Obama: 'Iraq Costs American Families $100 Bucks per Month'

They gave me the keys to PEEK this week, so you might notice a bit of a different mix. I'll grab your favorites as usual, but I've also got some fresh blogger blood lined up to introduce to AlterNet readers this week. Feedback's always welcome, in the comments or straight at me @ joshua dot holland at alternet dot org.

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The St. Petersberg Times, like a lot of papers, has a political "fact-checker" column, which last week took a look at one of Obama's staple claims on the stump:
SUMMARY: Sen. Barack Obama says the war costs each household about $100 per month. We do the math and find he's right.
We asked the Obama campaign about the source of the $100 figure and were told it came from The Three Trillion Dollar War, a new book by Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, and Linda J. Bilmes, a former Commerce Department official from the Clinton administration who is now a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
There was no footnote for the $100 estimate, so we called Bilmes to ask how she had calculated it. She said they took the Bush administration's 2008 request for war funding - $196-billion - and divided it by 12 to get a monthly cost. That works out to $16-billlion for both wars and about $12-billion just for the Iraq portion.
Then, she and Stiglitz divided those figures by the number of U.S. households and came up with $138 for both wars and slightly more than $100 for Iraq alone, she said.
We double-checked the authors' sources and math, and found they were right.
This is smart.

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