Georgie wants to borrow even more of your children’s money and flush it down the toilet he created in Iraq.
The Bush administration, facing mounting violence in Iraq and demands for upgraded equipment, is assembling a funding package for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan that could surge beyond earlier estimates to as much as $75 billion to $100 billion, congressional sources and experts said on Thursday.
Administration and congressional officials estimated in October that the funding package would total between $60 billion and $75 billion.
The Army’s request alone could top $51 billion, far more than the $35 billion to $40 billion cited by the Army chief of staff in October, congressional sources said.
John Pike, a defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, said the rate of spending in Iraq, already at more than $1 billion a week, could grow to $1.5 billion or more. “It’s going to be a pretty big number,” he said.
So far, Congress has approved $120 billion for Iraq and another $60 billion for Afghanistan, according to White House estimates. On top of that, Congress set up the $25 billion contingency fund for the Pentagon, a portion of which has already been spent.
Democratic critics accused Bush and his top advisers of understating the costs of the war and reconstruction.
Before the invasion, then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels predicted Iraq would be “an affordable endeavor,” and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz assured Congress: “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”