That's the estimated aggregate bill so far of the war on Iraq and the financial "rescue" package. ("And that's without tip!" Garry Shandling quipped on Real Time with Bill Maher.) It's a number I hope gets mentioned every time John McCain or Sarah Palin utter the words, "Where is that money going to come from?" in response to one of Barack Obama's proposals for universal health care or alternative energy. Shandling and Maher, of all people, spoke such simple truths on the HBO program last week that I actually stopped my DVR, backed up and wrote down their words. Here they are in their entirety:
Shandling: "John McCain cannot be saying we're winning the war in Iraq at the same time we're going bankrupt. That means we're losing, because everybody has forgotten the connection. The planes [hitting] the buildings was an economic attack, am I correct? And if we didn't spend X trillion into this war, we might not have to put we might be able to handle the housing issue."
Maher: "Fareed Zakaria, in one of his columns, recently said that for the cost of the war, we could've had health care for every man, woman and child in America; could've rebuilt every road, bridge and school in America; and started multiple Manhattan Projects for alternative energy. Now why doesn't the Democrat say that, the next time one of them says, 'The surge is working!'"