>> I thought we were talking economic costs here.
There's never any harm done in acknowledging the human costs of the war - you know that as well I as do.
You also know as well as I do that there are economic consequences to those human costs . . . and like the rest of the costs of Mr. Bush's War, we will be a long time in paying for them.
Perhaps it's not possible to place a price tag on many of the human costs of the war - but we know from past wars, that those costs are there. I see that economists do come up with estimates for some elements of those costs, loss of productivity, opportunity costs, and things like that, but those are pretty speculative estimates.
We do, however, have some firmer numbers to work with when it comes to spending what we must (at least I hope to heck we decide we must) spend on returning Veterans of the war. I believe estimates are in the neighborhood of $250 billion for medical care, support services, pensions and the like for those who come home injured. That estimate of course is for spending over the lifetime of the Veterans and predicting future costs is a speculative endeavor at best. And I hope that we will step up to the plate for our Veterans and fund something akin to the post-WWII G.I. Bill for them as well.
There are other future costs associated with Mr. Bush's War.
Replenishing and replacing the military hardware and supplies expended during the war - and restoring the military's over all soundness to something approaching its pre-war capability (and this of course will apply to the Guard and Reserves). I see numbers in the neighborhood of $200 billion bandied about for that. But again, predicting future spending is highly speculative - and as we all know, today's estimates for tomorrow's spending is usually a lowball estimate.
Oh year, in terms of future costs - we really shouldn't forget servicing the interest on the hundreds of billions we've borrowed to pay for Mr. Bush's War.
But setting aside speculation on future spending, human costs, opportunity costs to the American economy for the money diverted to Iraq, & ect, & etc . . . we still see numbers for the cost of Mr. Bush's War in the neighborhood of $500-600 billion as of the end of his last term in office.** As near as I can tell, the $500-600 billion figure is for military spending in the Iraq theater and doesn't include the costs associated with getting the supplies, equipment, and personal to the theater - nor does it include spending by non-military agencies such the Department of State or the various intelligence organizations. I've read some estimates that it costs a dollar to get a dollar there to spend - that's likely where the numbers are coming from we're seeing now that push the costs of Mr. Bush's War into the $1.5 to 3 trillion range. But just focusing on what is being spent in-theater . . . $500-600 billion is damned spendy chickenfeed.
It's a bold partisan strategy your Party's leaders are tackling at this time. A professed believe that it a good thing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars (and yes, incur the human losses) to fund Mr. Bush's War and yet maintain that it is so wrong to spend money in an attempt to help Americans?
I suppose it lends itself readily enough to political sloganeering. I'm reminded of that famous line that arose from the XYZ Affair during the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1800: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!" Come the next mid-terms your Party's candidates will be able to come before the voters and proclaim: "We voted hundreds of billions for Iraq, but not one penny for Americans!"
Yes indeedy, a bold partisan strategy.
And who knows . . . could be that the recovery spending won't work. It could be that this attempt to help America and Americans wont work and the economy will worsen even more. Then your candidates can point out how they stood by and did nothing, while those wicked Democrats tried to help and failed. I'm sure there's a good slogan lurking about there as well.
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**I didn't click on your iowahak link - maybe there's honest data there, but there's honest data to be found elsewhere as well. I did spend some time looking at data sets and reports generated by the: Office of Budget & Management, General Accounting Office, Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Research Service, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Federal Reserve. I also went to Thomas at the LOC and looked at some of the supplemental spending bills that have been passed in connection with the war. It's easy enough to google for those sources, if anyone is interested in looking through the material. I'll leave it to folks to do that themselves, that way they can know that I'm not pulling an iowahawk on them.
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>> BTW, the 16-month clock is ticking.
Naw, maybe someone else will take you up on the diversion ploy - you're often successful in diverting the focus of threads when you don't like what someone says.
All I wanted to do was to say was:
As far as this economic recovery bill goes - maybe it will help the economy recover - maybe it won't.
We do know that the hundreds of billions we've spent on Mr. Bush's war in Iraq certainly hasn't done the trick. Hunting Osama down in the streets of Bagdad, capturing Sadam's WMDs, and rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure hasn't made for an economic miracle on main street USA.
Maybe spending some money at home will make a difference.
I've done that, so I'll leave it at that. You can try your diversion thing - I'll go the staying on message route ; -)