WASHINGTON -- Democrats say the numbers don't add up. That the true costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been grossly underestimated and that the conflicts cost double what the white house has requested, totaling $1.6 trillion so far, with no end to spending in sight. All the more reason, they say to bring the troops back. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid said, "Bringing our troops home would not only be good for the military, but it will also be good for the American taxpayer -- $12 billion a month? We cannot afford this war." In a new report Democrats calculate what they call the "hidden" costs of the wars, the price of treating and supporting injured veterans, disruption in the oil market and interest on money borrowed to pay for the wars. Their report say the interest for the Iraq war alone could reach more than $550 billion by 2017. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "The administration has created mountains of interest for taxpayers, as far as the eye can see. We of the baby boom generation and our children and grandchildren will be paying for this war for a very long time to come." Senate Republicans don't deny the costs, but want the job finished. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell said, "Of course the war has been costly, but we have been protected here at home." President Bush has requested another $50 billion for the war in Iraq. Democrats say want to tie the funding to troop withdrawal. If they do that, the president says he'll veto it.
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