Iraq war could cost taxpayers $2.7 trillion

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

World-Wide-Military-Expenditures_MINE

Must be a sign of the apocalypse.  The MSM catches up to Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, a former senior official in the US Department of Commerce, who wrote The Three Trillion Dollar War.

A couple of days ago, on June 11, 2008, CNN Money published the following:

Iraq war could cost taxpayers $2.7 trillion

In addition to the cost of war, taxpayers pay for rising veteran health care costs, and returning soldiers faced with foreclosure and unemployment.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — As the Iraq war continues with no clear end in sight, the cost to taxpayers may balloon to $2.7 trillion by the time the conflict comes to an end, according to Congressional testimony.

In a hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee Thursday, members of Congress heard testimony about the current costs of the war and the future economic fallout from returning soldiers.

At the beginning of the conflict in 2003, the Bush administration gave Congress a cost estimate of $60 billion to $100 billion for the entirety of the war. But the battle has been dragging on much longer than most in the government expected, and costs have ballooned to nearly ten times the original estimate.

CNN

And it is more than just the cost of mass murder and skullduggery, and it is more than the cost of caring for those who suffer so horribly from having served…a good bit more.

BBC: $23 billion lost, stolen, unaccounted for in Iraq

Relying on U.S. and Iraqi sources, the BBC estimates that $23 billion may have been lost, stolen or improperly accounted for in Iraq.

The BBC says its investigation, which is being broadcast tonight, shows for the first time the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding.

The Beeb also says that the Bush administration has imposed a gag order that prevents officials from discussing the allegations.

BBC

The Bush administration and their gag orders…if it weren’t so tragic it would be hilarious.

Remember this?

Bulk of Iraq Reconstruction Monies ‘Will Come From Iraqis,’ Rumsfeld Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2003 – The American taxpayer will not have to foot the entire bill for rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today.

The $20 billion for Iraqi security and reconstruction contained within President Bush’s $87 billion supplemental budget proposal for fiscal 2004 now before Congress “is not intended to cover all of Iraq’s needs,” Rumsfeld noted to reporters at a Pentagon press conference.

“The bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis,” explained Rumsfeld, who was accompanied at the briefing by Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

U.S. Department of Defense

Or any of this?

“Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will.”

Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, 7/11/02

“The likely economic effects [of the war in Iraq] would be relatively small… Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits.”

Lawrence Lindsey, White House Economic Advisor, 9/16/02

“It is unimaginable that the United States would have to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars and highly unlikely that we would have to contribute even tens of billions of dollars.”

Kenneth M. Pollack, former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs, U.S. National Security Council, 9/02

“The costs of any intervention would be very small.”

Glenn Hubbard, White House Economic Advisor, 10/4/02

“When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.”

Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 3/27/03

“There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, testifying before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, 3/27/03

“The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”

Mitchell Daniels, Director, White House Office of Management and Budget, 4/21/03

“Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for ther own reconstruction.”

Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary, 2/18/03

Huffington Post

Remember General Shinseki trying to tell them the truth about how great an effort the occupation would be?

“I would say that what’s been mobilized to this point, something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers, are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We’re talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that’s fairly significant with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems.”

General Eric Shinseki in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq

They ignored him of course.

Some harsh truths for us all to face up to…

There are those partisans who expect us to back the Democratic Party no matter what they do.  I say fuck that.  They have to earn my support as much as anyone – maybe even more so.  The Democrats have always been my party of choice precisely because they had a strong moral compass that (to borrow the words of Ted Kennedy) ‘saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it’.

That’s NOT the Democratic Party today.  In fact, I don’t even recognize the Democratic Party today.  I want to belong to a party of principles.  I have no use for any party otherwise.

I have a right to expect more from the Democratic Party as I have supported them all of my adult life and I have never been more ashamed of my own party than I am today.  They have let us all down.  They have enabled the neocon takeover of America and the immoral and illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.  They too must be held accountable.  They too must be made to pay for their transgressions against the common welfare of the people of the United States, Afghanistan and Iraq.  If they have any hope at all of ever redeeming themselves in the eyes of the American people, they have a lot of work to do.  I hope and pray that they will get about the business of doing it.

Note:  Bear in mind that this counter doesn’t account for hidden or future costs.  It does however give a sense of how rapidly our money is being sucked into the black hole of war.  It would be horrible enough if the war were ever justified in the first place.

These costs amount to:

$4,681 per household.

$1,721 per person.

$341.4 million per day.

Iraq-War-Cost-Graph

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WHY?  Why is this insanity happening?  

We are all being fucked by the Military Industrial Complex.

$300 Billion Down the Tubes: Shocking Wasteful Spending on Weapons Systems

The Pentagon spends hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems, but our troops still aren’t getting what they need. It’s a scandal of enormous proportions that involves deceptive corporations and complacent government officials. But the biggest problem of all is that the people in Washington who could fix it continue to ignore it.

Alternet

Just think what we could be doing to improve public education, provide universal health insurance, repair crumbling infrastructure, develop sustainable energy and agriculture, and etcetera.  Just think of the suffering we could alleviate, the opportunities we could provide, the progress and hope we could realize with the enormous sums of money, the trillions of dollars we are wantonly wasting on the pursuit of pure evil.

Not only are we wasting our treasure by foolishly spending it on the tools of genocide and mass murder and to spread misery and tragedy throughout the world, we are getting royally screwed in the process by the corrupt sons-of-bitches who are supposed to be representing us in Congress.

Ashamed-of-our-country

I repeat, if you are not ashamed of our country, you’re not paying attention.

Peace-takes-brains-PEACE-OUT_2

42 comments

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    • OPOL on June 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm
      Author

    no more.

  1. Do you think there could be any connection between that wasteful, unjustified spending and US economic problems?

    • Edger on June 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    “He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

    “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

    –Albert Einstein

    Princeton Universities Wilson School has in fact been working on devising a new cogent and workable foreign policy for America that may show promise. The Princeton Project on National Security on September 29, 2006 released their final report in the form of 96 page PDF document titled “Forging a World of Liberty Under Law, U.S. National Security In The 21st Century”, which according to thir mission statement was developed by 400 contributors over a 2 year period, to “set forth agreed premises or foundational principles to guide the development of specific national security strategies by successive administrations in coming decades”.

    The Princeton Project’s report is here. Trust Albert Einstein’s old alma mater to take up this challenge. How apt!

  2. robbery of the American people who are struggling to fill up their tanks and of the Iraqi people who can’t even get reliable access to electricity and clean water.

  3. than the Iraq War, but I imagine that many of you saw this video made by Ben Cohen a few years ago about the number of nuclear weapons the US has and maintains. It certainly stuck with me.

  4. I don’t know if the money that the BBC says is missing is a new discovery, or pertains to:

    . . . . My bet for the place that needs the most following is the more than $9 billion that has gone missing without a trace in Iraq–as well as $12 billion in cash that the Pentagon flew into Iraq straight from Federal Reserve vaults via military transports, and for which there has been little or no accounting. . . .

    Also, I believe the “Cost of the War in Iraq” figure above does not include the Pentagon’s costs.

    The Pentagon’s budget is an obscenity, in and of itself.  We have enough stockpile of military munitions, bombs, etc. to blow the world up several times over.

    Ben Cohen is and has always been right about how we could fix our problems in this country.

    We, Americans, have been and are being royally raped — expenses, fraud, out and out waste, the cost of oil and other endless means.

    But those who have their investments tied up in the Carlyle Group are doing very, very well.

    Left to walk away, with no accountability, we will be dealing with the same thing — the massive wealth and power that these criminals have garnered at our expense will be used by pushing buttons in the “shadows.”

  5. Who do Americans spend more money than the rest of the world combined on the Military?

    It’s because they LIKE FASCISM!

    Don’t you get it?

    That kind of a budget is for CONTROL of other people through force.

    This is observable. It’s not IMPLIED. There is a reason why American Tax payers are paying money to the military rather than for health education and welfare….they are screwy in the head. They are paranoid of outsiders.

    This is the most violent nation on Earth. You want to be safe? Go to Mexico…it’s much safer…go anywhere in Europe…its much safer…

    Americans can’t believe Europeans have a higher standard of living and quality of life. In many ways so do Mexicans. They have a bit more culture than we do. But that’s Ridiculous!

    They spend this much on security because Americans are the most INSECURE PEOPLE ON EARTH…..and that’s a testament to American stupidity…there is really not that much to be afraid of that warrants this kind of a budget and reaction to 3,000 people being killed on September 11th.

    9/11 Forever!…

    It’s time to forget about 9/11…it simply isn’t that big of a deal….sorry….

    1.2 Million Iraqi’s dead for no reason is a bigger deal.

  6. should be on the inside of every single gas pump in the US, so when you pull up to buy gas, you see the total rolling over and growing.  A gazillion for War; $4.269/gallon.  Makes the important war-gas-economy connection in a visceral way.

  7. Just think what we could be doing to improve public education, provide universal health insurance, repair crumbling infrastructure, develop sustainable energy and agriculture, and etcetera.  Just think of the suffering we could alleviate, the opportunities we could provide, the progress and hope we could realize with the enormous sums of money, the trillions of dollars we are wantonly wasting on the pursuit of pure evil.

    The problem I have with the above statement is this…   It certainly is an ideal goal but it doesn’t address one huge problem.  We don’t have this money!!  We are borrowing each and every cent AND IT’S GOING TO HAVE TO BE PAID BACK.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to start asking each and everyone running for office (on any level)… “How are you going to pay this money back??”

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