Cost and Benefits of the Iraq War

Mark Thoma brings us the latest estimate from the CBO. I just read the USA Today coverage of this and Dean Baker would be happy to know that this paper translated the $2.4 trillion into $8000 per person. Of course, Bill Kristol estimated the cost of this war to be only $20 billion back in late 2002. Off by a factor of 120 isn’t that bad – is it? But Bill might also remind us of all those benefits from this war. Let’s start a list:

(1) The invasion of Iraq has made Iran the big battle one on the block. More excuses for Dick Cheney’s next war.

(2) The invasion of Iraq has revived Al Qaeda. More excuses for Republicans to attack Democrats as if we don’t care about the looming terrorist threat.

(3) The lead-up to this invasion led to a 2002 GOP victory and the actual invasion led to the reelection of Bush-Cheney in 2004. OK, there was little setback in 2006, but notice how the GOP candidates on renewing their spin that only Republicans can save us from another 9/11 by more wars in the Middle East? For these guys, the Iraq War seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.

Now I’m sure our readers can provide more “benefits” in the same manner so have fun.