Critics Question Obama’s ‘Fuzzy Math’ on War Funding Estimates
President Obama has presented Congress with some questionable accounting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, analysts and Republican lawmakers say, as they begin to pore over his $3.6 trillion budget for the next fiscal year.
Critics say the administration at once has both grossly over-estimated the amount of money it will save by winding down the war in Iraq and under-estimated the actual price of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the years ahead.
“This budget is a lesson in fuzzy math,” House Republican Leader John Boehner said in a statement to FOXNews.com Monday.
The budget includes a “placeholder” estimate of just $50 billion per year for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan starting in 2011. By comparison, the total war cost for fiscal 2009 is expected to hit $142 billion.
At the same time, Obama’s budget team projects saving $1.5 trillion over 10 years by scaling back the wars. But this estimate assumes the price tag for the wars would exceed $100 billion almost every year through 2019, despite pre-existing commitments to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
Boehner said the move creates “phantom savings for money they never intended to spend in the first place.”
The estimate basically assumes the Department of Defense would shell out military spending at current rates. War costs hit a high in fiscal 2008, at $188 billion. But Obama’s budget assumes the government would still be dishing out $183.5 billion in 2019 if his administration didn’t step in to rein in spending.
“It’s like a family trying to claim savings of $10,000 by assuming a family vacation and not taking it,” said Brian Riedl, a senior federal budget analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Riedl said the estimate is unrealistic and allows Obama to claim massive cuts to spending that was never going to take place anyway.
Using these and others estimates, the White House claimed last week it was acting to head off a whopping $9 trillion deficit 10 years from now.
I wonder if it could work in reverse for me? I haven’t spent the lottery winnings that I haven’t received yet, therefore my bank balance should be a few million dollars.
Dang, didn’t work…I suppose I’d be jailed for fraud if it did.