Every Man, Woman, and Child in America Owes $26,914 In National Debt

From an interview with Connie Mack of Dubya’s tax reform panel in ’s New York Times:

Deborah Solomon: The U.S. government has to get money from somewhere. As a two-term former Republican senator from Florida, where do you suggest we get money from?

Connie Mack: What money?

DS: The money to run this country.

CM: We’ll borrow it.

DS: I never understand where all this money comes from. When the president says we need another $200 billion for Katrina repairs, does he just go and borrow it from the Saudis?

CM: In a sense, we do. Maybe the Chinese.

“The Outstanding Public Debt as of is: $8,007,315,344,855.44

“The estimated population of the United States is 297,514,641 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $26,914.02.”

, Congress has appropriated $357 billion for the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and for enhanced security at U.S. military bases and embassies abroad, according to CRS. Of this, the Department of Defense received $326 billion, and $31 billion went to the Department of State and others. So far, $251 billion has been spent in Iraq, and $82 billion has been for Afghanistan. Compared to , average monthly spending for Iraq has increased by 18 percent to $6 billion. The CBO reports that if the wars go well and we are able to ramp down operations gradually starting , an additional $260 billion will be needed for operations . Grand total: $617 billion.

The costs, while large, are not the most important news. According to the GAO, the Department of Defense has “lost visibility” over $7.1 billion of the war money appropriated to it by Congress. That means it’s gone, but Pentagon managers don’t know what they did with it. Worse, the GAO also found DoD is so inept at tracking all of its spending that neither DoD nor Congress “can reliably know how much the war is costing… [or] how appropriated funds are being spent….” The GAO was not even able to determine whether the costs that it and the other agencies cite as reasonable estimates are too high or too low.