Iraq war costs may reach $2.7 trillion

Press TV
Friday, June 13, 2008

The costs on American taxpayers may reach $2.7 trillion by the time the Iraq war ends, according to a Congressional testimony.

In a hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee Thursday, members of the Congress heard testimony about the current costs of the war and the future economic fallout from returning soldiers.

At the beginning of the conflict in 2003, the Bush administration gave Congress a cost estimate of $60 billion to $100 billion for the entirety of the war. However, the battle has been dragging on much longer than most in the government expected.

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William Beach, director of the Center for Data Analysis, told the Congress that the Iraq war has already cost taxpayers $646 billion.

That's only accounting for five years, and with the conflict expected to drag on for another five years, the figure is expected to more than quadruple, Beach added.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the war costs taxpayers about $430 million per day.

"It is long past time for the administration to come clean and account for the real costs of the war in Iraq," said Schumer. "If they want to disagree with our estimates or with other experts ... fine - they should come and explain why."

The Bush administration, which was invited to give testimony, declined to participate.

The Pentagon has previously said that the war costs approximately $9.5 billion a month, but some economists say the figure is closer to $25 billion a month when long-term health care for veterans and interest are factored in.

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