On September 7th, President Bush asked Congress for an additional $87 billion for the war in Iraq, acknowledging that the engagement in Iraq is going to cost many hundreds of billions of dollars. This was a surprise considering that prior to the war, the administration dismissed such estimates, and even fired its top economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, for suggesting those estimates were correct. To get some perspective, here are some real-life comparisons about what $87 billion means. $87b Is More Than The Combined Total Of All State Budget Deficits In The United States $87b Is roughly The Total Of Two Years Worth Of All U.S. Unemployment Benefits $87b Is More Than Double The Total Amount The Government Spends On Homeland Security $87b Is 87 Times The Amount The Federal Government Spends On After School Programs 87 Billion dollars. Yup, More than 12 Space Shuttles, 8 times more than Nasa’s budget for a decade.  Source