Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How To Lowball A Sales Pitch

h/t Edgar

I saw this on the Dallas Morning News today.
Cost of 'War on Terror' could rise to $2.4 trillion
Congressional Budget Office expects the funds would keep 75,000 troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 10 years.
By Steve Hargreaves, staff writer
October 24 2007: 12:57 PM EDT

NEW YORK ( -- The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anti terrorist efforts abroad could cost the country $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, according to a report Wednesday.

The money, over 70 percent of which would go to support operations in Iraq, includes the estimated $600 billion spent since 2001, Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag said in testimony before the House Budget Committee. That estimate includes projected interest, since the government is borrowing most of the funds required.


I'm sure there are lots of falsehoods, bad estimates, bad assumptions and just plain bad thinking in this report, but a couple already stand out for me.

This will cost $2.4 trillion if we have 75,000 troops in Iraq. Who honestly thinks that we'll reduce the troop load or pull mercenaries out, so long as the moeny is flowing?

Let's change that to $3.84 Trillion.

Real inflation is what, over 10% a year? What kind of numbers might that lead to? $8 trillion, $10 trillion?

Then later in the article we learn that the war is a bargain because it makes up a smaller percentage of the GDP than the Vietnam war did. WooHoo! Its better than Vietnam! Yay, it beats having your eye poked out by a sharp stick! Weee! It must be made of chocately goodness.

But then who doesn't believe that today's economic numbers are not a farce?

Ok, so they pulled some GDP numbers out of their ass, then and pulled some cost estimates out their ass, then they made an ass pie and said it is good.

I'm impressed over here, I can tell you.

Of course all of this goes out the window when Bush orders and attack on Iran. How about $50 trillion?

Does $50 Trillion sound high? In 2003 I mentioned around town that the Iraq war would have to go into the $trillions. I was laughed at. After all it was going to be a cakewalk and the oil revenue would pay for th whole thing, with profits. Our economy would actually improve as the Iraqi reconstruction progressed.

Back then though, the sin of all sins was to compare the war to Vietnam. Now Bush brags that the war is just like Vietnam.

Sean Hannity and others that pine for a World War II for our generation, will soon have their wish. And I case say that now, because Bush has removed the taboo of referring to our adventures in the context of World War III.


At 3:33 AM, Blogger Jim said...

I don't know how it is in your corner of the world, but here in the northern reaches of the northeast, our roads and infrastructure are crumbling. I imagine other parts of the country are also at the outer edges of upgrade and repair of roads and bridges.

This endless "war on terrah" is a massive wealth transfer from the federal coffers (and state's) to corporate bank accts.

We need a national commitment to infrastructure upgrades (and a shift away from car-based transportation) rivaling FDR's New Deal projects; instead, all we're going to get from BushCo and other right-leaning (and so-called "liberals") is more of the same posturing and a dismantling of all of the parts of govt. that they deem unimportant.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, and don't forget massive "piratization" of formerly public assets, contracts, services, and the like, from public land, libraries, and roads to tax collection and fire protection.
Rob from the poor (via taxation and inflation) and give to the rich and well-connected (via graft, contracts, handouts, perks, etc).


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