This week, the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 makes it every newspaper and magazine's duty to present a "big picture" assessment of American life in the years following the 2001 attacks. And because one of the most tangible ways to convey the impact of a shared event is to slap a number on it, everybody's doing it. Observe: the various ways to quantify the cost of 9/11:
The airline "security fee" After 9/11, airline passengers were met with longer lines, more expensive snacks and more pat downs. Over at CNN Money, Jessica Dickler put a price on those additions:
For each leg of a journey that requires them to board a plane, passengers now pay a $2.50 September 11th Security Fee, which goes toward financing the TSA's staff, operations and screening equipment -- like those new body scanners. (Passengers don't pay the fee more than twice per one-way trip.)
Last year, airlines and passengers contributed $2 billion in taxes and fees to the TSA. The federal government -- in other words, taxpayers -- picked up the rest of the organization's $8 billion tab.
Now, there's a proposal in front of Congress to double the September 11th Security Fee to $5 per enplanement.
The agency by agency cost In Today's New York Times, Shan Carter and Amanda Cox gather estimates from a range of experts and breaks down the attack's fees agency by agency with a grand total of $3.3 trillion, including costs for war funding, homeland security, economic impact, veteran's care and physical damage. Here's a portion of their department breakdown. See the whole thing here.