Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Republicans seek retraction of war costs report

November 14, 2007


— Senior Republicans on Congress's Joint Economic Committee called Tuesday for the withdrawal of a report by the committee's Democratic staff that argues that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost more than $1.5 trillion.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and Rep. James Saxton, R-N.J., attacked the report on "hidden costs" of the wars, calling its methodology flawed and asserting factual errors. The report, issued Tuesday, said the war has cost nearly double the $804 billion in appropriations and requests for war funding thus far.

In a joint statement, the committee's Republicans called the report "another thinly veiled exercise in political hyperbole masquerading as academic research."

"All wars involve costs, and the war on terror is no exception," Brownback and Saxton said. "The Democrats' report would have benefited from more analysis and quality control, and less political content. We call on Senator Schumer and the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate to withdraw this defective report." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairs the committee.

The report argued that large war-related economic costs to U.S. taxpayers do not appear in the budget, such as the rising price of oil, paying for the care of the wounded, fixing damaged military equipment and interest on foreign debt. It estimated that the wars have cost the average American family of four more than $20,000.

War funding experts expressed skepticism about some of the findings but agreed that the wars carry costs well over what Congress has appropriated. Republicans on the committee blasted parts of the report as "unintelligibly confused." White House press secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday that the report was a politically motivated "attempt to muddy the waters on what has been some positive developments being reported out of Iraq."


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the results of other studies show that the $1.5 trillion estimate in this study is quite conservative.

lnardozi 10 years, 6 months ago

Dr. Ron Paul would withdraw us from the foriegn entanglements and return our foriegn policy to one of TRUE free trade - none of this free for china but blocked for the US stuff. He will get us out of this war immediately upon entering office and reduce our government to a level we can actually pay for. $5000 per capita doesn't BEGIN to touch our entire debt - $32666 for every man woman and child. That fiat money is a weapon any foriegn power can use to throw us into a depression by dumping their share on the currency market. The Administration claims to be defending us when they are actually adding to the financial bomb that could destroy us all.

imastinker 10 years, 6 months ago

Didn't the price of oil start spiking before 9/11?

The way I remember it, back in 1998 Venezuala began pumping oil like there was no tomorrow, driving the price down to below $.80/gallon. OPEC placed restrictions on exports, driving it back up above $1.80. It went down about 40 cents and up about 80, and this cycle has been repeating itself ever since.

This means that the report would be flawed, including the price of gas in the cost of the war.

imastinker 10 years, 6 months ago

Aren't you democrats that are now blaming bush for the price of oil the same ones that said he lied about intelligence reports to attack Iraq for their oil?

pace 10 years, 6 months ago

Plenty to see, not only the economic Bush train wreck, but now they spin the people , the stupid taxpayer doesn't need to know or can they understand the details. Yet I wish that we weren't saving money by cheating the veterans. The reduced GI benefits, the day short periods of duty. I know the money will come from the taxpayer but the troops deserve decent treatment. So do the American public but to cheat the people who were shot at in this mess is not honorable. The Republicans are willing to mar their SUV's with yellow ribbons, just not their profit margin with money for the troops. Maybe we could come up with a special tax for the only winners in this war, the war corporations and the friends of Bush.

Godot 10 years, 6 months ago

Well, if Schumer is going to play that game, he had better get his staff busy calculating the economic benefits of the money spent on this war. Calculate the jobs, the investment return, the revitalization of cities, etcetera, etcetera. Cannot have it one way, Chuck.

blackwalnut 10 years, 6 months ago

Dennis Kucinich is the only Congressman pushing to end the war by cutting off funding. There is always money in the pipeline to bring the troops home. But only Kucinich gets it: there is only one way to end this war and that is to cut off Bush's money train.

jmadison 10 years, 6 months ago

Use similar accounting for all federal expenditures and also for all the time involved in filling out federal tax forms and state tax forms.

EXks 10 years, 6 months ago

850 BILLION vs. 1.5 TRILLION? 3,000 + dead soldiers vs. 4,000++ dead? As if war whores really are concerned about pissing money and human life away.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 10 years, 6 months ago

In January 2007, a New York Times article placed the cost at $1.2 trillion.

Dolly writes, "Since when are liberals concerned about pissing money away?"

That's a common right-wing spin fallacy. There are plenty of liberals that are fiscally conservative. The more important point, if you had that much money to begin with, which we don't, is that at least a portion of that money could be re appropriated for different initiatives in the US and elsewhere. Another question is why we aren't making a larger, quicker effort to transition our efforts toward political solutions versus military. Our military was never intended for nation building.

Pilgrim seems to want to hide facts ("move along, people, there's nothing to see here"). Instead of asking for it to be retracted, they could have sought to clarify the facts and attach their side of the argument to the report...that's pretty common. Bottom line is that, like Pilgrim, they don't want to talk about it. They don't want to know about it. The facts or at least a discussion might convince them that they should change course. But then that would mean having to admit that we are currently on the wrong course, and there's no room for pragmatism from that camp, at least on this issue.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 10 years, 6 months ago

Godot writes, "Well, if Schumer is going to play that game, he had better get his staff busy calculating the economic benefits of the money spent on this war. Calculate the jobs, the investment return, the revitalization of cities, etcetera, etcetera. Cannot have it one way, Chuck."

At least a part of that is the false economy during war.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 6 months ago

The problem with military spending (aside from the needless death and destruction it causes when warmongers are in charge) is that there is almost no economic bounce from it. If money is spent to build a school, or a hospital, or an array of wind-powered generatators, it continues to bring an economic benefits long after the initial outlays for contruction have dispersed through the economy.

Almost without exception, military spending goes for goods and services that have no such long-lasting economic return.

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