Selling War

Almost every time you turn on the television, somebody’s carrying on about the projected trillion-dollar cost of Democratic health-insurance reforms — derived by multiplying the $100 billion yearly cost by 10, and often by ignoring the projected $11 billion yearly savings to the U.S. budget deficit.

Pentagon spending this year alone, however, columnist David Sirota points out, is projected at $673 billion, for a 10-year total of $6.73 trillion. That’s assuming costs don’t rise. (Fat chance.) Giving McChrystal the soldiers he wants, along with training and equipping an Afghan army of dubious loyalty, is projected to cost an additional $40 billion to $50 billion each year. Yet nobody’s supposed to ask how anything that happens in that remote land could possibly justify the costs.

Gene Lyons | Salon