Bush mortgaging future, Iraq spending tops $320 billion, over $4 billion unaccounted for in Iraq
The cost of Bush's war:
The cost of the war in Iraq will reach $320 billion after the expected passage next month of an emergency spending bill currently before the Senate, and that total is likely to more than double before the war ends, the Congressional Research Service estimated this week.And the DOD refuses to provide information regarding just where these billions were actually spent:
The analysis, distributed to some members of Congress on Tuesday night, provides the most official cost estimate yet of a war whose price tag will rise by nearly 17 percent this year. Just last week, independent defense analysts looking only at Defense Department costs put the total at least $7 billion below the CRS figure.
Once the war spending bill is passed, military and diplomatic costs will have reached $101.8 billion this fiscal year, up from $87.3 billion in 2005, $77.3 billion in 2004 and $51 billion in 2003, the year of the invasion, congressional analysts said. Even if a gradual troop withdrawal begins this year, war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to rise by an additional $371 billion during the phaseout, the report said, citing a Congressional Budget Office study. When factoring in costs of the war in Afghanistan, the $811 billion total for both wars would have far exceeded the inflation-adjusted $549 billion cost of the Vietnam War.
Defense specialist Amy Belasco, the CRS study's author, stressed that the price tag is only an estimate because the Defense Department has declined to break out the cost of Iraqi operations from the larger $435 billion cost of what the administration has labeled the global war on terrorism. That larger cost applies to military, diplomatic and foreign aid operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, enhanced security efforts begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and related medical costs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"Although DOD has a financial system that tracks funds for each operation once they are obligated -- as pay or contractual costs -- DOD has not sent Congress the semiannual reports with cumulative and current obligations for [Iraq] and [Afghanistan], or estimates for the next year, or for the next five years that are required by statute," the CRS noted.
And perhaps the most underreported story, one that has been around for over a year but which the press largely ignores is that BILLIONS of dollars have simply vanished or are unaccounted for in Bush's "long war".
The report details how operations, maintenance and procurement costs have surged from $50 billion in 2004 to $88 billion this year, citing rising expenditures for body armor, oil and gasoline; equipment maintenance; and training and equipping Afghan and Iraqi security forces.
"These factors, however, are not enough to explain a 50-percent increase of over $20 billion in operating costs," the report states.
War-related investment costs have more than tripled since 2003, from $7 billion to $24 billion, as money has been spent on armored vehicles, radios, sensors and night-vision goggles, as well as on equipment for reorganized Army and Marine Corps units.
"These reasons are not sufficient, however, to explain the level of increases," the report states again.
Of the total war spending, the CRS analysis found $4 billion that could not be tracked. It did identify $2.5 billion diverted from other spending authorizations in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the invasion.
That discovery helped push the CRS cost estimate higher than estimates from independent budget analysts. The CRS total also includes expenditures on foreign aid and diplomacy not counted in the military cost tallies by groups such as the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Bush and the Republicans have spent $320 billion on this unnecessary war. Just how much is that?
IF you made one dollar every single second, it would take you over TEH THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTY SEVEN YEARS to end up with $320 billion.
That's $1072 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
How much is the $4 billion which has vanished and is unaccounted for?
Using the town of Moline as an example, $4 billion is enough to give every man, woman, and child living in Moline $91,390.00
Family of four? You'd get a cool $365,563.00
Even forgetting all the incalculable suffering, death, and loss which continues unabated in Bush's "war", the sheer financial cost is going to be a serious burden for this country for generations to come, and many say that the level of debt run up by the all-Republican government is putting the country in serious risk of an economic crisis.
Foreign interests are literally buying up America and already own a shocking amount of the country and hundreds of major corporations which would probably outrage the public if it were aware. China and others carry a huge amount of our all time record debt, and this out-of-control government is weakening our economic standing so badly that there is a risk that nations and major banks will choose to invest in a more stable currency such as the euro, taking their investments out of dollars and creating a collapse.
This is a large reason gold prices have soared recently, as people simply are losing confidence that this administration will or can do anything to stem the reckless and amazing spending which they continue. If you want to make money, open a pawn shop.
The Republican brand of "faith based" economic policies simply can't be sustained.