(CNNMoney.com) — As the Iraq war continues with no clear end in sight, the cost to taxpayers may balloon to $2.7 trillion by the time the conflict comes to an end, according to Congressional testimony.
In a hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee Thursday, members of Congress heard testimony about the current costs of the war and the future economic fallout from returning soldiers.
At the beginning of the conflict in 2003, the Bush administration gave Congress a cost estimate of $60 billion to $100 billion for the entirety of the war. But the battle has been dragging on much longer than most in the government expected, and costs have ballooned to nearly ten times the original estimate.
William Beach, director of the Center for Data Analysis, told members of Congress that the Iraq war has already cost taxpayers $646 billion. That’s only accounting for five years, and, with the conflict expected to drag on for another five years, the figure is expected to more than quadruple. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told members of Congress that the war costs taxpayers about $430 million per day, and called out the Bush Administration.