Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A "Billion" Has Lost a Whole Lotta Meaning

I'm old enough to remember when a billion dollars was a shitload of money. It was the stuff of corporate mergers and involved very impressive single digits.

Now we have people worth billions and a war costing trillions. At least $2 trillion before all is said and done.

A new "partisan" report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee (pass that joint around) has estimated the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $1.6 trillion.
The report, released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.

And this is where the Republicans are getting their panties all knotted up in their ass cracks.

I'm not sure why, because I calculate my own costs of goods and services with the inclusion of interest payments and other side costs, including the cost of driving to purchase said goods.

Example: When I go out for my favorite $19 Indian meal, I accept the fact that the $19 meal is actually costing me $26 when I factor in the cost of fuel to drive 22 miles each way to get there. And that doesn't include the wear & tear on the car.

For the Iraq war only, total economic costs were estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. That would cost a family of four $16,500, the report said.

I don't know about the rest of you reading this blog, but I could find a better use for $16,500, or in my family of two, $8,250 could be better spent.

The White House countered that the report was politically motivated.

"This report was put out by Democrats on Capitol Hill. This committee is known for being partisan and political. They did not consult or cooperate with the Republicans on the committee. And so I think it is an attempt to muddy the waters on what has been some positive developments being reported out of Iraq," said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "I haven't seen the report, but it's obvious the motivations behind it."

But of course. It needs to be motivated by somebody for some reason because it's FUCKING INSANE!
White House Budget Director Jim Nussle accused Democrats of "trying to distort reality for political gain."

Excuse the living fuck out of me. Since when is including interest payments on borrowed money and including the cost of long-term health care for injured veterans a distortion?

This rant proudly crossposted at Big Brass Blog.