly less likely to rate political participation as something they value.   -  See the poll here

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.