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May 10, 2006 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Have your war and heat it too? As the war approaches the $350 billion mark, Cass Sunstein notes: "For the United States, the economic burden of the Iraq war is on the verge of exceeding the total anticipated burden of the Kyoto Protocol." Costs may rise as high as $10 trillion. At least we know it wasn't about oil: in a good year, Iraq makes about $14 billion on fossil fuels. (via)
posted by anotherpanacea (28 comments total)

 
$4 gas. Mission accomplished.
posted by H. Roark at 9:10 PM on May 10, 2006


Accidentally added a zero there. 1 trillion is quite enough, thank you.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:18 PM on May 10, 2006


The things that money could have been spent on...

And the idiots in charge spent it while cut-, cut-, cutting takes again and again. Hello Nero Bush, do you smell smoke?
posted by teece at 9:25 PM on May 10, 2006


How bad is it that I read the "$10 trillion" mis-figure and thought that while it was pretty damned high, I could still see it happening?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:34 PM on May 10, 2006


Jesus, cost to Iraq: $160 billion. I had no idea it was that high. I hope they some good lenders!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:01 PM on May 10, 2006


Heh, I was wondering about that $10 trillion number. I wouldn't be suprised if that was more then the total value of all the oil in Iraq.

Nigeria has about $2 trillion dollars worth of Oil total.
posted by delmoi at 10:15 PM on May 10, 2006


There are tragically fucked up priorities all over. But at the end of the day, what's the point of the Washington Post article, exactly? That we could've used the money for something else? As a fourteen-year-old girl would say, like, duh.

I bought a Volkswagen in 1988. If I had only ridden my bike and invested that money in Microsoft, I'd be a kazillionaire.
posted by frogan at 10:55 PM on May 10, 2006


Thank you religious provicialism. You have save our souls once again. Now I'm off to scramble some tender sweet fetuses in my omelets.
posted by rhizome23 at 10:58 PM on May 10, 2006


Thank you religious provicialism. You have save our souls once again. Now I'm off to scramble some tender sweet fetuses in my omelets.
posted by rhizome23 at 10:58 PM on May 10, 2006


And double post and make typos while I'm at it! Take that!
posted by rhizome23 at 11:00 PM on May 10, 2006


Christ, can some mod remove every post i made. This is embarrassing.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:03 PM on May 10, 2006


Nigeria has about $2 trillion dollars worth of Oil total.

What's even cooler than that is that the Nigerian Oil Minister wants me to help him transfer those funds to his associates in the United States. He's even willing to give me 10% for my assistance!

This is going to kick so much ass.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:11 PM on May 10, 2006


350 billion seconds ago it was 8844 B.C., give or take a century, if you can wrap you brain around that.
posted by wsg at 11:38 PM on May 10, 2006


Could you imagine the howling we'd hear if we spent $100 billion a year in (non-military) foreign aid and development?
posted by moonbiter at 12:11 AM on May 11, 2006


If you believe the Iranian oil bourse 'conspiracy' then invading Middle-Eastern countries isn't about getting the oil, its about making sure the world continues trading oil in dollars.
posted by piscatorius at 1:56 AM on May 11, 2006


Inflation accomplished.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:11 AM on May 11, 2006


At least we know it wasn't about oil: in a good year, Iraq makes about $14 billion on fossil fuels.

This misses the point. Sure, the US government ends up in the hole. But that was the intention all along. Like the Reaganites they are, Bush's people fully intended to drive the country into debt by transferring funds from the government to corporations. US oil companies are making record profits. The war has been a massive gift to stockholders in major corporations. So, from the point of view of those who planned this operation, it's an unqualified economic success.
posted by Clay201 at 2:12 AM on May 11, 2006


How bad is it that I read the "$10 trillion" mis-figure and thought that while it was pretty damned high, I could still see it happening?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:34 PM PST on May 10 [+fave] [!]


LOL, my thoughts exactly
posted by beno at 2:38 AM on May 11, 2006


So, from the point of view of those who planned this operation, it's an unqualified economic success.

Precisely.

And to those thinking of all the good that could have been done with this money... that would be socialism.
posted by pompomtom at 3:01 AM on May 11, 2006


Can someone connect the economic dots for me without the morality component? This paper is a start -- basically a balance sheet for the war (replete with the creepy VSL statistic (value of statistical life). I would like to see how this massive amount of money affects our economy in the short and long term viewed through an uncolored lens of an economist (if that's possible). Does the Pentagon spending $1M on a bomb mean nine more people get hired at Wendy's? Is this war inflationary? Is it an economic driver?
posted by mania at 5:11 AM on May 11, 2006


... that would be socialism.

Haha, it's only socialism when you use taxpayer dollars to build stuff that won't be used to kill people.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:11 AM on May 11, 2006


It's the instability premium, stupid. It's like drugs. The harder it is to get, the more profitable it becomes. Instability in the middle east is the Oil companies best friend.
posted by Freen at 5:28 AM on May 11, 2006


...and the money spent on the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq is being borrowed.

Just add it to the United State's national debt.

From the Washington Post (12/2005):

The American Interest asked in its winter issue, "Has there ever been a power as great as the United States that has been a debtor as opposed to a creditor nation?" We are, indeed, a nation of borrowers, and that might not be inherently bad. I have to admit, though, when I look at the interest piling up by the minute on U.S. debt, I get a little queasy.

Across the 30 days of November, we spent nearly $27 billion just on interest payments. Put another way, the United States spent $900 million a day -- a figure higher than the GDP of Leichtenstein -- on interest alone.
Link to article...
posted by rmmcclay at 6:13 AM on May 11, 2006


The tradeoff is less important than: "the Bush administration's claim that the cost of the Kyoto Protocol would be prohibitive, causing (in President Bush's own words) "serious harm to the U.S. economy.""

In other words, if we couldn't afford to save the environment, how could we afford to save the Iraqi people? Only then do we get into the question of whether to put scare quotes around that second "save."
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:19 AM on May 11, 2006


How much did Katrina cost? The IPPC report coming out in 2007 will state more likely than not (greater than %50) the increased strength and activities of hurricanes is caused by global warming.
posted by stbalbach at 8:50 AM on May 11, 2006


At least we know it wasn't about oil

What the hell else was it about? You took control of the country with the second largest proven oil reserves on the planet, with no other reason that holds water or which hasn't been thoroughly discredited, and it wasn't about oil?

It wasn't well thought out, and the immediate path to profit has been blocked, but don't tell me it wasn't about oil.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on May 11, 2006


Jesus, cost to Iraq: $160 billion. I had no idea it was that high. I hope they some good lenders!

We do. A bit of research shows that China owns the vast majority of U.S. debt. Ever wonder why they have preferred country status, despite their obvious human rights violations? Wonder no more.
posted by nlindstrom at 10:13 AM on May 11, 2006


If we had simply allowed Bush to take the money straight from the taxpayers, it would probably come to less than the 350 billion for the war, given that his cronies probably aren't going to make that much from the war.

On another note, how much of that 350 billion goes to contractors who aren't accountable for how they spend it?
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:14 AM on May 11, 2006


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