Franken wants a balanced war budget

Senator Al Franken has proposed a "Pay for War" resolution that would require Congress to raise taxes and/or cut spending before authorizing new acts of war, so that American foreign adventures can't contribute to the national debt.

"We have to ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan remain anomalies in American history," Franken said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "And that's what my resolution seeks to do. It will ensure that future wars don't make our deficit and debt problem worse. It will ensure that Congress and American citizens must face the financial sacrifice of going to war. And it will force us to decide whether a war is worth that sacrifice."

"In the last ten years our wars have been paid for by borrowing," Franken said. "The Iraq War was accompanied by a massive tax cut. That failed fiscal experiment created the impression that war requires no financial sacrifice. We know that is just not true. The question is who will bear the financial sacrifice, the generation that has decided to go to war or its children and grandchildren?"

Franken wants wars to be paid for (via Reddit)


    1. “Yeah, Mr. Franken, they left a message about needing to keep their economic privilege intact.”

  1. “The question is who will bear the financial sacrifice, the generation that has decided to go to war or its children and grandchildren?”

    Hmmm… Since we’re talking about baby boomers making that decision, I’m gonna guess… “children and grandchildren.”

    Just a hunch.

  2. I’m sorry, but there’s no room for common sense in Washington. What’s Al thinking?!?

  3. “It will ensure that Congress and American citizens must face the financial sacrifice of going to war”

    Congress will have to sacrifice? yeah right.

  4. Bush started two wars and cut taxes at the same time and was SHOCKED there was suddenly a deficit. Fiscal conservative my butt.

  5. OK. What about wars, like the current campaign against Libya, that are started without congressional authorization? Can the U.S. still pay for those with borrowed money?

  6. how ’bout the ‘merican military just loot whatever country they’re bringing democracy to?
    – steal the brown people’s stuff and sell it on eBay, or something…

    maybe craigslist?

    “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”
    Ike – 1961

  7. May I bring your attention to a selection from Gen. George Washington’s Farewell Address:

    “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

    Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

    It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

    Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

    Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. ”

    Sorry for the wall of text, he was very verbose on the subject of foreign wars/affairs.

  8. I agree with him wholeheartedly. If the American public doesn’t approve of Congress taxing them to cover a war, it’s probably a war America shouldn’t get into. If the politicians aren’t willing to take the heat for the costs, and possibly get voted out as a result, why should our military risk their lives and why should our citizens be presented with a _hidden_ bill?

    Running a war on the credit card is what put us into the budget hole. The mortgage meltdown just made it obvious.

    Like it or not, the military has to be part of the overall budget. And like it or not, if you want to look for conspicuous and significant waste the military is actually the one place where you’re likely to find it, as we have hard evidence of porkbarrel programs being pushed through that the military itself does not want. But that doesn’t fit the Republicans’ preconceptions and biases, so they want to sweep it under the table.

    If you insist on doing a budget cut before figuring out where the savings will come from, fine: Cut EVERYTHING by the same percentage. Military. Congressional offices. Salaries, including congressional salaries. If you really believe that blindly cutting the funds will force efficiency with no loss of service, that argument should apply everywhere. Personally, I consider that voodoo economics of the worst sort; the way anyone reduces spending is to figure out how you will save the money first and then adjust the budget to reflect those savings.

    But this really isn’t a budget battle, or even a tax battle. It’s a social policy battle in budget drag. The tea party folks are being handed piss in a teacup and told that it’s what they asked for.

  9. Doesn’t matter. Does not matter. It’d be like if Sean Hannity became a senator. His opponents will not listen to one single word. They would be embarrassed to agree with him, and they don’t care if he might have a good idea or two.

    He’s a biased elitist librul. To some people, he will never, ever be anything more, over their dead body. Therefore, he is totally powerless and ineffective as a politician.

  10. James @ 2: I lol’d. It’s funny because it’s true.

    Spriggan @ 10: I can sum that speech up in one word: Isolationism. That’s right, Washington was an isolationist. If history classes in the US didn’t, on average, blow, you could just say it without posting his entire parting address.

    Technogeek @ 12: *golfclap*

    Finally, I’m still considering moving back to MN (unless it becomes necessary to expat) simply to have a senator I’m not embarrassed by.

    1. Yes I remember remedial history. Let me remind you Washinton was a man who gave up the office after 2 terms when most of the powers in government wanted to king him because they couldn’t get their heads out of their asses far enough to govern themselves.

      A modern interpretation would be don’t police the world when you can’t take care of your business at home.

      This was from a man who had been instilled with the responsibility to build an army, train that army and find funding for that army to then go against the strongest military force of hims time. Remember at that point the British were an Empire with a naval armada that was unmatched by any other and the best ground infantry in the world. He pulled off the near impossible during the revolution.

      He died during the opening of the Nepoleonic wars the French and British ships BOTH lowered their flags and had a one hour moment of ceasefire and silence in his honor.

      So instead of reading what he said, you might think on what he meant by it and where the thought comes from. Mybe we should worry about our own tired, hungry and poor as opposed to trying ‘to bring Democracy to the world’

  11. At minimum, no tax cuts during war with exemptions for the families of soldiers.

    Shared sacrifice. I was embarrassed when GW told us to go shopping.

  12. Aw Franken, you’re such a common sense idealist – you’ll never make it in politics. ;-)

    Seriously though – I’ve been really impressed with Franken’s performance in the Senate so far. He’s been coming up with some smart, creative solutions that actually reflect progressive values.

  13. I’m still amazed that someone with both high intelligence and common sense was elected to a national office in this country in the past 10 years.

    And I love that his use of the word “sacrifice” makes sly reference to the fact that those Americans making the true sacrifice (blood, not money) come overwhelmingly from one side of the financial spectrum.

    Bravo, sir. That cuts to the quick of it, right there.

    1. I’m still amazed that someone with both high intelligence and common sense was elected to a national office in this country in the past 10 years.

      Don’t give him too much credit. Franken advocates for some things I agree with whole heartedly, but like any slimy ass politician he has his friends and is happy to use his power to protect them at the cost of all of us. He wants to brutally enforce multi-century long copyright laws by letting the government implement a ‘black list’ without trial by jury against accused copyright infringing websites.

      He wants to be the man who pushes through the first American bill to set up a government agency to censor the internet. Yeah… a real hero that guy.

      1. Franken pro-censorship?! That’s 180 degrees wrong. Put down the Glenn Beck crack pipe and back slowly away. Try some reality instead: read this transcript of an interview with Al this SXSW pimping the anti-censorship, pro-net-neutrality bill that he sponsored and championed.
        Fox Noise rots the human brain.

        1. No my friend, it is you who needs to put the pipe down and realize that your heroes are liars like the rest. This is one question from the Ars Technica interview of Franken. Read the last paragraph where he talks about needing to move slowly with his internet censorship bill because he wants to make sure he gets censorship right. Hell, he doesn’t even bother trying to hide who he is doing it for and rattles off the unions he wants to censor the internet for.

          Ars: You talked about “two Internets”—let’s switch gears to COICA, because there has been some complaining on the tech side that COICA could bifurcate the Internet by setting up an American-driven censorship regime involving the Domain Name Service that could cut us off from what’s going on in other places. But you support COICA. Why is this a good approach to the online piracy problem?

          Sen. Franken: First of all, I understand the concerns. If anyone wants to look at the questioning I had the other day at the hearing, you’ll see that I voiced those concerns, the very concerns I’m sure that your readers are voicing.

          The other side of this, of course, is that this is about, essentially, stealing copyrighted material and selling counterfeit goods. This goes to tens of billions of dollars in theft. Some of the supporters of this were after the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild… I happen to belong to all three of those unions. This doesn’t just affect the jobs of writers and directors and producers; when they’re free to steal all this intellectual material, it changes the business model of a movie. So it really costs the jobs of the technicians and the crew and the craft services people. It changes the entire business model for the industry. It’s not just movies and TV, it’s everything.

          I understand the need to move cautiously when you’re creating a structure that will direct Internet service providers to block content at the domain level. That’s why last year when we passed this, I tried to tighten the definition of who could be targeted under the bill, the sites whose central purpose was to infringe, and hopefully that would do the job of motivating domains to get rid of those sites. This has worked very well on child pornography.

          1. wow. did you read what you were quoting? holy dog shit, you just proved your own arguement wrong. insanity! this idea of finding a midground between two parties. upholding copyright laws and bring order to the lawless gray areas of the internet? crazy i tell you.

          2. Law and order implies juries. Franken isn’t advocating that. He wants to set up a system of ISP level blocking to censor sites that some government department, without bringing any charges, thinks is infringing on our stupid ass multi-century long copyright laws. You can’t set up a “reasonable” censorship system. That fucker doesn’t exist.

            We currently have absolutely no blocking in the US. If you are getting blocked, it can only be done by your local network administrator or with your own software. Franken wants to set up the infrastructure to implement censorship on a national scale because his Hollywood buddies don’t like copyright infringement and think that $100,000 plus per song you copy isn’t enough. I can literally go out, break someone’s legs with my car making them a cripple for life, and they will be able to sue me for less money than if I copied one fucking album of music. That is justice.

            I agree with Franken on a lot of things. His national censorship plan in the name of fucking copyright isn’t one of them. Of all the stupid asinine reasons to set up nation wide censorship of the internet, protecting (ineffectively at that) someone from getting their fucking song from getting copied has got to be the most asinine reason I can think of to create national internet censorship.

            That is like setting up a government system to track everyone with GPS and RFID at all times not to make murder extremely hard, but to stop the scourge of jaywalking. It is a fucking stupid idea to begin with, and only made more stupid because this sledge hammer of a law is being used to prevent a “crime” that, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty fucking minor.

  14. Anyone listen to Session’s speech right after this?

    He rails against “unelected officials” systematically and “undemocratically” regulating carbon emissions based on an “attenuated theory,” “dramatically contrary to the ideals of the American Founders.”

    That’s right. Benjamin Franklin would have been a global warming denier!

  15. I like Al Franken – but does he have any idea how much debt was taken on in World War II?

  16. I can’t believe Al Franken introduced this bill before the new Tea Party congressmen had a chance. How embarrassed they must be! But since they are committed to fiscal responsibility, I can’t wait to see them throw their support behind it.

  17. Franken’s proposal sounds a lot more “courageous” to me than cutting programs for the poor and disabled, but what do I know?

    1. But we already have backup programs in place, like military enlistment. Everyone wins!

  18. How on earth did Minnesota elect both the reasonable, brilliant Al Franken, and the nuttiest fruitcake in the casefull of nutty fruitcakes, Michelle “crazy eyes” Bachman? A state of extremes, I suppose, both in literal temperature and political temperature.

  19. Senator Al Franken has proposed a “Pay for War” resolution that would require Congress to raise taxes and/or cut spending before authorizing new acts of war, so that American foreign adventures can’t contribute to the national debt.

    This is a great idea, but — frankly — I’d like to see it done for everything the government does.

    In my version of the perfect world, a society’s members would sit down and come to as much consensus as they can as to what the government should do (of course it would never be perfect, as there is diversity of vision). And then the government would be tasked to do them. But there’s a catch: everything has to be paid for. This would bring some realism into the consensus building process and help to keep us out of the bread-and-circuses mode that humans have been in for a long time (probably since the time the term was coined in ancient Rome).

    In that world, you can have anything you want, provided that it’s paid for. Don’t commit your children and grandchildren to servitude to pay for what you want. If you really want it, you’ll be willing to pay for it.

    As far as I’m concerned, one of the main problems with partisan politics is that each side has its own sacred cows — things that “must” be done, but that they want to pay for only be defunding the other side’s sacred cows. I say get rid of all the sacred cows, let everything be open for discussion. Wars and defense, the humanities, education, health care and entitlements, foreign aid, industry subsidies… everything.

    So I think it’s good that Mr. Franken wants to bring some realism into the discussions of what government should be doing, but I won’t be too impressed if he confines this to the other party’s priorities, and not those of his own ideology.

    1. Education and health care (for example) are necessary and positive ‘sacred cows’, military quagmires of choice? Not so much.

      1. Education and health care (for example) are necessary and positive ‘sacred cows’, military quagmires of choice? Not so much.

        In your opinion, but other people have other opinions.

        And that’s the whole point. What we have now are just people asserting that their priorities are the right one, and we, as a society, never enter into reasoned or rational discussion about it. And we can’t, precisely for the reason I alluded to above: pundits talk about the necessity of X and Y, but the true costs are never really assessed or taken into account.

        Personally, I think that, say, funding public education is more important than fighting in some random foreign military action. But how can I enter into a discussion of that when the costs aren’t addressed? Until we take everything off the table and say “if you want it, you have to pay for it” we’ll never be able to enter into an honest discussion of the costs and benefits o government programs, because the costs are just pushed out into the future. Out of sight, out of mind.

        You say that health care and education are important. Then I assume that you’re willing to pay for it. Good. Let those who think, say, the military action in Libya is important be willing to pay for it too.

        If we were to do this, things would be a whole lot saner in a few years, with what the government does much more in line with what people really want. Let’s face it, a few years of a fully funded military would pretty much empty the coffers and disable us from being able to do anything else. After a few years of suffering though the real costs, I think a lot of drum beaters would have something of a change of heart.

        Same with health care. If people want universal health care, they should pay for it — what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If, after a few years they thing the (true) benefits outweigh the (true) costs, then it will continue. If if doesn’t work, they can try something else. Again, it’s about getting realism into the discussion, not these fake numbers that both major political parties make up all the time.

        Obama claims to be bringing the county to financial health while running up the debt extraordinarily, just like Bush did. If some politician wants to claim that program X will save some number of billions of dollars, I say “great, show me. But don’t pull a Wimpy on me; don’t gladly pay me on Friday for a burger you want to eat on Monday.”

        Ultimately, nothing is really “necessary.” You mention health care and education, but the species got by just find for hundreds of thousands of years without it. They may be positive, but they’re not necessary.

        We really should be thinking in terms of costs and benefits. That’s the only rational way of looking at it. Until we start addressing costs, we’re just commit our children to slavery to pay for what we want today. That’s not ethical, and if continues things are going to be a whole lot worse when they come of age.

        1. Education and health care shouldn’t be sacred cows, but they should be kept because the overwhelming evidence says that without them, lives will be far worse off for most people. We can look at how other countries and history works to determine these things; saying “the species got by fine” without them is as ridiculous as saying “none may investigate these”.

        2. Same with health care. If people want universal health care, they should pay for it — what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If, after a few years they thing the (true) benefits outweigh the (true) costs, then it will continue. If if doesn’t work, they can try something else. Again, it’s about getting realism into the discussion, not these fake numbers that both major political parties make up all the time.

          The problem with this is that politicians, and especially political parties, seem completely incapable of admitting that they were wrong about a particular issue in response to overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Instead, we have to suffer decades (or centuries) of unpleasantness so that they can avoid ever actually admitting that their policy position has changed as they slowly rewrite history to make it look like they were for/against whatever it is all along—and this makes for a highly corrupt, highly inefficient government. And I don’t know if there is any real way to solve it.

        3. Ultimately, nothing is really “necessary.” You mention health care and education, but the species got by just find for hundreds of thousands of years without it. They may be positive, but they’re not necessary.

          In a civilized society they are completely necessary. The species got along without them, but not very well. You’re making a lot of false equivalencies. Obama’s mistakes are in funding useless wars, not jobs and infrastructure investments which *are* proven at giving good returns for the buck. Debt today is not the problem so much as where that money is going.

    2. will rogers suggested this.

      he said that congress, before passing any law, should be required to show where the funding for the enforcement of the new law would be obtained.

      (i also like this one: “This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.”)

  20. Tax cuts was supposed to stimulate the economy, and increase govt income. So the massive tax cuts was supposed to pay for the wars. Seems it did work.

    And didn’t we hear that the Iraq war was going to pay for itself? The French who was against the war was sure going to regret it when they were forced to watch from the sidelines while the American companies get all the big fat contracts from the new liberated Iraq.

  21. Every major war has been fought by inflating/debasing the currency since ancient times. The romans clipped coins, the Fed’s inflation payed for USG’s entry into WW1

  22. If we elect more people like Al Franken, we can gain a voice in a Congress that has overtly discarded the will of the people in favor of the rule of Big Money. My only question is, where do we find more candidates like him, and how soon can we get them onto the ballot?

  23. US passenger car gasoline consumption is well over 70 billion gallons a year. Trucks and buses add about another 90 billion gallons a year.

    Tax consumer gas at 25 cents a gallon.

    Tax commercial gas at 10 cents a gallon.

    The above would generate over $25B a year and encourage fuel saving behavior.

    It used to be patriotic to give money to the government during wartime. Why have we forgotten this?

    1. I once got a fortune cookie that said “A patriot is someone who payed their taxes and are happy the system has worked.” Always thought it odd.

  24. Oh, I’m pretty sure we can balance the budget by just cutting out Planned Parenthood and NPR.

  25. President Bush did start two wars and cut taxes, but his worst deficit was his last year in office, fueled by TARP. President Obama has now run up two monster deficits which dwarf President Bush’s total deficits spanning eight years. His third fiscal year is no better, as we fight week to week because the prior Congress didn’t pass a budget.

    Why didn’t they pass a budget? Because it was an election year and the Democrats love Government shutdowns. They knew they would get this.

    Senator Franken IS on the right track. But I agree with prior posts that this must be for everything. Next Senator Franken should suggest how we balance the budget.

    Also, does Libya count? He didn’t mention the latest Obama War, which cost us $550 million in ten days, which is money we don’t have.

  26. Good luck with that, Al! Be easier to get Exxon/Mobile, Bank of America, GE to pay their fair share of taxes.

  27. Quote”…Congress and American citizens must face the financial sacrifice of going to war. And it will force us to decide whether a war is worth that sacrifice.””

    Take away thousands of lives – A non-issue

    Take away my ability to buy a cheeseburger – A sacrifice.

    How god damn fucking sad.

    1. As for those thousands of lives… do people even realize anymore that’s part of the job of a soldier? Have video games and movies washed that from our minds? War isn’t like GI Joe. Not everything is solved in 30 minutes with no one ever dying. I was always under the impression that it was clear when you signed your ass over to the goverment that one of your basic duties as a soldier would be to lay down your life in the line of duty to defend your country.

      Maybe that’s the confusion. How many of the conflicts we’re involved in right now are to ‘defend our country’ ?

  28. This bill, while thought up with good intentions, would be a disaster if it passed. If we ever got involved in a ~real~ war again, what, would be cut hundreds of billions in spending or double taxes overnight?

    Perhaps we could compromise. How about every time a war is authorized, we hold an election of the House and Senate the following month?

  29. Fascinating, how the financial sacrifice is so much more persuasive than the human sacrifice. Maybe it has always been so…

  30. Some comments:

    1. Franken is, I think, pointing at both sides of the aisle when he is telling us we are always so ready to spend money on war. The Ike “military/industrial” quote is probably most relevant here since this kind of thing is completely what he was talking about – when businessmen get rich from war, there will always be a push for war.

    2. Why does no one get on Congress for the unconstitutionality of giving a President the ability to authorize military actions without declaring war! It’s been going on since the Korean “police action” yet I never hear a hue and cry about it.

  31. For an idea of what happens the rest of the time, listen to the part immediately following Franken’s very intelligent speech, in which Senator Sessions rails against employees of the EPA for the sin of doing their job of enforcing the Clean Air Act.

    “How dare beaurocrats (that’s what Sessions calls all federal employees),” Sessions says, “take it upon themselves to actually perform the duties of the jobs they were hired to do?”
    “If this is the kind of thing that’s going to take place,” Sessions says, “we (in Congress) must pass legislation making it clear that these people are NOT supposed to actually do their job of regulating emissions.”

    What regulators are supposed to do instead, Sessions doesn’t exactly say. My guess is that he (Sessions) is a proponent of failed government, the sort of failed government that exists in Haiti, for instance, or Ivory Coast or Somolia; countries where business is allowed to do pretty much whatever it likes, the wealthiest individuals pay no taxes and reap whatever benefits are there to be reaped, and the population is left to its own devices.

    Yes, I realize that’s a case of carrying things to their extremes (reductio ad absurdum), but carrying ideas to their logical extremes is a good way to sort out the reality of which direction we as a country should be taking.

    Franken, unlike Sessions, has taken the time to understand the logical conclusions of what he proposes.

  32. A much simpler proposal: Senators and congressmen don’t get paid unless the budget is balanced. No franking privileges or several of the other perks they get either.

  33. I want to believe that Franken has good intentions and his resolution seems to make sense, but I must be getting cynical because something seems wrong. The option to raise funds through taxing is not realistic. America is convinced that higher taxes hurts them directly and never gets visible results indirectly; nevermind the super rich are happy that the masses swallow this pill. So not making the taxing option mandatory means there will be no taxing. That leaves cuts and reduction of programs. Translated, the resolution proposes new engagements must be funded by the reduction of programs. OK. Like others mentioned, in the face of war all other programs seem unnecessary. So we’ll just cut education, NPR, NASA, and funding for the arts. Next, how does this impose on the executive? I’m not saying it’s bad to come to a consensus before engaging, but isn’t it the most defining act of the executive. If this is to slow down the ability of the executive power, shouldn’t it be proposed as a change/challenge directly instead of a proposal about financing wars. Just seems strange. I understand the need to feel the sacrifice of war. I am middle America and I feel it, but not as bad as others. I don’t believe politicians feel it. I don’t believe big banks feel it. I don’t believe CEOs feel it. Soldiers are fighting for my freedom, but it’s not for my right to torrent Spartacus, or to smoke marijuana, or for me bet in the company pool. No, soldiers are fighting for the RIAA to sue deceased citizens. It’s for Facebook’s IPO. It’s for banks to foreclose on military families. So Franken, who are we talking about that needs to feel the sacrifice?

  34. a nice, but completely disingenuous thought from franken.

    and to ambiguity’s point, it would be nice if things had to have funds to pay for each project. but we already have those proposing all kinds of plans lying about the costs, or creating a cost structure that checks out by CBO estimates, but disguises true costs by unrealistic estimates and classifying other costs in such a way that they are no longer within the scope of the CBO budget analysis.

    obamacare is certainly not the first, but is the most egregious recent example of lying about costs.

    in general, it is best add at least 2 zeroes to cost estimates when it comes to entitlement programs or wars.

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