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830 Bilj $ So Far, The Price For US Iraq War  
User currently offlineSAS A340 From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 774 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2531 times:

And Afghanistan...Well,that's so many zero's in that number so i barely can't read it.....830 000 000 000 $ ore 3000 $ for every American....was it well spent??? before it ends it's predicted to end up to more than 1000 000 000 000$ (is it 1 Trillion? ore what?)  Wow!


It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2513 times:



Quoting SAS A340 (Thread starter):
Well,that's so many zero's in that number so i barely can't read it.....830 000 000 000 $ ore 3000 $ for every American....was it well spent???

Well there seem to be two schools of thought on the results to date of that spend. But aside from that argument, what has the money been spent on.

It appears that those who were given the money are unable to account for it.

This is a bit passe from 2007 but gives something of the flavour of the financial mess:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i.../2007-04-04-corruption-probe_N.htm
Much of the Iraqi oil money spent by the United States was given in bundles of $100 bills to military officials and civilians to quickly pay for small-scale projects, Bowen's office has reported.

Is it any wonder that scandalous treatment of Iraqi and US money in Iraq is now followed up by amazing scenes from Wall St?

BTW, the final cost of the Iraq war is likely to be more like 2 trillion.


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

Yet, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the 56 TRILLION in unfunded obligations and madates that are coming due over the next 5 years. This figure represents things like Medicare, Social Security, Bonds, and pensions. That does not include the 5 trillion recently commited for various types of economic stimuli. Wonder why no one is talking about that?


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User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2495 times:



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 2):
56 TRILLION in unfunded obligations and madates that are coming due over the next 5 years

56 T in 5 years??? Can you give a bit of detail there? That is ~5 times GDP in 5 years or close to the GDP for each of those 5 years. I know the recent administration has been a bit sloppy, but THAT sloppy?


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2483 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Can you give a bit of detail there?

Medicare, Social Security, and Federal retirement programs are about 85%. Medicare alone is about 30 trillion. Total long term liabilities for Medicare are about 99 trillion.
http://www.usbudgetwatch.org/budgetb...es-rep-cooper-calls-commission-310

USAToday arrived at a figure of 59 trillion, but did not state a time line.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...on/2007-05-28-federal-budget_N.htm

According to this 2004 article, it was only 45.5 trillion then, so the rate of growth is alarming, too.http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200401/littlefield

Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
I know the recent administration has been a bit sloppy, but THAT sloppy?

While Bush does deserve some of the credit, as the huge expansion of medicare benefits did not help the picture, the origins are easily traceable back to Johnson and, some would argue, orginate with Roosevelt.



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2477 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
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Quoting Lowrider (Reply 4):
Medicare alone is about 30 trillion.

The most frustrating part is that so much money and effort is being spent on treating the symptoms, with virtually no real effort being made to treat the disease. The disease, as I see it, is the unhealthy lifestyles led and processed foods eaten by our country.

People are admitted for six-figures (or more) of medical treatment, and then, a few weeks later, they're back to smoking cigarettes and eating fast food. And avoiding virtually any meaningful physical activity.

These kinds of lifestyles would be fine with me if they didn't drain our health care resources. But they do.

The fastest and most effective way to address the problem might be to tax the hell out of these unhealthy things and funnel all of the money directly to Medicare. Maybe $50 per pack of cigarettes, and $10 per fast food meal. Because I really dislike the idea of subsidizing, directly or indirectly, the stupid and expensive lifestyles many others choose to lead.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2476 times:



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 4):
USAToday arrived at a figure of 59 trillion, but did not state a time line.

Which makes it pretty useless????

However,

http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/08frusg/08frusg.pdf

Does help a bit!

For OASDI, income exceed expenditure out to the cross over year of 2017. So until 2017 actually a surplus according to my primitive maths. I think you will find the 59 T comes about in 2040 IF all the calculations are correct. Which they are probably not.

So let us get back to:

Quoting SAS A340 (Thread starter):
can't read it.....830 000 000 000 $ or 3000 $ for every American....was it well spent???

No need for straw men when there are real hunks of unaccounted money rolling around in the here and NOW!!


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2463 times:

Quoting Baroque (Reply 6):
Which makes it pretty useless????

As empirical data, but not as a discussion point if the discussion revolves around, "look how much the US is spending on XX", which this weekly series seems to. I contend that the money spent in Iraq is relatively small compared to what we are spending elsewhere. Didn't we just give approximately 700 billion to the financial sector to prop them up? I understand not all of that money has been allocated yet, but that took about a week to work its way though government, verses the years this war has dragged on. War is not cheap, but complaining about the cost in isolation is sort of like fixing a toilet on the Titanic.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 6):
No need for straw men when there are real hunks of unaccounted money rolling around in the here and NOW!!

Straw men, or attempting to take a big picture view?

EDIT: You are aware that the official position of the US government is that entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) are not liabilities and are not included in such calculations, right? They take this position because they maintain that they can reduce or stop paying benefits if they are unable.

[Edited 2008-12-27 07:49:43]


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User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2441 times:



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 7):
You are aware that the official position of the US government is that entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) are not liabilities and are not included in such calculations, right? They take this position because they maintain that they can reduce or stop paying benefits if they are unable.

Oh indeedy. The thing is that the liabilities "credited" to them lie a fair way into the future, which is nevertheless not to say they are not a problem and should not be planned for.

However, finding first that 800 billion has been spent on a war for doubtful gains, AND that a fair proportion of that money cannot be accounted for in any proper sense of the word is a more immediate problem. And as Jacobin points out, the liabilities for the injured servicemen probably goes toward 2 T. Then there is the lack of accounting so far for the 700 B in bail out money for the banks.

The first problem looks from this distance to be getting an effective financial controlling system over your current expenditures. If that was achieved, the future problems would be:

A. Much better defined and quite possibly:
B. Easier to solve.

Also the 56T is not only way off into the distance, it is not a particularly firm figure. No reason to ignore it, but reason to make sure the assumptions on which it is based are well understood. Then good reason to make sure that current spending is properly controlled.

Meanwhile, what is being done to make sure that current moneys are properly spent?

No wonder Bush said his government did not do nation building, his grasp of a constructive role for government is a bit on the weak side it appears. But that does not prove that money cannot be well spent by government, just that he does not seem to be very good at it.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2439 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
Because I really dislike the idea of subsidizing, directly or indirectly, the stupid and expensive lifestyles many others choose to lead.

Hear, hear! Another one of those statements that makes so much sense it has zero chance of becoming reality.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2391 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
that a fair proportion of that money cannot be accounted for in any proper sense of the word is a more immediate problem

I don't know about a "fair proportion". I am relatively certain that every helicopter, Humvee, airplane, and tank have been properly invoiced and documented. They is some lost money, however, but I have found that when you are paying off local officials, no matter what country, they are somewhat reluctant to give receipts. On my expense reports it goes down as "local fees", or "misc location related expenses".

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
Meanwhile, what is being done to make sure that current moneys are properly spent

Across the board, very little. The US government (and most state and local) seems to be operating under the illusion that the tax revenues belong to them and they have no reason to be accountable to anyone. We have just had 8 years of a Congress that loves to write checks and a President that loves to sign them. It frustrates me to no end when I think of where some of the money confiscated from my paycheck is going. I just took a large pay cut at work, and yet my representatives just voted themselves a pay raise.

Sadly, there are no real voices in government calling for fiscal restraint.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
No wonder Bush said his government did not do nation building, his grasp of a constructive role for government is a bit on the weak side it appears.

Successful examples and templates in recent history are somewhat lacking. To me that suggests that maybe this is something government should not be involved in.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
But that does not prove that money cannot be well spent by government, just that he does not seem to be very good at it.

I think it is just further evidence of the first, and conclusive evidence of the second.



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User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6971 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2378 times:

I'm missing something, it is oft written that the US and its allies went into Iraq for oil, would it not be more important to state how much money they have received from the capture of the oil? We are seeing these figures of how much it cost, but if oil was the reason then those in charge must certainely have shipped out and sold a vast quantities to pay for the whole thing, unless of coure, that is also some propoganda.

Interesting questions.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2338 times:

Here is something of interest:

http://www.arabnews.com/cartoon/2008/12/28.jpg



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2276 times:



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 10):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
No wonder Bush said his government did not do nation building, his grasp of a constructive role for government is a bit on the weak side it appears.

Successful examples and templates in recent history are somewhat lacking. To me that suggests that maybe this is something government should not be involved in.

Perhaps start with Singapore. A bit early to decide the Gulf states are a success, but since they are controlled by their rulers their development has certainly been state directed.

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 10):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
that a fair proportion of that money cannot be accounted for in any proper sense of the word is a more immediate problem

I don't know about a "fair proportion". I am relatively certain that every helicopter, Humvee, airplane, and tank have been properly invoiced and documented. They is some lost money, however, but I have found that when you are paying off local officials, no matter what country, they are somewhat reluctant to give receipts. On my expense reports it goes down as "local fees", or "misc location related expenses".

It is a bit beyond lack of receipts and smaller expenses. Even Fox has heard about 9 billion
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,129489,00.html
The draft audit by the Coalition Provisional Authority's (search) inspector general chastises the CPA — formerly led by L. Paul Bremer — for "not providing adequate stewardship" of at least $8.8 billion from the Development Fund for Iraq. The audit is not expected to be released for at least two or three more weeks, possibly longer.

That was in 2004 and no real indications that matters got any better after that, and oil revenues were 20 to 40 billion a year after that.

The Blackhawk became a measure of currency, apparently you could pack half a billion in a Blackhawk in shrink wrapped new 100$ bills.

"War and occupation in Iraq" is rather cutting about the matter, especially "9. Corruption, fraud and gross malfeasance"
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security...es/iraq/occupation/report/full.pdf

There is a Wiki site about it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War_misappropriations

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/mar/20/usa.iraq

'Iraq was awash in cash. We played football with bricks of $100 bills'
At the beginning of the Iraq war, the UN entrusted $23bn of Iraqi money to the US-led coalition to redevelop the country. With the infrastructure of the country still in ruins, where has all that money gone? Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil on one of the greatest financial scandals of all time.


And here is a question to be answered - BY SOMEONE!!
How is it possible that after three years of occupation and billions of dollars of spending, hospitals are still short of basic supplies? Part of the cause is ideological tunnel-vision. For months before the war the US state department had been drawing up plans for the postwar reconstruction, but those plans were junked when the Pentagon took over.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§...on=0&article=111619&d=8&m=7&y=2008
Iraq a bottomless cash pit
Linda Heard, sierra12th@yahoo.co.uk
THE UAE has generously written off Iraq’s debts to the tune of just under $7 billion to assist Baghdad’s reconstruction efforts. President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has described the gesture as an expression of brotherly solidarity and as leader of the only Gulf state to step forward in this way he should be congratulated. However, in case other countries are reluctant to follow suit they shouldn’t be negatively judged as, in the past, pumping money into Iraq has been akin to tossing it into a bottomless pit.


And so on and on, it seems for ever! And even at that I cannot find the worst reference to waste in the Kurdish areas.


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2259 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 13):
9 billion

While certainly more than pocket money, in terms of the 830 bn, it is just over 1%. To me that does not seem to be a high level of waste. I am not convinced that all of the remaining 821 bn was well spent either, even though it is accounted for, but that is probably another thread.

My point was that my country wastes far more money on other bad ideas. This is a relatively modest example in terms of dollars spent. One of my main concerns going forward with Iraq is how much will it cost for us to finish and get out.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 13):
The Blackhawk became a measure of currency,

Given how the value of the dollar has fallen, I am surprised it is not a Chinook.



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User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2250 times:



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 14):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 13):
The Blackhawk became a measure of currency,

Given how the value of the dollar has fallen, I am surprised it is not a Chinook.

Apparently you could get, IIRC, half a billion in a Blackhawk.

The missing 9 billion is the best documented bit, but at least 70 billion in other oil money seems equally unaccounted for. As noted above, one part is the $23 billion carried over from the UN and we know the kerfuffle that the US created over the UN and its use of Iraqi oil money. So the US took over and seems by most measures to have done a great deal worse.

Will we ever learn what Halliburton was paid for and how it was paid?


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2231 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Apparently you could get, IIRC, half a billion in a Blackhawk.

Right, I was just making a play at how half a billion US isn't worth what it once was.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
As noted above, one part is the $23 billion carried over from the UN and we know the kerfuffle that the US created over the UN and its use of Iraqi oil money.

Are you referring to the "Oil For Food" program?

Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Will we ever learn what Halliburton was paid for and how it was paid?

Not in this decade and probably not in the next either. The list of what of what is not known by the public will probably exceed this list of what is known for a long time.



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User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2184 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
The fastest and most effective way to address the problem might be to tax the hell out of these unhealthy things and funnel all of the money directly to Medicare. Maybe $50 per pack of cigarettes, and $10 per fast food meal. Because I really dislike the idea of subsidizing, directly or indirectly, the stupid and expensive lifestyles many others choose to lead.

I understand taxing cigarettes because those are luxury goods, however, taxing "unhealthy" food has broader social implications. I know for a fact that fast food and so-called low-quality processed foods account for the majority of the poor and the working poor's diets. This is because such foodstuffs are relatively inexpensive. Taxing those foods may lead to basic nutrition deficiencies in children and people across the country. It goes beyond whether food is healthy enough... in many cases we could be talking about whether hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) have enough to eat at all.

As far as the Iraq war goes, we could end up spending tens of trillions of dollars by the time that's over... and we'll probably never see a drop of their oil. The big business friends of the GOP plundered Iraq for all it was worth through contracts that paid them top dollar for low quality and/or non-existent goods and services. I have a feeling that if the GAO did a full audit after the war is over that a lot of contractors will end up in Federal Courts for defrauding the U.S. Government.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2182 times:



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 17):
I have a feeling that if the GAO did a full audit after the war is over that a lot of contractors will end up in Federal Courts for defrauding the U.S. Government.

Well the GAO are busy, busy, busy with Iraq so why would not their findings result in prosecutions? I has assumed once the GAO got its teeth into an area, there would be no stopping where it went. Is that not the case and was I just being naive as to what an administration can get away with????

I see that the "pernicious" estimate of that leftie guy from California of a total cost of 2 trillion, has now gone to what appear to be a more sober estimate of past 2 trillion by GAO itself. Oh well, you just cannot trust lefties I guess!!


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