Stiglitz: Iraq war to cost US close to 5 trillion USD

In an interview in the March issue of New Perspectives Quarterly, Joseph Stiglitz suggests that the Iraq war will cost 3 trillion by “conservative estimates” (the most recent figure I’d heard), but is more realistically expected to cost nearly 5 trillion.

Some of the ironies and contradictions of this war identified by Stiglitz include:

  • this is the first war in American history to be financed entirely by deficit, much of this via China purchasing US Treasury bods with monies from their trade surplus — in the words of the NPQ interviewer, “a consumer democracy with no savings borrows from a market-Leninist state to combat terrorism and hold free elections in the first Shiite government in an Arab state in 800 years!”
  • this is the first war where taxes have been lowered as war was undertaken
  • this is also the most privatized war in history, with security contractors making up to $400,000 a year for the same job that American soldiers get paid about $40,000 a year for doing
  • US taxpayers pay insurance for the private contractors, but the insurance companies are exempt in cases of death/injury by “hostility”

beard caught in pencil sharpenerMeanwhile, Senator McCain admits that he doesn’t understand the economics behind the Iraq war and has no ideas about how to finance it.

Iraq is Jasper, and the US is Abe.

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