Thursday, March 23, 2006

Costs for Iraq

Remember when Wolfowitz argued that the war would not be expensive because Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction with its oil revenues? Shortly thereafter George W. Bush's chief economist Lawrence Lindsay was fired for revealing that the Iraq War would cost $200 billion.

It turns out to be a lot worse.

Nobel price winning economist Joseph Stiegliz and Linda Bilmes have published an analysis of the financial costs of the Iraq War. You can download their paper here. By the time, one pays the indirect costs of the war we are well on our way to spending more than one trillion dollars. It may be as much as two.

That means that each American household will have to contribute $10,000.


Blogger annegb said...

Why aren't the Iraquis paying? They have lots of money in oil.

Blogger Hellmut said...

That's an interesting question, Anne.

According to the department of energy, Iraq's oil revenue amounts to 22.7 billion dollars. At that rate, it would take Iraq over 44 years to pump enough oil to cover the bill.

In other words, economically it makes no sense to occupy Iraq.

Blogger annegb said...

Well, if that money made interest, though, that might account for some?

I didn't favor the war, Hellmut, but I do think it would be immoral to leave now. I think there would be mass murder.

I'm stymied by the war, really. Every day when we hear reports of more Iraqui deaths, my heart sorrows. I don't see any way out, though.

Do you?


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