DOWD: They are more likely to believe in the goal and they're more likely to flake earlier on. And I think he is probably not going to do this, but he would be certainly better off if he called the country to a sense of shared sacrifice on this.
WILL: We're also asking our allies in NATO to sacrifice, what, 5,000 troops. NATO's 60 years old. This is its first war. Never been to war before, and it's not really going to war now.
SENOR: I think this proposed tax increase is completely -- first of all, I don't think the Obama administration is going to get behind it. But when you think about the math here, Orszag, the OMB director, is projecting about $1 million per troop. So they're saying it's $30 billion annually if we do 30,000 troops.
SENOR: But the reality is, the congressional Democrats who we are talking about who are uneasy with this decision, would have probably accepted 10,000 or 20,000 troops. So you're not (inaudible) $30 billion more. We're probably talking about $10 or $15 or $20 billion more. That's about the size of our entire foreign aid budget. Could you imagine the precedence this will set? If every time we have a foreign policy issue, we're going to impose a surtax on it?
KRUGMAN: This is a lot of money. And the point is, we should have been paying for these wars to begin with, right from the beginning. I mean, this was, if you want to talk firsts for Bush, this was the first time in American history that a president took us into a war and cut taxes. And it might actually -- it would be unpredictable and risky, but to actually say, no, we're going to pay for this, because we're in this for, you know, a serious commitment, it might actually...
SENOR: They said the Israelis and the Palestinians are not making enough progress on their peace process track, so we're going to say to them, we're not going to put more money into foreign aid, into the Palestinian Authority and Israel unless -- unless they get serious, and we will impose taxes on this country because this country views this as a high priority. You start to see where this goes if every time...
KRUGMAN: There's a big difference between foreign aid and a war. Wars are expensive. Iraq was supposed to be cheap. It's turned out to be at least $1 trillion, probably well more than that. So...
SENOR: But let's be honest what this is about. It's about a campaign against President Obama's troop surge. That's what it's about. It's not really about...
WILL: And there's going to be no surtax. I mean, we all agree on that. It's not going to happen, OK? So, everyone, relax.
DOWD: I agree there is not going to be a surtax, but I think this goes to a fundamental value that I think we've lost, which is that we can get things for nothing, that we can go to war and not have to pay for it, either by cutting the budget or doing something else. We have a war, we don't have a draft. All of these sorts of things, that we, think, oh, by the way, we can go fight the most important war in the history of our country, but we're not going to have a draft, we're not going to pay for it, we're not going to do anything that causes anybody to sacrifice.