Wednesday, August 13, 2003

The Weekly Standard has an article about the financial cost of securing Iraq. And yes, that does not include rebuilding Saddam's infrastruce. The costs are anyone's guess. Larry Lindsey said $100 billion (1% of our GDP); Philip Carroll recently said $20 to $40 billion. And that's not the bad news.

Revenue from the sale of Iraq's oil cannot begin to finance the reconstruction of the country. Bremer, in what may be his ticket out of Baghdad and into the private sector with Lindsey, knows this: "We are going to have to spend a lot more money than we are going to get revenue, even once we get oil production back to prewar levels." Which means that Wolfowitz is either innumerate (unlikely), or is being economical with the truth when he says, "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."
And that comes on top of the $700 billion deficit, tax cuts and a slow recovery of the economy. I know what Bush's dad is thinking right now: “ My son: Great war, bad economy. (turns to son) I shall call you: MINI-ME! ”


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