The 2009 budget proposal that the White House will be unveiling in February will not cover a full fiscal year for the Pentagon's war expenses. The new president, whatever the position on Iraq, will have to get the remainder of the year's war expenses funded as one of the new administration's first tasks.
The amount of money already spent on this war - over $6 billion - is staggering, and the rate of spending is only increasing. Rep. John Murtha notes some numbers in his comments on the budget move:
"They want to hide the cost of the war. We figure it's costing $343 million a day in Iraq. And it's all borrowed money."
Estimates suggest the president's new budget will require deficit spending of about $350 billion (with economic "stimulus" package). Why isn't this a big story? Maybe it's too early in the story cycle. But that will put the national debt at over $9 trillion, with the only forecast being continued growth.