Economic Impact of 9/11
By Jake Paget
The morning of 9/11 started just like every other day, but today four planes were hijacked by several terrorists. Three of these four planes were successful in hitting their targets of the Twin Towers and The Pentagon. The last plane was designated to hit the White House, but crashed into the fields of Pennsylvania because brave civilians forced the terrorists to lose control of the plane. Final death toll for the event surpassed Pearl Harbor with a total count of 2,975 fatalities. According to an article on About.com entitled “How the 9/11 Attack Still Affects the Economy Today” written by Kimberly Amadeo, “Their goal was to cripple the U.S. economy by destroying its centers of power: Wall Street, the Pentagon and the White House.” The attack of 9/11 caused both immediate and long-term impacts on the economy. Some quick impacts were that it enhance the 2001 recession, and drop the Dow, an indicator of stock market prices, over 600 points. The events taking place on 9/11 then caused for one of the largest government spending programs in the history of the United States. The War on Terror.
At that time America was going through what was known as the 2001 recession. The recession started in March of 2001, but was initially caused by the Y2K scare. The Y2k scare lead up to a boom in internet business. The attacks of 9/11 just aggravated the 2001 recession more than it already was. This was the first time since The Great Depression that the stock market closed for an extended time, four trading days. This opportunity cost was having some large stocks dropping hundreds of points.
On the 20th of September, President Bush gave a speech and said, “Americans should not expect one battle but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.” Bush called for the War on Terror and put it into action. The war launched in Afghanistan was initially for the cause of finding Al-Quada leader, Osama bin Laden. This cost the United States $33 billion, including homeland security. But not long after, troops were sent into Iraq and the CIA was said to have found weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s leader, was assisting the operations of Al-Quada. The war in Iraq after its first year cost $50 billion, but by the time Bush was done in office the War on Terror amounted to $864.82 billion. These costs included the choice to increase in Homeland Security and Defense Department funding.
The largest impact that 9/11 had on the economy was the raise in defense spending leading to United States debt crisis. If the War on Terror never occurred, the country’s debt could be less than $15.5 trillion and manageable. Also caused by the War on Terror was the scarcity of funds available for putting towards stimulus programs to shoot the United States out of the 2008 financial crisis. Kimberly states, “Fewer jobs were created, which meant less tax revenue, further boosting the debt.” Were these mass amounts of funding toward the War on Terror Necessary?
(Additional information in the video below.)