Unlike human liberty, dollars in an austere country are zero sum. A dollar we spend on a bomb in Tripoli is a dollar that didn't go to food stamps, or highway reconstruction, or tax credits to the middle class. The Tomahawk missiles falling on Libya, for example, cost about $700,000 each. The United States fired 110 of those missiles on Saturday, totaling $81 million. "That's about 33 times the amount of money National Public Radio receives in grants each year from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which the House of Representatives also wants to de-fund in the name of austerity measures," Abu Muqawama writes. The initial stages of the war could cost the U.S. between $400 million and $800 million, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That's almost half the controversial cuts to heating subsidies for low-income families.