Yeah, if anyone told Bush $50 billion, they were complete idiots.
Stephanopoulos: Dollars and human costs.
Rumsfeld: Well, the lesser important is the cost in dollars. Human life is a treasure. The Office of Management and Budget estimated it would be something under 50 billion dollars.
Stephanopoulos: Outside estimates say up to 300 billion.
Rumsfeld: Baloney. How much of that would be paid by the United States, how much by other countries is an open question. But if you think about it, September 11th, besides the 3,000 lives, cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars. So, yes, measure the risk of acting, but also the risk of not acting. And if we suffered a biological September 11th, the cost would just be many, many, many multiples of any conflict.
Actually Rumsfeld was spot on. It cost us 50 billion to catch Saddam. The rest is nation building.