Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Cost of war: $2 trillion = 4 times what Bush said

The escalating cost of war
The cost of the Iraq war could top $2 trillion after factoring in long-term health care for wounded U.S. veterans, rebuilding a worn-down military and accounting for other unforeseen bills and economic losses, according to an analysis by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes.

Escalating cost: The figure is more than four times what the Bush administration estimates the cost of the war through 2006 -- around $500 billion, according to congressional budget data.

The study predicts the war will last until 2010. It is billed as a detailed analysis not only of the potential costs of sustaining the operation in Iraq, but also the expenses likely to be incurred long after U.S. troops withdraw.

Economics of war: Stiglitz received the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. He and Bilmes presented their analysis Sunday at a conference of economists and social scientists sponsored by the Allied Social Sciences Association, the American Economic Association and the Economists for Peace and Security.

The report notes that the government will have costly obligations to a new class of veterans, be forced to make new investments in stressed military ranks thinned by multiple tours of duty, and withstand the enduring impact of the war on the nation's overall financial outlook.

The estimates were based on information compiled by the Pentagon, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Congressional Budget Office.

In 2002, the White House predicted the war would cost $100 billion to $200 billion.

Stiglitz is a Nobel prize winner in economics.

Did people at the White House do any thinking before entering into this war? Any thinking at all?

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