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last night on the Daily Show, Senator Harry Reid told Jon Stewart that we are spending $5 per second in Iraq. yes, O Best Beloved, this number is echoed in a NY Times editorial by Nicholas D. Kristof from March 23, 2008 that somehow crept by me without me seeing it.

In his piece, Kristof quotes Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist: “The present economic mess is very much related to the Iraq war…. It was at least partially responsible for soaring oil prices. …Moreover, money spent on Iraq did not stimulate the economy as much as the same dollars spent at home would have done. To cover up these weaknesses in the American economy, the Fed let forth a flood of liquidity; that, together with lax regulations, led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom.”

And here is the soul-shattering, frightening and sickening bottom line, per Kristof: Granted, the cost estimates are squishy and controversial, partly because the $12.5 billion a month that we’re now paying for Iraq is only a down payment. We’ll still be making disability payments to Iraq war veterans 50 years from now.

Thanks to the Bush administration, we will never see the end of this in our lifetime.

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