From NBC's Kristin Wilson
Got an extra $8,000 sitting around?
If so, good -- because, according to the Congressional Budget Office's report on the costs of the Iraq War, the $2.4 trillion price tag over the next decade comes out to some $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
CBO Director Peter Orszag met with some of the members of the House Budget Committee today -- 13 of the 21 Democrats, and 3 of the 15 Republicans -- with the ominous news that "it's clear under analysis that the nation is on an unstable fiscal path ... with the higher debt and interest costs, is going to cause severe economic dislocation, which are exacerbated by war costs."
Orszag said a big factor in the large price tag is the reset costs. Reset costs originally meant that the money would be spent to return military brigades to the same standing as before they were deployed -- i.e. fixing tanks and vehicles, or if irreparable, replacing them with similar equipment.
However, an additional CBO study found that, rather than repairing or replacing equipment, the military is upgrading or getting something new. Orszag used the example of the 120 M-182 tanks that are being requested with new funding. At the cost of "$5 million per tank, this cost is more than returning the damaged tank to its original state."
"If you fully fund these requests, the military will be in a better position in terms of equipment than before the war," Orszag told them.