Bush has asked just Congress for an additional $42 billion in funding for the Iraq war, bringing total US government spending on that war to around $500 billion (a highly conservative estimate: click the links for more details on how these tricky numbers are calculated).
Before the war began in 2003, Mr Bush’s officials confidently predicted that the conflict would cost about $50 billion. Lawrence Lindsey lost his job as a White House economic adviser after suggesting spending might reach $200 billion.Remember, senior officials insist that the USA (and hence Australia) is planning to stay in Iraq for at least another ten years (in fact forever, or at least until the oil runs dry). So this is really just start-up money:
President George Bush will have spent more than $1 trillion on military adventures by the time he leaves office at the end of next year, more than the entire amount spent on the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.The trick will be to find a way for Middle East's oil revenues to start paying the costs of the USA's wars, as Paul Wolfowitz once predicted they would. Meanwhile, the US government is madly borrowing money (principally from China) to pay for the war. And at this rate, they will soon reach a point where they cannot afford to NOT stay in Iraq, lest the whole house of credit cards collapses.
There are also disturbing signs that Mr Bush is preparing an attack on Iran during his remaining months in office.
Oh well, as long as the money is being well spent, right? Ummm...
The U.S. State Department is unable to account for most of $1.2 billion in funding that it gave to DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, a government report said Tuesday.Gosh, money going missing in Iraq, imagine that! But it's not like Australia has anything to worry about. Right?
THE economy is an inflationary powderkeg waiting to explode. So what are our national political leaders doing? John Howard and Kevin Rudd are frantically packing in more gunpowder.Gulp! Let's hope Kev07 is just pretending that he will match all that Liberal spending. After all, we Aussies are used to non-core promises by now.
Australia is living through its fifth commodities boom since World War II. The other four all ended badly. "This commodities boom dwarfs all the others since the Korean War," says HSBC's chief economist, John Edwards.
"There is only one risk to the expansion, and it's huge - that we experience rising core inflation at a time when we have an economy at full capacity, and growth, if anything, is accelerating."
That is exactly what's happening...