Monday, June 22, 2009

Chart of the Day

More proof "it ain't the war," from the Washington Post:


source: June 14th WaPo

The deficit's largely the product of entitlements and interest payments, not the cost of the war on terror, as some claim.

12 comments:

suek said...

Even the cost of the war is probably exaggerated. While there is certainly additional cost to the Reserves called up, and equipment destroyed that needs replacement, plus transportation of troops and supplies, the fact of the matter is that a major cost of the war is manpower, and the cost of that manpower would be borne by the nation whether the troops serve in war zones or not.
Not all of it, granted...but certainly a portion of it. It's an accounting "trick" that attributes an overhead expense to a particular venture, even though that cost would be borne without the venture.
Someone could probably figure out exactly what the war costs us, but I'm sure not the one to do it - and I suspect there aren't many out there who have any idea of what they're doing who are _sure_ that it's the cost of Iraq that is driving us into the hole.

The Power of Propaganda at its finest...!

OBloodyHell said...

Much like the deaths issue -- there are lots of people who die as a result of being in the military even in peacetime. The actual Iraq war deaths were not that much greater than that which would occur in peacetime.

copithorne said...

Well the cost of the Iraq war isn’t $551 billion. Here’s an article that places it at $700 billion. That figure will exclude veterans’ health care, widow’s pensions, interest on the debt so I can find articles that place the cost at twice that figure. The cost to the economy (rather than just the government) could be four times that figure.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/11/nation/na-iraq-vietnam11

But I’m glad to know that a trillion dollars in debt is too inconsequential to haggle about. You guys spent that on an unnecessary war. We’re going to it spend building the country and the economy. Each of us has our priorities.

And if you’ve got any entitlements you want to cut, speak up! Republicans couldn’t find any cuts when they were in power. But, please, be specific.

copithorne said...

And Suek, Carl's figure is just adding Iraq war supplementals which were on top of the usual military budget.

So, that $551 billion is all marginal dollars. You raise a good point that under a genuine accounting a good deal of the fixed costs of the military budget would be assessed to the Iraq war.

suek said...

The truth of the matter is that it's very difficult to figure out how much is being paid for anything. There can be a rationale for that, but to be honest, I think it's just to prevent people from knowing what's going on. And that includes Congress.

OBloodyHell said...

> under a genuine accounting a good deal of the fixed costs of the military budget would be assessed to the Iraq war.

As usual, copi's suffering from Cranio-Rectal Insertion Syndrome.

If he'd actually have read the article, instead of the headline and first para, he'd realize his accounting is ass-backwards:

But war costs have also been driven up because the Pentagon has used post-Sept. 11 funding to modernize U.S. forces. For instance, the budget request sent to Congress this week would replace lost F-16 and F-15 fighters with four of the far more expensive F-22s, at a cost of $600 million.

"There is some loose justification," Harrison said. "But we are buying a much more expensive, much more capable aircraft, so it is really part of our long term modernization"
.

In other words, things we'd have to do anyway are getting charged to the war's expenses.

> You guys spent that on an unnecessary war. We’re going to it spend building the country and the economy.

Oh, by ALL means, enlighten us with your humorously deficient definition of an "unnecessary" war. We could all use a good laugh as you make more sh** up.

Be sure to explain to us how "the former Yugoslavia" was a "necessary" war, however, in some way which excludes Iraq.

Oh, and this, from that article:
The Iraq war is the second-longest modern war ever fought with an all-volunteer U.S. force, behind the smaller-scale effort in Afghanistan.

Funny, last I checked we still had troops in the former Yugoslavia.

As far as how you're going to spend it, that would be buying/paying back favors from various special interest groups. Any actual rebuilding of anything is incidental.

===

Me, as far as the war being "unnecessary", I have to wonder how it took so long. Saddam was a trumped up two-bit thug, and we had reason to take him out back in 1990, and should have done it then, for our own interests, as well as humanitarian ones.

Since those interests still applied, this "unnecessary" war can be justified on either of those levels -- humanitarian or American interests, with both being more than adequate.

And as a reesult of this "unnecessary" war, 31,000,000 people have a chance at a "normal" life, and they can know that their daughters will live without fear of catching the eye of one of Saddam's sons, and wind up in one of their rape rooms. They don't need to worry that, if they tick off the wrong person, they'll wind up being fed into an industrial meat grinder, alive, as their wife and children watch on in horror.

But, being a libtard, I know all that doesn't mean jack sh** to you. After all, it's no skin off of your nose.

Me? I think for the first time in 50+ years the USA did the job right. We took care of not only our own interests, but also saw to the interests of those we affected in that course of action. But that is, after all, only something to be proud of if you actually care about someone other than yourself, so it excludes liberals of almost every stripe.

Carl said...

Clearly, there are profound differences in methodology between the LA Times and WaPo counts, given the vastly variant figures offered for the cost of the Vietnam war. Can anyone determine where the studies depart?

suek said...

How about Kosovo...

Doesn't that count? As I recall, Clinton said that we would "absolutely" be out of there in one year. It also raises the "unnecessary" point...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Interesting to think of it an as an unessential war given what is happening in Iran (and what will come of that in the long run), which is now surrounded by nations which achieved significant freedoms due to the American military.

But hey, I understand they're going to try and credit it all to Obama's speech in Cairo.

OBloodyHell said...

> But hey, I understand they're going to try and credit it all to Obama's speech in Cairo.

AVI, Wolf Howling has an excellent piece about this... it seems that most Iranians didn't hear the speech, since Iran's government was blacking it out, including satellite signals. Some might have gotten it through the internet, but not that many, and Obama indicated that he was discontinuing/zeeroing out all funding for "support for democratic reform" programs, a damning fact in itself.

It's almost as obscene as Obama stressing to Ahminajad, et al, that they were still invited to celebrate July 4th with us. Does the man somehow not grasp what Independence Day is about!???

Lots of other holidays, oooookay, NBD -- but Indepedence Day??

With a thug who has by all indications (see the Wolf Howling article, again) fraudulently "won" an election and then oppressed those who demonstrated against those results?

I would spit at Obama's feet if I met him, pure and simple, and damn the consequences when his lickspittle goons came after me.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., I predict that bobn's anti-PotUS "outrage" over getting chummy with dictatorial scum will once more give Obama a complete pass on this.

OBloodyHell said...

> P.S., I predict that bobn's anti-PotUS "outrage" over getting chummy with dictatorial scum will once more give Obama a complete pass on this.

And now the same on the Honduras thing...