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January 5, 2006

The other cost of Iraq

Dollars, that is, rather than deaths:

A new study by two leading academic experts suggests that the costs of the Iraq war will be substantially higher than previously reckoned.
In a paper presented to this week’s Allied Social Sciences Association annual meeting in Boston MA., Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes and Columbia University Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz calculate that the war is likely to cost the United States a minimum of nearly one trillion dollars and potentially over $2 trillion.
The study expands on traditional budgetary estimates by including costs such as lifetime disability and health care for the over 16,000 injured, one fifth of whom have serious brain or spinal injuries. It then goes on to analyze the costs to the economy, including the economic value of lives lost and the impact of factors such as higher oil prices that can be partly attributed to the conflict in Iraq. The paper also calculates the impact on the economy if a proportion of the money spent on the Iraq war were spent in other ways, including on investments in the United States.
“Shortly before the war, when Administration economist Larry Lindsey suggested that the costs might range between $100 and $200 billion, Administration spokesmen quickly distanced themselves from those numbers,” points out Professor Stiglitz. “But in retrospect, it appears that Lindsey’s numbers represented a gross underestimate of the actual costs.”

Via TPMCafe.

UPDATE: You can find the full report here.

Posted by Stephen at 11:48 AM in War | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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