US Economy could fall casualty to Wars

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book that in 2008, its sixth year, the Iraq war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the “burn” rate of its earliest years.

YIKES!  I can see where that might have an effect on our economy beyond the already trillions-of-dollars deficit we currently are dealing with.

From AP:

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show.

Actually, with the current amount of violence in Iraq beginning to climb once again, that statement might be incorrect in itself.  Anyway, back to the wars and the economy.

Beyond 2008, working with “best-case” and “realistic-moderate” scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done its own projections and comes in lower, forecasting a cumulative cost by 2017 of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the two wars, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs.


Let me see?  Who to believe, a Nobel Prize Winning economist or the Congressional Budget Office?  


I’ll leave that up to each of you individual readers, but after 7 years of the Bush Administration and their shoot straight rhetoric (HA!) I’m personally going with the Nobel Prize dude.

In their book, “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” Stiglitz, of Columbia University, and Bilmes, of Harvard, report the two wars will have cost the U.S. budget $845 billion in 2007 dollars by September 30, end of fiscal year 2008, assuming Congress fully funds Bush administration requests. That counts not just military operations, but embassy costs, reconstruction and other war-related expenses.

That total far surpasses the $670 billion in 2007 dollars the Congressional Research Service says was the U.S. price tag for the 12-year Vietnam War.

Then there is this further explanation:

The two economists say their calculations are conservative, because they don’t encompass many “hidden” items in the U.S. budget. Their basic projections also exclude the potentially huge debt-service cost — on which CBO approximately agrees — and the cost to the U.S. economy of global oil prices that have quadrupled since 2003, an increase analysts blame partly on the Iraq upheaval.

Estimating all economic and social costs might push the U.S. war bill up toward $5 trillion by 2017, they say.

Consider, for a moment, this amount of money injected into the US economy instead of Bush’s Folly.  

Healthcare for all Americans?  check

Complete solvency for Social Security?  check

R&D money for alternative fuels? check

Humanatarian aid to countries(Good PR)?  check

As I always say, I simply cannot wait until the adults take back our government.


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    • brobin on March 10, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    currently hold and balance our budget!  You know, like the budget was balanced when G.W. Bush and friends were inserted into office by the SCOTUS?

  1. …so far, the figure of $2.7 trillion is probably an accurate estimate.  Each phase of the war has cost more than was expected.  And there isn’t much doubt that a President McCain would continue, or even expand, this rate of spending.  

    The fuel costs alone must be astronomical.  And with the different Iraqi political factions fighting over oil revenues, I have to assume there won’t be any left to pay for rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, meaning we as taxpayers will keep footing that bill.  So far it appears the Iraqis are more likely to spend their cut on their own militias.

  2. It’s way to late for “could”…

  3. Did the resources wars over the last remaining large oil reserves hasten or delay the inevitable economic collapse?

  4. do not buy into the Democratic mantra,

    Lotsa things are gonna change once these monsters finally shuffle out of office.

    That’s what the Democrats want us to believe: that everything will be normal again. We will return to the good old days like we had before Bush. This is a false illusion. When we voted for a Democratic congressional majority in 2006, I thought that we could at least stop the continued erosion of liberties, but that too turned out to be a false illusion. They are giving away the farm just as fast, if not faster, then the repugs.

    When they unexpextedly regained control of the Senate also, their cover story for why they “need a larger majority” was blown. The fact is that not only are they (the Dems)complicit with the war criminals, they are participating along with them. It’s all about money and power from the profit derived from war and oil.

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