Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mo' Money

It is estimated that by 2010, if not earlier, the direct cost of the Iraq war will exceed $600 Billion. There could have been a better option.

First the government could have taken that money, and used it to guarantee and purchase state and municipal bonds earmarked for school construction and repair, and other infrastructure repairs, such as bridges, water and sewer systems, all of which are falling apart. Set up a program where the states sell $550 billion worth of bonds to the federal government at, say 4.5% and the states then use that money as follows:

1. Repair and replace every last school needing repair and replacement in this country. Total cost: $112 Billion.

2. Repair every single substandard bridge in the entire country. Total cost: $188 Billion.

3. Repair and replace every single worn out water pipe in the entire country. Total cost: $250 Billion.

The government then earns $27 billion a year in income on those bonds (at 4.5%), and has $50 billion left over to boot. What could be done with that $27 billion a year annual income?

Well, the current population of Iraq is 27 million, so the US government could have cut a check of $1,000 dollars a year to every single man woman and child in the country, in perpetuity. This may not sound like a lot, but in a country where the Gross National Income is $2,000 per person, that amounts to a 50% income raise. All for a promise to leave us the hell alone.

And then you could use the last $50 Billion to bribe Saddam and every one of his henchman to leave Iraq and move to a glorious palace built in the Tuvalu Islands; once those islands sink beneath the ocean in a few more years (thanks to Global Warming,) our Saddam problem would have been solved.