It's the War Economy, Stupid!
In the five years since the war began, the United States has spent more than $522 billion in Iraq. This year spending will easily top $160 billion. Yet, as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes point out in their new book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, the short-term costs pale in comparison with the sum our nation will spend over the long term. Ongoing veterans' health costs, debt payments and the cost of re-equipping the military are some of the reasons for this outrageous $3 trillion bill. At the same time that the war has imposed a huge burden on taxpayers, it has precipitated one of the largest transfers of wealth and power in modern history. By helping to drive up world oil prices, it has produced a massive redistribution of wealth from working Americans and other oil and gas consumers to a handful of oil producers.