Iraq: A Trillion Here, A Trillion There
Everett Dirksen, Republican Senator from Illinois in the 1950s and 60s, once said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” Well, if Dirksen were alive today, he’d be talking about trillions. The U.S. war on Iraq is draining the Treasury coffers to the tune of at least a $ trillion possibly two. Besides being illegal, as Kofi Annan said, the war is wreaking economic havoc on the future of the U.S. Remember when hawks like Paul Wolfowitz were confidently saying, Not to worry. Revenues from Iraqi oil will pay for the war. Of course, it’s not all gloomy news. Let’s look at the upside. If you are, Northrup Grumman, Blackwell, Halliburton, Bechtel or some of the other big contractors, Iraq is a gold mine.
Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia, is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics. He was chair of the Council on Economic Advisors under Bill Clinton. He also served as senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. His efforts to move the bank in a more progressive direction got him fired. He is the author of Globalization and Its Discontents, The Price of Inequality and People, Power, and Profits.