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”
Iraq is Jasper, and the US is Abe.