Friday, February 03, 2006

Fiscal Fake-Out

Much attention is focused (and rightfully so) on the human cost of the invasion & occupation of Iraq, at least on the U.S. side, but little analysis is done on the monetary cost, which for all practical purposes is borne solely by the U.S.

Among the myriad of lies, gross miscalculations and misrepresentations the Beltway crowd sold us this arbitrary, elective war was the pledge that Iraqi oil revenues would pick up the tab. Well like the big bad WMDs, that promise has vanished into thin air.

Now I know most of us yawn or blanch (maybe both!) at the thought of a little financial analysis (SVT excluded), but please bear with me while we look at a couple of numbers from a report discussed on a recent conference call conducted by the OMB:

  • Since the invasion this has cost us an estimated $250B
  • The military operation alone is costing about $144M per day!
  • No large scale reconstruction costs are included in these estimates
  • Iraqi oil revenues are able to fund only a fraction of the reconstruction costs
  • This is over and above the projected annual Pentagon budget of nearly a half trillion dollars!
  • Some perspective? The total estimated U.S. government expenditures in 2005 (excluding the wars) is $2.47T (on revenues of $2.12T, btw)
The most sobering part of this? No end in sight.....

More from WaPo

No comments: