How much would the Marshall Plan cost in today’s dollars?

Francis Lanzano Contributor
How much would the Marshall Plan cost in today’s dollars?

Answer: Over $100 Billion


Context:

Foreign Policy – “In June of 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall delivered a wholly unexpected commencement speech to the newly minted graduates of Harvard University. The United States, Marshall announced, would launch a massive reconstruction effort to rebuild Europe in the devastating aftermath of World War II.”

Funding:

Office of the Historian – “Congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act in March 1948 (the Marshall Plan) and approved funding that would eventually rise to over $12 billion for the rebuilding of Western Europe.”

Comparison Sources:

1) Bloomberg – “The Marshall Plan delivered $103 billion in today’s dollars to 16 European countries between 1948 and 1952.”

2) Oxford University Press: “Marshall aid amounted to over $135 billion in today’s money, or $800 billion as a proportion of American gross domestic product. The total aid figure is higher still if we account for substantial non-Marshall military and other assistance in Europe.”

Food For Thought:

Stars & Stripes – “By the time combat troops depart[ed] at the end of 2014, the United States appropriated more money trying to fix Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover economically after World War II, according to an analysis by a government watchdog.”

The Report:

Report from Inspector General in 2014 – “Adjusted for inflation, U.S. appropriations for the reconstruction of Afghanistan exceed the funds committed to the Marshall Plan, the U.S. aid program that delivered billions of dollars between 1948 and 1952 to help 16 European countries recover in the aftermath of World War II.”

“A Congressional Research Service report says the Marshall Plan delivered about $13.3 billion to its aid recipients before disbursements ended in June 1952.11 The United Kingdom was the lead recipient, with $3.2 billion. Those nominal-dollar amounts are dwarfed by the $104 billion Congress appropriated for Afghanistan reconstruction between fiscal years (FY) 2002 and 2014”

 COVER PHOTO


The Bombing of London: A snapshot of the impact of World War II