Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not as think as you bad it is.

Well, after a month-long spring break, I finally found something to chew on that didn't have to do with work, or things that could get me fired from work. It's political again, I know how much you all like that, so I'll try and keep it short. I'm on my lunch break and I only have 35 minutes to be back, so that will help.

At lunch a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the Bush vs Clinton argument with a senior accountant. To this day, this man has never given me a reason to treat him with something other than my utmost respect. So, when he talks, I listen. One of the things that really sets Clinton apart in my book was his dedication to the national debt (mentioned it here). I concede that 9/11 really messed things up, but I conjectured W. had exacerbated the problem through excessive war spending. Mr. Skagg's rebuttal was to question how much of the budget was already reserved for the military... sure the war was costing a lot, we were spending more on foreign deployment than ever, but how much was money we weren't already planning on spending at home? It's a good point. If that money was already dedicated for the military, being at peace wouldn't make it available for something else, it is a simple repositioning of funds within the same department.

Anyway, today I decided to look for the answer and I think I've found it. This is only one source so take it for what it's worth.
...because of the war, the regular defense budget—
the portion not funded through emergency appropriations—increased by a
total of $104 billion to $139 billion between 2002 and 2006.

I read $35 billion/year budgeted before the war... increase of $104 billion.
Final Iraq war costs are estimated in the document to end up between 1.2 and 1.7 trillion.

It would be a little tougher to estimate, but I'd like to know what percentage of budget increase is due to war costs, and what is due to economic slump per 9/11. The tricky part would be separating the extra debt incurred by not paying interest. I assume it could be split be the ratio of federal dollars lost by slump over increased spending due to the war.

Thanks for reading. Now I have 15 minutes to play along with Avenged Sevenfold before I need to get back to work. Peace.