The White House says President Bush won't ask Congress for a "war tax" at this time, even though the cost of the Persian Gulf conflict could soar once ground combat begins.
Senior administration officials said Sunday that Bush had ruled out seeking a tax increase now to finance war operations."No tax," budget director Richard Darman said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"We expect this to be manageable because we expect to have very substantial foreign contributions," he added. Contributions from coalition allies now total between $30 billion and $40 billion - including a $13.5 billion pledge from Saudi Arabia announced Saturday by Baker.
Estimates on the cost of the war range as high as $1 billion a day once ground forces are committed.
Before the fighting started, the administration estimated that the operation would require $30 billion in new budget authority and $15 billion in actual cash outlays.
Now, with fighting under way, "it will be substantially more," but foreign contributions to the allied effort will also increase, Darman said.