Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Iraq's 60 Billion Dollar Surplus

The Iraqis, both Sunni and Shi'a, will continue to soak us for all we're worth until we finally leave. We have done all we can do. We've re-built much more than we destroyed going in. We have helped them set up a government. What more can possibly be expected of us?

AP: WASHINGTON - Iraq is not spending much of its own money, despite soaring oil revenues that are pushing the country toward a massive budget surplus, U.S. auditors told Congress on Tuesday.

The expected surplus comes as the U.S. continues to invest billions of dollars in rebuilding Iraq and faces a financial squeeze domestically because of record oil prices.

"The Iraqis have a budget surplus," said U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. "We have a huge budget deficit. ... One of the questions is who should be paying."...

Democrats say the assessment is proof that the Iraq war as a waste of time and money. The U.S. has spent more than $45 billion on rebuilding Iraq. And while officials in Iraq contend that much progress is being made, many projects remain unfinished and U.S. troops are still needed to provide security....

In recent months, Iraq experienced its highest oil production and export levels since the war began five years ago, said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

That spike in revenue combined with the highest oil prices in history, "coalesce into an enormous revenue windfall for the Iraqi government," Bowen told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Whereas Iraqi officials estimated $35 billion in oil revenues last fall, Bowen said the final number is likely to be closer to $60 billion.

"That certainly gives them resources to carry forward with an extensive reconstruction plan," Bowen said...

Posted on 03/12/2008 8:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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