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Editorial: Colossal costs of war in Iraq compound deceit

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:43 AM
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Editorial: Colossal costs of war in Iraq compound deceit
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 05:49 AM by Breeze54
Editorial: Colossal costs of war in Iraq compound deceit

Mercury News Editorial
Article Launched: 03/07/2008 01:32:49 AM PST

The Bush administration scared Congress and the American people into accepting the invasion
of Iraq. What's really scary, as the fifth anniversary approaches this month, is the cost.

$3,000,000,000,000. That's 3 trillion dollars - Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz's
estimate of what the war will cost by the time it winds down and troops come home.

Unlike Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Stiglitz doesn't assume that troops may
be there for 100 years. And he doesn't count the opportunity costs wasted - the health care for
Americans that could have been provided, the research that could have been funded or the Social
Security liability that could have been paid.

He does count up expenses that the Bush administration has minimized or hidden.

They add up to one of America's colossal mistakes.

A professor at Columbia University, Stiglitz was the chief economist for the World Bank and,
before that, the chief of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. His estimates are
in a new book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War." Excerpts are in Vanity Fair

He says his figures are conservative. They include $600 billion that Congress has appropriated thus
far for the war; $520 billion to bring home troops and equipment within a few years; $590 billion in medical
and disability payments to veterans in coming decades; $280 billion to restore a depleted military; $615 billion
in interest for a war financed entirely by borrowing; and $370 billion as the war's impact on individuals -
the loss of lifetime earnings by disabled veterans, interruptions in careers for reservists and their families.

Five years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld mocked President Bush's economic adviser,
Lawrence Lindsey, for estimating the war might cost $200 billion. Now, it's 10 times that and growing.

A generation of Americans will pay the price for that deceit.

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