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Iraq Cost Estimates Too Low . . .

CaptnKirk

Lifer
Jul 25, 2002
10,053
0
71
Even the $ 87 BILLION isn't enough . . . it'll be more like $ 142 Billion, and nobody willing to help with the cost

L.A. Times

CLIP -

TheWhite House acknowledged Monday that it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and that even the additional $87 billion it was seeking from a wary Congress would fall far short of what is needed for postwar reconstruction.

Administration officials said President Bush's emergency spending request ? which would push the U.S. budget deficit above the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time ? still left a reconstruction funding gap of as much as $55 billion.

"It is fair to say that the level of decay and underinvestment in the Iraqi infrastructure was worse than almost anybody on the outside anticipated," said one senior administration official. "We were all surprised," said another.

The revised estimates underscored the political challenge facing the president, who asked Americans on Sunday evening to prepare themselves for a longer and costlier engagement in Iraq, and members of Congress, who are being asked to more than double the financial commitment of U.S. taxpayers.

It comes amid the increasing clamor of the 2004 election cycle and growing concern about the wisdom of spending more money overseas when the U.S. economy is shedding jobs and the federal deficit is ballooning.

Administration officials stressed that they had no plans to ask Congress for more than the $87 billion during the coming fiscal year, which ends just before next year's presidential election.

They said they would pressure other countries to come up with the additional funds needed to restore security in Iraq and repair its ravaged infrastructure. An international donors conference is scheduled for Oct. 23-24 in Madrid to solicit money for reconstruction.

"The stability of Iraq, the stability of a different kind of Middle East, will serve well the interests of the entire international community," national security advisor Condoleezza Rice said on CBS' "Early Show." "Therefore it is important that the entire international community be involved in this heroic effort."

But some independent reconstruction specialists questioned whether other nations would be willing to dig deep to cover the rising costs of reconstruction following a U.S.-led military intervention that many of the governments considered a mistake.

"From what we have been hearing about the donors conference, they'll be lucky if they get $1 billion," said Bathsheba Crocker, co-director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The White House gave few details of how the $87-billion appropriation for fiscal 2004 would be spent, beyond saying that $16 billion would go to cover work in Afghanistan and elsewhere and the rest to Iraq. Of the $51 billion allocated for military operations in Iraq, it provided a breakdown for just $1.2 billion, prompting calls from lawmakers for more candor.

"Their constantly updated demands for money without any specifics suggests either that there are no specifics to the administration's plan or that they are so unpalatable that they don't want them publicized," said Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pentagon officials have said the military is spending $3.9 billion per month on 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, or about $47 billion a year.

In addition, the Pentagon is requesting $800 million to transport and support international troops in Iraq, $300 million to buy body armor and $140 million for more heavily armored Humvees for U.S. forces.

Of the $20 billion earmarked for nonmilitary reconstruction expenses in Iraq, $15 billion would be allocated for infrastructure improvements and $5 billion for security measures.

Senior administration officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, conceded that their initial projections of reconstruction costs proved too low and their estimates of Iraqi oil export revenue were too high.

Iraq is struggling to restore an oil industry debilitated by three decades of intermittent war, international sanctions and government neglect and, more recently, by looting, sabotage and power outages.

Occupation authorities have lowered their estimates of next year's oil revenue from about $15 billion to $12 billion. All of that will be needed to finance the day-to-day operations of Iraq's government, officials said, leaving none for investment in the nation's infrastructure.

Administration officials say they believe a total of $50 billion to $75 billion is needed to restore the oil industry, repair the dilapidated electrical grid and rebuild water systems, roads, bridges, ports, railroads, airports, schools, hospitals and other public facilities.

"Our estimate is based on what we think is necessary to put the Iraqi economy in the kind of shape where it can take off and generate substantial revenues without outside assistance," one official said.

Bush is asking Congress to provide $20 billion of that amount. The remaining money, U.S. officials say, would have to come from other countries, international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and future oil earnings.

Administration officials said the lack of public information about prewar conditions in Iraq made it impossible to foresee the full extent of the country's reconstruction needs. The $87 billion the president requested in his televised address to the nation would come on top of $79 billion already appropriated for 2003, bringing total proposed spending to $166 billion over two years.

The $20 billion sought for reconstruction projects would be a substantial increase over the $2.5 billion provided by the 2003 spending bill for Iraq relief and reconstruction.

One official said it represented "what is necessary and appropriate" for the U.S. to contribute toward the highest-priority reconstruction projects.

Although some portion of the $87 billion would be spent after 2004, the additional outlays would increase next year's deficit from an estimated $475 billion to at least $525 billion, officials said.

That would increase the deficit from 4.2% of the nation's gross domestic product to 4.7%, a level considered uncomfortably high but still below the records set during the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

Despite the swelling shortfall, officials said that they saw no need for additional tax increases or spending cuts beyond those that have already been proposed by the administration and that they would continue to press Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts that are scheduled to expire in future years.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Originally posted by: CaptnKirk


Even the $ 87 BILLION isn't enough . . . it'll be more like $ 142 Billion, and nobody willing to help with the cost
What do you mean? The wealthiest 1% of Americans will pick up the check, of course, given that they pay the bulk of taxes in this country.
 

rchiu

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2002
3,846
0
0
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: CaptnKirk


Even the $ 87 BILLION isn't enough . . . it'll be more like $ 142 Billion, and nobody willing to help with the cost
What do you mean? The wealthiest 1% of Americans will pick up the check, of course, given that they pay the bulk of taxes in this country.
You are assuming Bush's not gonna cut the funding for public education and other social programs that targets the middle/lower income people to make his budget look prettier.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,485
4,157
126
Well I was also thinking that we could sue ourselves in front of the world court for starting an illegal war, plead guilty, get ourselves legally ejected, and pay 87 billion in reparations.
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Originally posted by: rchiu


You are assuming Bush's not gonna cut the funding for public education and other social programs that targets the middle/lower income people to make his budget look prettier.
Check your premises, then check the levels of funding for public education under G.W. and compare and contrast this to the Clinton years...then report back to us, sir.

 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: rchiu


You are assuming Bush's not gonna cut the funding for public education and other social programs that targets the middle/lower income people to make his budget look prettier.
Check your premises, then check the levels of funding for public education under G.W. and compare and contrast this to the Clinton years...then report back to us, sir.
In the UK, all Blair says is "I spend more on education". Then schools say "we have £500,000 deficit, and Blair pumping in more money isn't helping".

It's not what you do, its how you do it. Just spending more doesn't improve things necessarily.
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
2
0
Is Bush going to level with the American people and explain honestly why we are in Iraq, and how much is it going to cost, and what's the exit strategy if any.
Something he should have done before the war, but better late than never.
 

Pepsei

Lifer
Dec 14, 2001
12,895
1
0
Originally posted by: Lonyo
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: rchiu


You are assuming Bush's not gonna cut the funding for public education and other social programs that targets the middle/lower income people to make his budget look prettier.
Check your premises, then check the levels of funding for public education under G.W. and compare and contrast this to the Clinton years...then report back to us, sir.
In the UK, all Blair says is "I spend more on education". Then schools say "we have £500,000 deficit, and Blair pumping in more money isn't helping".

It's not what you do, its how you do it. Just spending more doesn't improve things necessarily.

At least they spent more in UK,

I heard that we spent 3 times more than we spent on education. But it's late to pull out of the money pit now.
 

BOBDN

Banned
May 21, 2002
2,579
0
0
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: CaptnKirk


Even the $ 87 BILLION isn't enough . . . it'll be more like $ 142 Billion, and nobody willing to help with the cost
What do you mean? The wealthiest 1% of Americans will pick up the check, of course, given that they pay the bulk of taxes in this country.
No galt. They got the bulk of the tax cuts.

If you had the ability to think this through you'd realize working Americans will be hurt by Bush's screw up in Iraq most.

You and your wealthy friends may pay more in taxes but we regular working folks won't have millions left after Bush spends hundreds of billions in Iraq like you will.

It's an economy of scale. I'd expect a PhD to understand that simple concept.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,485
3,596
126
I don't see the International Community picking up the tab here, to do so would be tantamount to helping Bush get re-elected. Who wants 4 more years of this "leadership"? If this is indeed the begining of Pax Americana, I think I speak for many when I say, Saddam had a better chance of establishing a Pax Iraq then Bush has.
 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
1
81
Their constantly updated demands for money without any specifics suggests either that there are no specifics to the administration's plan or that they are so unpalatable that they don't want them publicized,"
This is an opportunity for Congress to enact a law forcing the Executive to provide excruciating detail on where the billions go. It's hard to believe they'll authorize that much spending without little to no accountability as to its use.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
I think we should just trust the president in every decision he makes, and we should just support that, and be faithful in what happens.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,485
3,596
126
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
I think we should just trust the president in every decision he makes, and we should just support that, and be faithful in what happens.
:D You forgot the part about Frenching, umm, Freedoming Madonna on national TV for cheap publicity! ;)
 

rchiu

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2002
3,846
0
0
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: rchiu


You are assuming Bush's not gonna cut the funding for public education and other social programs that targets the middle/lower income people to make his budget look prettier.
Check your premises, then check the levels of funding for public education under G.W. and compare and contrast this to the Clinton years...then report back to us, sir.
Who is talking about the past? Bush didn't have to pay for Iraq until 6 month ago. We shall see if he is gonna cut other programs from this point on to pay for the never ending expense in Iraq. Or if he choose to drag American further in debt by keeping his current spending and pay for Iraq at the same time.

Either way, middle/lower income people is gonna suffer as much, if not more than the higher income bracket.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
76
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Well I was also thinking that we could sue ourselves in front of the world court for starting an illegal war, plead guilty, get ourselves legally ejected, and pay 87 billion in reparations.
I understand that 87b is incremental to the 70 odd b that has already been authorized and only through next year. So the reparations will be quite a bit more. I think we well be able to pump oil out of Iraq and pay us back. Maybe use special issue War Bonds to finance it and keep it and its debt service separate... then we don't pay for anything (including the time value of the money used for debt service).
It will show the Iraqi that the price for freedom is very high. Plus, we should charge them for the killed and wounded on their behalf.
We should fully liquidate any assets frozen as being terrorist assets and offset against our costs.



 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: LunarRay
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Well I was also thinking that we could sue ourselves in front of the world court for starting an illegal war, plead guilty, get ourselves legally ejected, and pay 87 billion in reparations.
I understand that 87b is incremental to the 70 odd b that has already been authorized and only through next year. So the reparations will be quite a bit more. I think we well be able to pump oil out of Iraq and pay us back. Maybe use special issue War Bonds to finance it and keep it and its debt service separate... then we don't pay for anything (including the time value of the money used for debt service).
It will show the Iraqi that the price for freedom is very high. Plus, we should charge them for the killed and wounded on their behalf.
We should fully liquidate any assets frozen as being terrorist assets and offset against our costs.
The frozen assets are currently being used in Iraq.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: phillyTIM
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Can't we out-source the war to India?
OMG the best suggestion yet! Everything else is over there!
Wish I still had the link, but we actually tried that (specifically, we tried to get them to send a major contingent of troops in return for financial aid). They would not take our blood money.
 

BOBDN

Banned
May 21, 2002
2,579
0
0
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
Originally posted by: CaptnKirk


Even the $ 87 BILLION isn't enough . . . it'll be more like $ 142 Billion, and nobody willing to help with the cost
What do you mean? The wealthiest 1% of Americans will pick up the check, of course, given that they pay the bulk of taxes in this country.
galt, you're so full of sh!t your eyes are brown.

Stop spamming the forum with the same garbage.

There's a thread on the French heatwave. Why don't you go over there and repost all your nonsense about that?

You're about as bad as the moron screaming at the Democratic debate.

Doctorate MY A$$. You're a moron.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
76
Charrison said,
The frozen assets are currently being used in Iraq.

*************

The last word I found is the report to congress in late '02 which showed from various countries and orgs about 4b. This was shown as blocked.
Report to Congress... late '02 PDF

Do you have more current or another link?
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: LunarRay
Charrison said,
The frozen assets are currently being used in Iraq.

*************

The last word I found is the report to congress in late '02 which showed from various countries and orgs about 4b. This was shown as blocked.
Report to Congress... late '02 PDF

Do you have more current or another link?
No I dont, but I did hear such funds were being used on the news and that the US was workign to get funds unfrozen in other countries.
 

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