[quote]WASHINGTON — The Iraqi government could end the year with as much as a $79 billion budget surplus as ever-increasing oil revenues pile on top of leftover income the Iraqis still haven’t spent on their national rebuilding effort, congressional auditors say.
A report by the Government Accountability Office made public Tuesday prompted renewed calls from senators that Baghdad pay more of the bill for its own reconstruction, which has been heavily supported with U.S. funds.
The projected Iraq surplus, including unspent money from 2005 through 2008, has been building because of rising world oil prices, increasing Iraqi oil production, the government’s inability to execute budgets for spending its money and persistent violence in the country, the GAO said.
The report was requested by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. John Warner, R-Va., the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“The Iraqi government now has tens of billions of dollars at its disposal to fund large-scale reconstruction projects,” Levin said in a statement. “It is inexcusable for U.S. taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for projects the Iraqis are fully capable of funding themselves.”
“It is time for the sovereign government of Iraq, using its revenues, expenditures and surpluses, to fully assume the responsibility to provide essential services and improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people,” Warner said.[/quote]
Cool. Not a bad amount of dough for a country that just went through a war and a terrorist insurgency.
Time to buy some air time on CNN and the beeb and proclaim the war and insurgency officially over.