In the same vein as my last entry comes this little ditty from the folks at Think Progress:
The Democratic leadership in Congress is set to pass a host of domestic funding bills that would exceed Bush’s request by $22 billion. The extra funding would help go towards veterans health care, infrastructure improvements, education, and other domestic priorities.
Some in Congress will tell you that $22 billion is not a lot of money. As business leaders, you know better. As a matter of fact, $22 billion is larger than the annual revenues of most Fortune 500 companies. The $22 billion is only for the first year. With every passing year the number gets bigger and bigger, and so over the next five years the increase in federal spending would add up to $205 billion.
Bush warned that spending increases, which could add up to over $200 billion over five years, would be “taking money out of the pocket” of Americans who need to “pay their mortgages or pay for their children going to college.” Unfortunately, Bush failed to appreciate the irony in his remarks.
While complaining of modest spending increases on much-needed domestic funding priorities, Bush is far less concerned about the impact of spending $200 billion in the next year alone on a disastrous war in Iraq:
President Bush plans to ask lawmakers next week to approve another massive spending measure — totaling nearly $200 billion — to fund the war through next year, Pentagon officials said.
It shouldn’t take a “CEO President” to figure out that $200 billion is greater than $22 billion.
It’s amazing to me that the man can ask for billions upon billions for the Iraq war without batting an eyelash yet a few more billion to help his fellow Americans is too much to bear. We’re spending $500,000 per minute in Iraq at the moment and Bush and his cronies are mulling over starting another war with Iran as well as trying to figure out how he can force us to stay in Iraq for half a century at the cost of trillions of dollars:
On June 1, during a trip to U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, Defense Secretary Robert Gates mused about how to “posture ourselves” in Iraq “for the long term.” The Vietnam experience underscored the undesirability of a sudden, abrupt withdrawal. Far better for the U.S. to follow the experiences of post-conflict garrisoning in Korea and Japan, he said: “a mutually agreed arrangement whereby we have a long and enduring presence.” President Bush is reportedly intrigued by the so-called Korea model, wherein the U.S. has guaranteed security on the Korean peninsula with at least four U.S. Army combat brigades for half a century. Indeed, in his speech on Thursday, Bush declared himself ready to build an “enduring relationship” between the U.S. and Iraq.
The study, conducted by the Congressional Budget Office, decided to follow the Korea model to calculate its expense. Since it’s unclear for how long or under what conditions combat operations will ensue, the CBO projects both a combat and a non-combat presence. Both, however, are projected to require 55,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The combat scenario entails one-time costs of $4 to $8 billion, with annual expenses of $25 billion, projected outward. Under the non-combat scenario, a $8 billion one-time cost—mainly for the construction of additional “enduring” bases—would be followed by annual costs of $10 billion or less.
A prior CBO study, released in August, estimated (large pdf) that U.S. costs in Iraq from 2009 to 2017 will total approximately $1 trillion on the assumption of a troop presence of 75,000. On top of that, under the reduced-force combat scenario envisioned in this CBO estimate, the U.S. will spend another $1 trillion by 2057—the lifespan of the U.S.‘s Korean presence to date.
All estimates are in 2008 dollars. Both estimates are arguably conservative. In the combat scenario, for instance, Army units serve 12-month tours, whereas they now serve 15-month tours. In the non-combat scenario, the CBO ratcheted down the Defense Department’s cost-of-war estimates to reflect “lower costs for such items as equipment maintenance, fuel and consumable materials.”
If Bush has his way we’ll be paying the cost of his Presidency for decades to come. The sad part is there’s very few Democrats who are willing to say they’ll end his mess as soon as they get into office.