Iraq Found with $80 Billion Oil Surplus as U.S. Pours Money Into Reconstruction

As Congress contemplates cutting more programs and the deficit sours due to the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, a U.S. audit has found that the Iraqi government is sitting on an estimated four-year $80 billion oil surplus.

This surplus between 2005 and 2007 was $29 billion as U.S. funds poured into the country and the surplus in 2008 is expected to be as much as $50 billion.

The U.S. has put in $48 billion into reconstruction while Iraq spent $3.9 between 2005 to 2008.

Previously, Iraqi officials expressed outraged at the suggestion that they would have to pay for reconstruction costs, click here.

I have a friend whose son is going to a public school outside Washington that cannot afford to hire a science teacher. He mentioned this fact to me after returning from Iraq as a journalist and watching millions evaporate in waste and corruption. Some schools are actually considering moving to four-day weeks due to fuel costs. At the same time, we are sending taxpayer dollars to a country with an $80 billion oil surplus while our own deficit rises and economy collapses. This goes to show that just being a superpower does not mean that you are particularly smart.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Iraq Found with $80 Billion Oil Surplus as U.S. Pours Money Into Reconstruction”

  1. CS; If you meant that, “We need to start minding our own business in the world and we might even gain a little respect.”, BEFORE going to “war”, then I agree with you.

  2. I understand 80% of Americans aren’t happy with the current US regime. So let’s have another country bomb the US, kill at least 1.6 million people, destroy the entire country; no running water; no electricity, no healthcare; no government, no military; no airports…give control of the US’ biggest industries over to the companies of that foreign country, have them install a “friendly” government AND then have the US pay this foreign counrty’s contractors to “rebuild” the US. Sounds fair.

    You forgot one other thing the US gave Iraqis aside from their “freedom”, TAXES! Before the “war”, Iraqis had NO taxes of any kind; business, income, sales, estate, inheritance…and healthcare was FREE as well as all education, including university.

    So aside from all the other great things that liberating the US from Bush would bring, your taxes would also go up. YOU’RE WELCOME.

  3. We need to start minding our own business in the world and we might even gain a little respect.This is outrageous that we are rebuilding Iraq with money we don’t have and they are sitting on 80 billion.They must be really gratefull that we freed them from Sadam with the life of our young men and women and they don’t think they should be paying for anything.They should want to pay and we should leave! I saw on the television a guy saying we were investing in a partner in the middle east. Yea right.

  4. dundar:

    “re: letter

    here is a clue: suskind is selling a book.”


    So did Freud, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, and Thomas Paine. Are they less worthy of consideration and belief? BTW I also think the Almighty had a best seller out too.

  5. whooliebacon,

    This could happen with civil suits, I believe. These people have all committed fraud. It’s a good idea.

  6. Disagree on payees of Iraq reconstruction.

    First we start with all of the assets of everyone in this administration and everyone willingly co-opted by this administration …and I mean all…including hidden assets, pensions, 401’s, all the perks. Then all in Congress who voted to invade Iraq. Then we set to work on the war profiteers and their stock holders.

    And after these war mongers are broke and on the street, then we can all shout with glee, “it’s just business.”

  7. rafflaw,

    I am with you. We need a surge of diplomacy and competent reconstruction teams. If we had put half the money into these two things that we’ve wasted on cheney and friends we could have done a lot of good by now. I think chaos is extremely profitable for cheney and friends, much more so than oil, although they’ll take that profit too. It’s another reason why I’m for his and george’s impeachment right now.

  8. Jill,
    I agree that both governments need to commit their full resources, but if we remove the troops, we will have more money to help in the actual rebuilding, instead of filling the coffers of Cheney’s friends.

  9. rafflaw,

    I agree with you. We owe Iraq genuine reconstruction. Both govts should commit their full resources to the people of Iraq but these govts. don’t care about our people or theirs. If we cut the funding that might get the attention of corrupt actors in both countries.

  10. Jill and Mespo,
    I agree that it would be great to see Bush/Cheney take the “Perp Walk” for the crimes that they have committed, and that our money has been wasted on Cheney’s company who have pocketed billions and produced almost nothing. However, I have always had a problem with the concept that the Iraqis should be paying for their own reconstruction. Remember, we attacked them, without provocation and we are the ones that attacked the infrastructure with our “Shock and Awe” bombings, so why should they pay for the damage that we caused? I realize some of the damage has been caused by the suicide bombers and “foreign fighters”, but the vast majority of the damage was American made. We were promised by the Bushies that the Iraqi oil will pay for the war. Isn’t that an arrogant and Colonial approach to say we are going to bomb you back to the Dark Ages and we are going to steal your oil and use that to rebuild your country? We should be paying for the lions share of the rebuilding since we caused it and we should help the Iraqis rebuild when(if) we leave.

  11. U.S. taxpayers have not been paying for Iraqi reconstruction. We have been paying cheney’s crony contrators billions of dollars, most of which is unaccounted for. In the meantime, the equally corrupt Iraqi govt. that we support will not rebuild it’s own country, any more than our contractors will. While I am happy that Levin and Warner are bringing this up, I believe their anaylsis is incorrect.

    Our Congress needs to cut funding to private contractors until they pay US taxpayers back for the funds they have stolen. We do owe Iraq reconstruction but contractors should not get that money. If we are going to prop up the present Iraqi govt. then they do need to help their citizens or we should not support them.

  12. dundar:

    That war chest has now been transferred to the likes of Cheney and Bush and their corporations who even now await their “boys” to return to their cushy director positions once they make their getaway from DC. Boy, I hope that forged letter really did emanate from the WH. I would love to see these guys frog-walked out of some Exxon-Mobile Board Room whimpering that they only did it to “save the Nation.”It’s ENRON redux. Boo-Hoo. Well, at least they did wreck the Republican party so that’s something, I guess, surely in the National interest.

  13. I am glad, as most Iraquis are, that America has given them a chance at freedom.

    Once again America has stepped up to the plate in the world and performed.

    Isn’t it amazing! No longer does Iraq have a Saddam claiming this 80 billion as his family’s own war chest to use as he saw fit to reward the world’s terrorists.

  14. Great $80 billion. And with the great rate the US contractors are charging for services, that restore electricity and running water to maybe 1% of the country. But who needs electricity, water, food, shelter and security when you have democracy?

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