Wednesday, October 24, 2007

$2.4 Trillion

Former White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey was fired after suggesting that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would cost $200 billion.

We have known for some time that Lindsey's estimate was low. We just didn't know how low. Now, we have an idea.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the combined cost of the occupation of Iraq and the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan could reach $2.4 trillion.

The estimate added a new note of rancor to the US political debate over Iraq, two days after President George W. Bush angered anti-war Democrats by requesting nearly 200 billion dollars more in emergency war funding.

For the first time, the estimates included the huge costs of financing government borrowing used to finance the wars.

CBO Director Peter Orszag, said the "bottom line" figure of war spending would be 2.4 trillion dollars under most intense scenarios of military activity, if future costs were not offset by higher taxes or lower spending.

"That is the highest number that is contained in our testimony, I don't know whether it is a worst case scenario," he told the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Committee chairman John Spratt said costs of the wars, which the Bush administration styles as twin fronts of the "war on terror," were huge and rising.
A billion is 1,000,000 x 1,000.

A trillion is 1,000,000,000 x 1,000.