Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday and the two ran longer than the constraints of the thirty-minute show allows, so Stewart posted the additional video online. Watching the second act, I was particularly struck by Gingrich's claim that, "The war is a very small part of the federal budget" (emphasis added). Stewart pushed Gingrich a little by alluding to the fact that the total defense budget is much larger and obscures the total spending on the "war on terror" because it is an appropriations and not really part of the defense budget per se.
By conservative estimates, the fiscal year 2009 budget on the so-called "War on Terror" alone was 4.75 percent of the federal budget -- more than the budgets of the Energy Department, Department of Education, Interior Department, Agriculture Department, Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation... combined! And that was before the increase in Afghanistan spending.