Suppose the CBO estimate is correct. So? The $143 billion saving is about 1 percent of the projected $12.7 trillion deficit from 2009 to 2020. If the administration has $1 trillion or so of spending cuts and tax increases over a decade, all these monies should first cover existing deficits — not finance new spending. Obama’s behavior resembles a highly indebted family’s taking an expensive round-the-world trip because it claims to have found ways to pay for it. It’s self-indulgent and reckless.
Even when huge, terrorism’s costs can get lost in a $13 trillion economy. At last count, Congress had committed $432 billion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — a far cry from informal estimates of $50 billion to $200 billion before the Iraq war. The Congressional Budget Office now projects that those costs could easily exceed $800 billion by 2016. A study by Linda Bilmes of Harvard and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia puts the war’s ultimate budget costs even higher, at a minimum of $1.1 trillion in present value. Still, this spending is a tiny share of all federal spending, estimated at $47 trillion from 2001 to 2016.
So, to recap: fully funded 900 billion to provide health care: a reckless indulgence. Completely unfunded 1.1 trillion dollars to, in part, invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11: no big deal. Apparently, money is only well spent when you use it to blow up random brown people for dubious reasons.
These people are pathological; you can practically see them twirling their mustaches in anticipation of throwing out the orphans and tying the damsel to the railroad tracks.
Links from Ezra Klein and Balloon Juice comments.