The latest leftist attack on the war in Iraq comes from John Allen Palous commentary (ABC News) “Who's Counting: How Iraq Trillion Could Have Been Spent”.
The price tag for the Iraq War is now estimated at $700 billion in direct costs and perhaps twice that much when indirect expenditures are included. Cost estimates vary — Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts the total cost at more than $2 trillion — but let's be conservative and say it's only $1 trillion (in today's dollars). . . .
Conservative, now that’s really funny! If Palous wanted to be “conservative” would the BOLD subtitle to his article read “The Cost of the Iraq War: Can You Say $1,000,000,000,000?”
The budget that President Bush will submit to Congress today shows the federal deficit falling in each of the next four years and would produce a $61 billion surplus in 2012, administration officials said.
See Monday's Wall Street Journal. “How War's Expense Didn't Strain Economy” By Deborah Solomon.
Since President Bush took office, he's boosted annual defense spending by 50% -- including $500 billion over five years for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and doubled spending on homeland security. At the same time, he's cut taxes, expanded Medicare to cover prescription drugs, approved $100 billion to clean up after Gulf Coast hurricanes, and signed bills that spend a little more each year on domestic programs.
For years, critics said it couldn't last, backed by some historical precedent: President Johnson is blamed by many for triggering inflation in the 1970s by spending on both guns and ...
But let’s get back to Palos and the leftist ABC Clinton lobby. Although Palous admits that the official price tag for the Iraq War “is now estimated at $700 billion,” why not just bump it up to $2 trillion for the sake of leftist argumentation. After all what’s a few billion here and there when spinning to the dupes who can’t read beyond his hyped sub-title???
Of course Palous was smart enough to search for the someone notable who came up with this 2 trillion dollar claim. And lo and behold he found Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz, a life long Democrat, won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001.
Wonder why Palous didn’t seek out other more recent Nobel Prize winners??? More jucy tidbits on that below . . .
Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at Columbia University and was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to President Clinton and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank. His latest book is Making Globalization Work.
According to his autobiography, he helped found the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, with support of the Ford, Rockefeller, McArthur, and Mott Foundations and the Canadian and Swedish government, to enhance democratic processes for decision making in developing countries.
To get a feel for just how left-leaning Stiglitz is read his “Will the Dam Break in 2007?”
When Bush assumed the presidency in 2001, many hoped that he would govern competently from the center. More pessimistic critics consoled themselves by questioning how much harm a president can do in a few years. We now know the answer: a great deal.
Never has America’s standing in the world’s eyes been lower. Basic values that Americans regard as central to their identity have been subverted. The unthinkable has occurred: an American president defending the use of torture, using technicalities in interpreting the Geneva Conventions and ignoring the Convention on Torture, which forbids it under any circumstances. Likewise, whereas Bush was hailed as the first “MBA president,” corruption and incompetence have reigned under his administration, from the botched response to Hurricane Katrina to its conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. . .
So much for the continued doom and gloom of the left. Now, why didn’t Palous seek out an opinion from the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, EDMUND S. PHELPS??? Phelps, Professor of Political Economy at Columbia, was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for economics. But Phelps just happens to be a capitalist.
To get a feel about how Phelps feels about our economy read his “Dynamic Capitalism: Entrepreneurship is lucrative--and just”. Here’s an excerpt:
There are two economic systems in the West. Several nations--including the U.S., Canada and the U.K.--have a private-ownership system marked by great openness to the implementation of new commercial ideas coming from entrepreneurs, and by a pluralism of views among the financiers who select the ideas to nurture by providing the capital and incentives necessary for their development. Although much innovation comes from established companies, as in pharmaceuticals, much comes from start-ups, particularly the most novel innovations. This is free enterprise, a k a capitalism.
The other system--in Western Continental Europe--though also based on private ownership, has been modified by the introduction of institutions aimed at protecting the interests of "stakeholders" and "social partners." The system's institutions include big employer confederations, big unions and monopolistic banks. Since World War II, a great deal of liberalization has taken place. But new corporatist institutions have sprung up: Co-determination (cogestion, or Mitbestimmung) has brought "worker councils" (Betriebsrat); and in Germany, a union representative sits on the investment committee of corporations. The system operates to discourage changes such as relocations and the entry of new firms, and its performance depends on established companies in cooperation with local and national banks. What it lacks in flexibility it tries to compensate for with technological sophistication. So different is this system that it has its own name: the "social market economy" in Germany, "social democracy" in France and "concertazione" in Italy. . .
Ok, so now we know why Palous quoted Stiglitz instead of Phelps. Or do we? Is there more we need to know about Stiglitz???
This is from “The U.N. War Against America: Annual Briefing Report” PREPARED BY THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE AGAINST THE U.N. TAKEOVER. Here's an excerpt on Stiglitz. (Highlights added by me).
Clinton Economist Promotes GlobalTaxes
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, perhaps the most prominent economic thinker in the Democratic Party, is also blowing the horn for global taxes. A chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Bill Clinton Administration, Stiglitz has been described as a “real Democrat” and possible candidate to head the Federal Reserve16 in a Democratic Administration.
His first book, Globalization and its Discontents, was praised by billionaire leftist George Soros as “Penetrating, insightful.... A seminal work that must be read.”17 In it, Stiglitz suggested that while a global tax on currency transactions, the so-called Tobin Tax, was being seriously studied in Europe, it might involve serious “implementation problems.” But with his subsequent book, Making Globalization Work, those problems have vanished, as he argues for a variety of global tax schemes18 that would cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.
Stiglitz, who anticipates possibly serving in a Hillary Clinton Administration,19 foresees major changes in the global economy. Most of these involve soaking American taxpayers. He and Soros20 are among those proposing the creation of new currencies to finance more foreign aid spending.
For his part, Stiglitz wants to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in what he calls “global greenbacks.” This is a new form of “global money,” he says, constituting one of several “innovative approaches to financing economic development [which] need to be tested.”21
“Who would receive the annual emissions of global greenbacks?” he asks. He suggests various approaches:
“…to allocate funds to different countries on the basis of their income and population (consistent with principles of social justice, poorer countries would get a larger allocation per capita).”
“…funds would be distributed through international institutions, either existing ones or newly created ‘special trust funds’ established under the auspices of the United Nations…”
“A portion might be used to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals – the goals the international community set for itself in reducing poverty by 2015…”22
In Making Globalization Work, he specifically proposes several global tax schemes, arguing that:
“Taxation on global negative externalities, such as arms sales to developing countries, pollution, and destabilizing cross-border financial flows, can provide a third source of revenue for financing global public goods.”23
The term “global public goods” is part of a U.N. effort to claim there are certain matters beyond the ability of any one state to address and that the international community, including the U.N., must get involved in solving them.24 As Stiglitz puts it:
“Globalization entails the closer integration of the countries of the world; this closer integration entails more interdependence, and this greater interdependence requires more collective action. Global public goods, the benefits of which accrue to all within the global community become more important. These include, for instance, health (funding a vaccine against malaria or AIDS, and the environment (reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining biodiversity in rainforests). These should be first priorities for the funds.”25
All of these ideas, which have been extremely popular at the United Nations, involve global taxes of some kind.
While he embraces global taxation as one important source of revenue, Stiglitz identifies two other sources of international revenue as resulting from reform of the global monetary system and the “management of global resources.”
In the first instance, he says that the global monetary system of the world should be reformed in order to produce funds to “promote development, fight poverty, and provide better education and health for all,” he says.26 He says that global currency reserves, U.S. dollars held by various nations, especially China, should be transformed into “a new international currency” that can solve global problems. In the second instance, that of “management of global resources,” Stiglitz argues that revenue can be generated “for providing global public goods” through “auctioning off fishing rights, or the right to extract natural resources beneath the sea, or carbon emissions permits…” 27
At the “Second Annual Global Colloquium of University Presidents” last year, with then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in attendance, Stiglitz gave a talk entitled, “Innovative Sources of Funding for Global Public Goods,”28 in which he presented these ideas in some detail.
Now if that doesn't scare you, nothing, including war, will!!!
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