In a moving statement before Congress in February 2009, President Obama made a promise. “For seven years, we have been a nation at war,” he said. “No longer will we hide its price.”
Obama was referring to the Bush administration’s devious practice of using supplemental spending bills – emergency cash transfusions that are separated from the annual federal budget – to funnel off money for war. This parliamentary trick masks the yearly cost of war, which would otherwise appear as one massive lump sum, by breaking it up into bite-size, deceptively digestible chunks.