The Cost of Accuracy

On 9/16/02, White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the Iraq war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion.

White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels responded quickly, assuring reporters the war would cost between “$50 billion to $60 billion” and that Lindsay’s projection was “very, very high.”

After that, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld relied on Daniels’s estimate.

Yesterday, the Bush administration announced it would ask Congress to approve about $80 billion in extra defense spending this year, most of it for operations in Iraq. That will bump the overall cost of the war above $180 billion.

So, Lindsay was right and Daniels was wrong. Where are they now?

Daniels is the governor of Indiana, thanks in part to President Bush’s energetic campaigning for “my man Mitch.”

Lindsay? He was fired a long time ago.