Today, the White House submitted its fiscal year 2009 federal budget request of $3.1 trillion. President Bush has asked Congress to approve $515.4 billion in funding for the Department of Defense which, when adjusted for inflation, would be the highest defense budget since World War II.
However, the costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not included in the baseline DoD request. In reality, the war costs will most likely increase the defense budget to nearly $688 billion through the first quarter of FY 2009:
$515.4 billion: Bush’s baseline Pentagon budget request.
+$70 billion: The amount Bush’s defense budget includes as separate request for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. However, this bridge fund only covers the first quarter of FY 2009.
+$102.5 billion: Current emergency war funding request that Congress not yet approved.
TOTAL = $687.9 billion: Bush’s total war budget.
According to a recent Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. is spending over $10 billion a month in Iraq. “With Congress having already approved $691 billion in war spending since 2001,” the WSJ reports, “the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined could rise to just under $900 billion by next spring and could near the $1 trillion mark by the end of 2009.”
To fund his war and preserve his tax cuts for the rich, President Bush is cutting vital services for low- and moderate-income Americans, including child-care assistance for low-income families, low-income rental assistance programs, and total funding for K-12 education.