News Release

$175 Billion Toward $3 Trillion War

The House of Representatives is expected to have a full chamber debate on the war supplemental bill on Thursday.

THEODORE LOWI
Lowi is professor of American Institutions at Cornell University and author of several books including The End of Liberalism. He said today: “Supplementals are supposed to be for real emergencies — like Katrina. The war supplementals are a way for Bush to attempt to hide the costs and implications of the war in Iraq. Obviously, Bush deserves the blame for much of how the Iraq war has gone, but Congress has gone along, funding the war. The Republicans have gotten tremendous mileage out of accusing anyone opposed to the war of not supporting the soldiers. The power of the purse — like free speech and privacy — has been withering away. Congress has diddled around with little things, but has fundamentally acquiesced.

“This will also substantially limit the choices of the next president. The candidates have really done a disservice, indicating that they will be able to change course when their power will in fact be very limited.”
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LINDA BILMES
Bilmes is a former Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce. A professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she co-authored The Three Trillion Dollar War. Bilmes said: “There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as a free war. After five years of war, 4,000 [U.S.] deaths, 60,000 injuries, $600 billion spent so far (with the price tag expected to reach $3 trillion once we add veterans costs, military reset, interest on the debt, and economic losses), the U.S. public is waking up to the fact that the war is hurting the economy.”
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TRAVIS SHARP
Sharp is the military policy analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. He writes the “Iraq Insider” blog and is closely following the supplemental spending process. He said today: “If the pending $175 billion super supplemental is signed into law, the U.S. government will have approved $650 billion for Iraq since 2003. The current veterans’ education package under consideration will cost $52 billion over the next decade, only 8 percent of the total cost of the Iraq war to date.”
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Background: From Foreign Policy in Focus: “The Iraq Supplemental: A Three Ring Circus

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167