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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


U.S. foreign policy costs us money

If Barack Obama really wanted to solve the economic crisis in the United States, he would start with a complete revamp of U.S. foreign policy. Everyone is aware of estimates that the cost of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq will exceed $2 trillion, and the overall military budget every year, counting everything (not just the basis DoD budget) is in excess of $1 trillion. But that's not the only aspect of U.S. foreign policy that costs us money:
According to the [US National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)], if the US were to scrap its unilateral sanctions [against Iran] and, in turn, Iran were to ease its foreign investment rules, particularly in its oil sector, the Middle Eastern nation could boost its crude oil production by about 50 percent and lower world prices by about 10 percent. This would cut the cost of US oil imports by about $38 billion.

US non-oil trade and trade in services with Iran also would shoot up, by about $46 billion or 0.4 percent of US GDP.
That's $84 billion total benefit to the U.S. economy. Or, put another way, $84 billion the U.S. economy has lost because of the "national security" we're "gaining" by imposing sanctions on Iran. In reality, of course, those sanctions are diminishing our national security, so there's no upside whatsoever.

$84 billion might be chump change compared to the $1 trillion that's being wasted on the military budget, but it's real money. To most of us whose address isn't Wall Street, anyway.

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