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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

Let's have a budget war on war budgets


As the congressional debt-reduction "supercommittee" begins work next week, it had better take into account trillions of dollars in anticipated war costs that no one in Washington seems willing to acknowledge.

For decades now (and probably much longer) government estimates of war costs have strived not to count numerous secondary expenses that result from combat, like veterans' health care -- or the $20 billion wasted in Pakistan.

Officials find the real numbers embarrassing. A recent Congressional Budget Office report, for example, placed the total costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars at $1.415 trillion, based solely on congressional appropriations specifically dedicated to those wars.


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