Remember when President Bushâ€™s chief economic adviser, Larry Lindsey, said back in 2003 that the Iraq war would cost from $100 billion to $200 billion? For that frank appraisal, he was fired.
The Bush team now estimates the cost of the Iraq war at about $500 billion.
But Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said this week that the actual costs to date have been about $3 trillion, according to his study â€” and the costs are certain to soar in coming years, with the need to rebuild the military and provide lifetime health care to veterans. The final price tag could be between $5 trillion and $7 trillion.
Itâ€™s a sobering reminder of the unforeseen costs of war.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration tried to shoot the messenger: â€œPeople like Joe Stiglitz lack the courage to consider the cost of doing nothing and the cost of failure,â€ said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.
It doesnâ€™t look like courage â€” more like fiscal recklessness and managerial incompetence â€” to refuse to honestly face the soaring costs of this elective misadventure.
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