I would have posted this over on Lumpenlogogracy, but for some reason I’m having trouble signing in there. I happened across this site this afternoon that counts the cost to US taxpayers of the war in Iraq and calculates for you how much that would buy in kids’ health insurance, public education, college scholarships and so forth. You can even have the counter break it down by community, so you can see how many public school teachers (for example) that money could have hired in your town (assuming, I suppose, that the money were evenly spread out across the population). For Philadelphia that’s 15,734.
It’s pretty ingenious. Plus, they have a way to put the counter on your own site. Check it out.