WASHINGTON — — After smothering efforts by war critics in Congress to drastically cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq, President Bush plans to ask lawmakers next week to approve another massive spending measure — totaling nearly $200 billion — to fund the war through next year, Pentagon officials said.
If Bush’s spending request is approved, 2008 will be the most expensive year of the Iraq war.
U.S. war costs have continued to grow because of the additional combat forces sent to Iraq this year and because of efforts to quickly ramp up production of new technology, such as mine-resistant trucks designed to protect troops from roadside bombs. The new trucks can cost three to six times as much as an armored Humvee.
The Bush administration said earlier this year that it probably would need $147.5 billion for 2008, but Pentagon officials now say that and $47 billion more will be required. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and other officials are to formally present the full request at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday.
The funding request means that war costs are projected to grow even as the number of deployed combat troops begins a gradual decline starting in December [Ed. note: I’ll believe it when I see it.]. Spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is to rise from $173 billion this year to about $195 billion in fiscal 2008, which begins Oct. 1.
When costs of CIA operations and embassy expenses are added, the war in Iraq currently costs taxpayers about $12 billion a month, said Winslow T. Wheeler, a former Republican congressional budget aide who is a senior fellow at the Center for Defense Information in Washington.
$12,000,000,000 per month. Can you imagine what we could do with that money here at home? It kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
Oh, well… it that’s what George wants, our wimpy Congress will most likely give it to him. It’s been his goal all along to bankrupt us, and it sure looks like he’s going to succeed.