Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Iraq realizing oil windfall

Per Yahoo and AP...Iraq faces budget surplus

"Iraq isn't spending much of its own money, despite soaring oil revenues that are pushing the country toward a massive budget surplus, 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."

Good question...

A few more bits from the AP piece:

"The U.S. has spent more than $45 billion on rebuilding Iraq"...

"'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"...

"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'"...

"according to other U.S. officials, a major problem is that Iraq does not have the capacity to allocate the money without it being wasted or pocketed by corrupt officials"...Well, that should be their problem, not ours...on second thought, perhaps the US should be reimbursed for that $45 billion mentioned in the AP article.

2 comments:

PD said...

Great blog!
With regard to this story, I have two questions:
1. Where is the media? The story isn't getting any coverage.
2. Where is the outrage of US citizens?

We're being taken to the cleaners. It's an outrage.

Scott said...

This issue has gotten Congress's attention now; Bloomberg reports that "Senator Carl Levin said that while the Democratic-controlled Congress can't force a change in U.S. President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, it can compel the Iraqis to pay a greater share of the war's costs."

Also, "During congressional hearings on Iraq this week, Levin and other lawmakers in both parties repeatedly criticized the Iraqi government for failing to use its oil profits to pay a greater share of war costs -- and the Bush administration for not forcing them to do so."

It's about time...