War and the U.S. Wallet

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Open your wallets ladies and gentlemen, this won’t hurt a bit. President Bush’s lead economic advisor puts the price tag of an attack on Iraq somewhere between $100 and $200 billion, pricier than the first Gulf War but a bargain compared to Vietnam or World War II.

Lawrence Lindsay went so far as to say “The prosecution of the war would be good for the economy.” But with consumer confidence and the stock market down, with poverty rates and unemployment up, others are asking whether this is a war the U.S. can afford, win or lose.

The recovery, by all measurements, is fragile, one analyst calls it “a wobbly bicycle,” and that even a little war could be a nasty bump in the road. Steering the economy, rattling the saber.


Fareed Mohamedi, chief economist, Petroleum Finance Corporation

and Chris Varvares, economist with Macroeconomic Advisors.