Friday, February 29, 2008

Well, that's a chunk of change

See The Three Trillion Dollar War:
Thanks to Kat for bringing an interview at Democracy Now to my attention - one with Nobel laureate and former chief World Bank economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and Professor of public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Linda Bilmes. They say that the true cost of the Iraqi war and occupation is now somewhere in excess of $3 trillion - and that the Bush administration are keeping a second set of books to hide this from the American people.
what they claim as the cost of the Iraq war in the budget is not the full cost. There are the operational costs that everybody understands, but then there are costs hidden elsewhere in the defense budget. But then there are really some very big costs hidden elsewhere, like contractors that have been the subject of such concern. We pay their insurance through the Labor Department.

But the most important cost, budgetary cost, that we haven’t talked about publicly, that haven’t been talked about, are the costs of veterans—their disability, veterans’ healthcare—that will total hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decades.

[snip]

There are a whole set of macroeconomic costs, which have depressed the economy. What’s happened is, to offset those costs, the Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with liquidity, looked the other way when you needed tighter regulation, and that’s what led to the housing bubble, the consumption boom. And we were living off of borrowed money. The war was totally financed by deficits. And eventually, a day of reckoning had to come, and now it’s come.
Go read the whole thing.
My emphasis added.

No comments:

Post a Comment