Warehouse B
Big Spending
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Bush Fabricated Terrorism War Bleeding The Nation

By James Donahue

A report issued this week by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee puts a price tag to date on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at a colossal $1.6 trillion, more than this nation has ever spent on any war in history, far more than early estimates indicated, and about double the amount the White House has requested for its war coffers since it all began.

The report looked beyond the "up-front cost" of men, equipment and bullets and included the hidden costs that included interest payments on money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost and stolen investment, long-term health care for injured veterans and even the estimated increased cost of disruptions in the oil market.

That figure . . . $1.6 trillion for two wars between 2002 and 2008, breaks down into a cost of $20,900 for a family of four. The total war budget set by the Bush Administration totals $804 billion.

What gets scary is that there appears to be no end in sight for either of these wars and there has been a lot of saber rattling and general propaganda clearly designed to prepare the American people for yet another attack . . . this time against Iran.

Even if Mr. Bush doesn't launch a third war before he leaves office, the report estimates that the two existing wars could cost up to $3.5 trillion by 2017, which would mean that same family of four would bear a personal debt of $46,400.

That is more than enough to purchase a new car or put a good down payment on a home.

Of course the Bush Administration has attacked the report. White House Budget Director Jim Nussle accused the Democrats of "trying to distort reality for political gain."

"I think it is an attempt to muddy the waters on what has been some positive developments being reported out of Iraq," White House press secretary Dana Perino said..

Yet the inclusion of increased oil prices, interest rates and the cost of caring for injured veterans, many of them for the rest of their lives because of severe physical and mental damage, is worth considering when you tally the cost of the two wars.

Oil prices have sky rocketed from about $35 to up to $100 a barrel since fighting began, and no one knows if the price increases have hit their peak. The estimated interest paid on the Iraq debt alone, from 2003 to 2017, would total over $550 billion.

"What this report makes crystal clear," Joint Economic Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer told the Associated Press, "is that the cost to our country in lives lost and dollars spent is tragically unacceptable."