.
August 6th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

What should be done about Iraq's potential $80 billion oil surplus?

ALT TEXT
Oil burns at a refinery in Basra, Iraq. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While you're paying $4 a gallon for gasoline, think about this.

Iraq could end up with an $80 billion surplus thanks to its oil exports. $80 billion. Remember how we were told Iraq's oil money would pay for the war? We've spent more than $700 billion of our money including almost $50 billion to rebuild Iraq, and we haven't seen a dime of their oil money for our efforts.

U.S. auditors report that Baghdad had a $29 billion budget surplus from 2005 to 2007, and with the price of crude oil just about doubling in the last year, the surplus for 2008 is expected to hit as much as $50 billion.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to pour money into Iraq for reconstruction, repairs to their oil infrastructure, electricity, water and security. How much has Iraq spent? In the last 3 years, they've put less than $4 billion towards similar services.

Senator Carl Levin says it's inexcusable for U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for projects the Iraqis could pay for themselves. Duh.

Of course Congress continues to approve one spending bill after another for Bush's war despite the Democrats' promise to end the war's funding in 2006.

Here's the bureaucratic explanation for the screwing the American taxpayer is getting. The Treasury Department says the U.S. is working with Iraqis to fix the issue and they believe "progress is being made". What a joke. Progress is Iraq writes the United States a check.

Here’s my question to you: What should be done about Iraq's potential $80 billion oil surplus?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark from Arizona writes:
Jack they should spend the $80 billion on no-bid contracts to rebuild America. All of our bridges are in disrepair and ready to fall down. Maybe it would help promote democracy in the U.S.!

Ibrahim writes:
Uhh...Keyword: Reconstruction. America bombed Iraq to hell, killing hundreds of thousands of its people. Now America needs to assume the costs. I'm opposed to using Iraqi money to repair damage America has done. If anything, Americans should consider this as reason not to be so enthusiastic about starting wars in the future.

Jay from Park City, Utah writes:
I remember when we had a surplus. We couldn't decide what to do with it either. Eventually, Mr. Bush found a great cause. Let's have a war and spend it there.

Paul writes:
Jack, We cannot touch that money! As soon as we do, we have proven every extremist Muslim correct: we were only in Iraq for the oil. We went in and destroyed their county and asking them to pay for it would do more for jihadist sentiments than all our years of support of Israel combined!

Jay from Brownwood, Texas writes:
We should demand at least $40 billion of that money be repaid to American taxpayers in the form of free gasoline for every American with a driver's license.

Donna from Myrtle Beach, S.C. writes:
Let's make them our 51st state. Then the Bush regime can rob them like they have the rest of us.

Brian from Woodland Hills, California writes:
Match their surplus as a gift for damaging their country, killing women and children and hope they will forgive us.

Rick writes:
Take half of it, buy every American a tire gauge, and presto, we have energy independence.


Filed under: Iraq • Oil Prices
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Real Change

    Whatever the Iraqi people choose to do with it. Its their money not ours.

    Rob, San Diego, CA

    August 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  2. Anne

    Subtract $80 billion from what we are now paying to rebuild their country. Spend that $80 billion on our broken bridges and other infrastructure.

    Anne
    Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  3. Tearched Scott Chicago, IL

    Jack,

    Iraq should take that oil surplus money and put it towards their people and rebuilding there country. America has already dumped way to much money into a country that we had no business going into in the first place. The last time I checked we were originally going after Osama Bin Laden for the September 11th attack. We haven't caught him, but have magically work our way to Saddam Hussein? Did anyone else notice that or is it just me?

    August 6, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  4. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    It should be seized and paid back to the American public. The Bush administration, as well as their installed lackeys in Iraq, have committed enough crimes that we should take them out under an old oak tree and "Hang'm High". That's what these criminals deserve.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  5. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Take it, and use it to finance all these programs that the candidates are throwing about that have no source of funding.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Paul

    Jack,
    Simple let them pay and pay us back for the War was that not the original plan.
    Paul
    Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Frantz (Atlanta)

    Jack,

    The Iraqi's should give each american familyr who lost a love one in the war $100,000. And the remainder of the money should be for rebuilding homes for all the displace Iraqis and their security.

    Other than that let them run their own country, they obviously can afford it. America don't need their dirty money or oil.

    We need to bring all the troops and start dealing with the problem we have in this country.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Ben from Charleston, South Carolina

    Jack,

    The U.S. should immediately reduce their rebuilding budget in Iraq by $80 billion.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  9. T.J. Windsor, CO

    Fund George Bush for President of Iraq.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    If Iraq is going to have that kind of money, they could probably take over the humanitarian efforts to build hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure to make the life of their people better. Even nicer would be if they would hire American companies to do some of this, since a lot of that money comes from us!

    Wouldn't hurt to send them a bill, either....

    August 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Tom in New Hope, MN

    We need to stop paying for this stupid war yesterday!

    August 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Terry, Chandler AZ

    The U.S. should take a few billion on our way out of the country. Of course we should offer a pleasant "Thank you" as we leave.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    Their surplus should be used to offset our costs for getting rid of Saddam for them. Then pay damages to the families who lost loved ones here. And then if anything is left over, a good riddence cake for Bush.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Conor in Chicago

    Nothing. I think we should let the Iraqi elites do exactly what American elites are doing: Make as much money as possible, steal as money as possible from the average person, then blame everything on the opposing party, even though both parties are trying to do the same thing. That way we can truly say that we are bringing "American Style Democracy" to the Middle East! Oh, and since the last thing the Neo-Con's want is a stable Middle East given their financial investment in its chaos it makes sense that the Iraqi government should keep that money in bank accounts and not help their people so they'll continue to kill our troops, therefore we can never leave, Halliburton can charge $24 a plate 3 times a day...I think you get the picture Jack.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  15. Randy, Salt Lake City

    I want some of that back, plus interest.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  16. John

    Jack, The surplus should go to pay about 10% of the total $650 billion we paid to give them their new found democracy. The rest should go to the US Veterans whose lives will never be the same because of their wounds.

    John
    Alabama

    August 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Stan St.George's, Bermuda

    Jack, America is already guilty of invading a soveriegn country under the banner of lies put forth by the corrupt Bush Administration. Please tell me that Americans are also going to add theft of a soverign nation wealth to the long list of crimes attributed to George Walker Bush.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  18. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Simple, send the surplus back here to fix the problems that have been ignored for the past 8 years. Things like bridges, roads and over-all infrastructure. Use the money to install solar panels on all of our governement buildings. If we truely want energy independence and renewable energy sources, then we need leadership from the federal and state governments.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  19. Mike Smith, New Orleans LA

    "To the victors go the spoils." Isn't oil the real reason Cheney and Bush sent U.S. troops to Iraq? You know if we took control of Iraq's oil, even John McCain would be declaring our victory in Iraq, and then our troops could come home.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  20. Joe in DE

    If they want us to keep troops there (doubtful) they should pay part of the cost.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  21. Helena

    Clearwater, FL
    They should put the US military on their payroll for all of the work they are doing in befhal of their country.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  22. Allen L Wenger

    We could go back to selling them weapons of mass destruction, like we did before Gulf War I.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  23. Robert Postuma

    Reclaim some of the money the States has spent in Iraq.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  24. Vinnie

    We should reduce the aid we are giving them and let them rebulld their own counrty and let us start rebuilding ours

    August 6, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  25. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    We should stop all the funding to Iraq and let them start using the $ 80 billion to rebuild their swimming pools and health spas and let us start rebuilding our own country.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  26. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Let's just give it directly to Exxon/Mobile. That's where all of the money in the world is going to end up eventually anyway.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  27. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Nothing.......Absolutely nothing. Tell the Iraqis to use the money as they see fit........If they want to rebuild their cities, do so. If they want to drink it up, sell them the booze...............

    August 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  28. DAK

    Jack
    Iraq nees to spend its surplus on ITS reconstruction. Not only are we buying their high-priced fuel, US taxpayers are still footing the bills for most everything in Iraq while allowing infrastructure in the US to go to pot! We were told by President Bush, amongst many other things, that the oil money would go for their reconstruction. But, again, we have also learned the hard way not to believe much of what this President says!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  29. John in Nevada

    Jack, Iraq's country and thier oil – and any oil surplus – belongs to the Iraqis, not to their American occupiers. What they do with any of the above is entirely up to them.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  30. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl make out a check to the usa for what we taxpayers have spent on this stupid war and a little something extra for those that paid with their lives to their families who are now without fathers and mothers. anything left over can fund the impeachment hearings that are so long overdue.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  31. sarah, indiana

    can we force them, at gun point, to write us a check?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  32. Tina (Texas)

    Rebuild what Bush has destroyed and when they get their country back to pre-Saddam days they can send the surplus over to help with our crumbling nation.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  33. Michelle, Washington DC

    Oh I don't know, use it to build an infrastructure in a country we have decimated?!??! Come on now, I thought we were a little better than to consider otherwise.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  34. Derick, Greenlawn NY

    At the very least, Iraq should be selling us heavily discounted oil to fill our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. If the Iraqis are ready to lead their own nation and make their own decisions, then they're ready to fund their own reconstruction. Period.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  35. Helen

    I bet you it is not their money. As soon as Bush is out of the office, he will claim his money. The joke is on you american people. Our taxes pay for making Bush and his cronies richer. I hope you satisfy.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  36. Venia PA

    No matter what anyone says or thinks it is going to go to the big american companies over there that are hooked up with bush and cheyney – case in point – Haliburton.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  37. kay

    Wasn't that money to be used for their reconstruction?This war wasn't suppose to cost us.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  38. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    Well, it would really be nice if they gave it to us. However, that would look like "the spoils of war". We invaded their country, it wouldn't be really nice of us to take all their money too. We need to stop paying for their rebuild, and let them rebuild it themselves. We've invested far too much money in Iraq, to the detriment of our own country. Of course, if we left them with 80 billion dollars, I would imagine that it would be a major civil war fighting between tribes over who gets that money. Let them have it. They need it to rebuild their country.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  39. Andre R. Newcomb

    Don't touch! What we break–we pay for. In a good and peaceful world trying to establish serenity for all, there are exchange rates and trade. We are proving our mettle and seeing that budget deficits and trade imbalances are understood . . . globally.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  40. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    Jack do the letters MYOB mean anything to you. thats my thinking on this windfall profit for them. if its their country now then let them do with their budget as their citizens wish to do for their country. just like our president should have been doing with our locked box that Gore left the key with bush should have been doing

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  41. Marilyn from Louisiana

    Jack, we did invade Iraq. Yes, it would be wonderful if Iraq did pay for there own re-construction. There is nothing we can do until President Bush is gone. Just another thing for all of us to think about and get angry over.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  42. cy gardner

    If Congress votes to buy so much as one more light bulb for Iraqi infrastructure they should be voted out of office. This is just another one of Bush's lies come home to roost. Remember Wolfowicz and a guy named Andrew Natsios swore to Congress that this war would cost us less than five billion dollars because of Iraqi oil money. Just another lie. Just another run on taxpayer money. Just another example of the Bush administration treating us like a bunch of chumps. God, I hate those guys. cy gardner arlington va

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  43. Greg in Cabot AR

    If Bush and Cheney have anything to say about it, the Iraq government will have a no bid contract with Halliburton for the re-construction of Iraq and maybe some storm damage clean up and repair in Texas.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  44. Dan, Maryland

    They should give back the American people's tax money that shouldn't have been spent over there in the first place.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  45. Wm in BURNS TN

    Jack that surplus will pay for our troops in Iraq until Obama complets his troop withdrawal.

    That would IMMEDIATELY strengthen the Dollar and lower oil prices!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  46. Lucas, Pawling NY

    Well Jack, unfortunately it would be kinda hard to take it from them. But I would imagine that after we exit this quagmire the iraqis will call for reparations, as far as I'm concerned they've been paid in full.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  47. Jed in Redding, CA

    They should train their police, military and intelligence operatives and then rebuild their infrastruce (water, power, etc.) Then when they say they are ready for us to leave it will have the virtue of being true.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  48. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack,
    I say we should split it 50/50. I reckon they owe us something after all the blood we've spilled in the effort to drag them into the democratic pale.
    Then we could use to money to pay off China for the nearly 80 Billion they have loaned us to fight this stupid useless bloody war in the first place.
    Pablo in Arlington Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  49. Roy, San Antonio

    Marshall Dillon
    The money should be used to help build the Iraqi Army, and police.
    Then we should get the hell out of dodge.
    We've made a mess of things, but it won't get better
    until the Iraqi people are left to shape their own future.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  50. Fred, Las Vegas,

    Nothing absolutely nothing. They should keep their money it is for them.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  51. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    First unlike Terry from North Carolina, I was not aware that the Iraqis were rebuilding swimming pools and spas. I thought they were trying to rebuild roads, schools, hospitals santiation and water facitlities , powerplants andsuch. That having been said I say get our money and get the heck out. Use the money to fix our bridges and other infastructureal problems.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  52. Gregg El Paso TX

    Let's try something new and revolutionary... stay out of it. Other countries would love to be able to make up their own minds without 'help' from the US. Need to improve our image around the world? Start here.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  53. James from Idaho

    That's easy Jack... paying us back, and rebuilding their own infrastructure [Infrastructure including strengthening their own army so they can defend themselves after Bush and co. screwed it all up].

    August 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  54. Janice Illinois

    Go ahead and steal it now George that's one of the only reasons you went there to start with. Last week China sentenced to death an official who stole money. Just imagine what they would do Bush Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and Powell (yes him too) they all knew the lie and not the first one cared enough to scream it from the white House steps. Here's to hoping they get as good as they gave.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  55. James from Idaho

    I can't narrow it down, there are so many places to start, but Bush had better not even get a shiney penny out of it!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  56. Paul

    Didn't Wolfowitz say that the war would be paid for by oil profits from a grateful Iraqi people? For the sacrifices our men and women have made, some of that money should go to the American people–not the American government. Or at least we should get the oil with the stipulation that Americans are not charged for it. maybe the gas prices will come down.

    Paul
    Hebron, IN

    August 6, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  57. gabbamonkey

    Pay us back

    August 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  58. Ed in RI

    Jack;

    This countrys' leaders that started the war should formally apologize to the Iraqi citizens "that are still alive", for destroying their country and killing hundreds of thousands of men, woman, & children.
    Remove the foreign troops from Iraq and let them rebuild their livesThe oil profits are small compensation for what those poor souls have been going through.
    ES

    August 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  59. John Roberts

    Jack,
    Let's face it. Oil is what greases the wheels of the global economy. We need that oil and I hope our next president intends to get all of that and more. Furthermore as nation we all need to be more sympathetic to BIG OIL, because the bigger our oil gets the bigger we get. It is Economics 101. Control the global oil supply and thus control the global economy. God Bless America!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  60. Mikey P

    We all know that Bush will get half of that and the other goes to his master, Dick C.
    The rest will go to big oil and then Iraq will still be the same. Keep watching.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  61. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: What should be done and what's going to be done is the real question. Iraq should used their windfall profits to rebuild their country. Bu then again, why should they spend their money, when they can spend the US's to rebuild. I think Iraq is going to continue to save it for a rainy day.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  62. Keith - Cleveland

    It's their's to do with as they choose, and it's obvious that as long as the U.S. is paying to rebuild their country there is no motivation for them to spend their own... Their politicians (as weak as they are) are much smarter than our politicians..

    August 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  63. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Send every U.S. citizen $266.67 which is equally split between rich, poor and all others.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  64. Curt

    Well, Jack, we should immediately declare victory in Iraq and have our troops hand carry the $79 Billion home with them. They have earned it!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  65. Dilibon Kojak Brooklyn, NY

    Jack,
    The risks for dreadful accident of oil in the cristine American environment are high. They can be similarly high for additional nuclear stations. There are good security reasons why the US has refrained to take that dangrous road McCain wants to take the US today.

    Everyoen knows that conservation would be the best strategy in addition of exploring solar, wind and hydro. Meanwhile in short term, the uS has committed 40 billion in the Iraqi war; their government has a budget surplus of 80 billion why not buying oil for the 40 billion to address the illogical increase in gas prices and help them rebuilding their war devasted country!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  66. Ray, Florida

    Congress shoul'd put through another round of tax rebate's, let's say about 80 billion dollar's worth, and then hand Iraq the bill for it!!!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  67. Grant from Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

    We should have them sell all their oil to us at a discount for our participation in Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) so that we will not have to drill off our shores or in our National Wildlife Refuges. That was the idea when we invaded them, although not the official reason.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  68. Greg, PA

    What should be done about it? What is it a crisis? Are you suggestioning that we steal it or something? Geez, Jack that is two stupid questions back to back. Jack you really have to get better at this asking questions thing.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  69. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    I suggest Iraq return at least half of the surplus to the United States and then the government should send out checks to every tax-paying America. The war is ridiculous anyway–why are we paying to rebuild Iraq when we have so many problems at home and why are we risking the lives of so many in a hopeless situation? Beats me. I blame it all on Bush/Cheney/McCain.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  70. Rosalynd Florida

    Iraq can start by reducing the cost of oil for our troops that are there until they come home. It wouldn't hurt for Iraq to start paying up for some of that restructuring cost as well.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  71. Amanda

    Whatever is left over after buying first class plane tickets to retun our troops should be spent on their own reconstruction efforts. Oh and they should probably pay us for that gigantic embassy compound that we built since we will not be staying there for 100 years after all.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  72. Geri Britt

    Since it was the President's idea to go over to Iraq and bomb the hell out of them, I suggest the 80 billion dollar surplus be used to fix their infrastructure, particularly water mains, electrical grids, and build schools for the kids. Possibly they could help the widows and orphans have food, shelter, and clothing.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  73. garrick

    Hi Jack
    put this question to our so call President I cant even say his name,hes the one that keeps passing billls to get us more in deut and making his freinds in Iraq wealthy.maybe he will collect his share once he leave office.they should send 50% to China to pay off our debt.
    clearwater,fl

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  74. PJ, Brookline, MA

    How about they give us oil to the value of how much we've spent on their rebuilding? Maybe then there would be no need for this inane "drill now, drill here" hysteria, which we all know will work only in a decade (if at all) and at the expense of ruining the environment and tourism.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  75. Brian - Trinidad

    Give it to the Iraqis! Its theirs! For God's sake,don't let the Treasury Department get their hands on it!They'll piss it away in a hearbeat!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  76. Gordon

    Send some of it back here. Maybe I won't have to look into selling a kidney on the black market to afford to fill up my car.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  77. Jess, Ohio

    Well Jack,

    One would think this question is a no brainer. The fact that this country or shall I say its 'people' live like a third world country, you would think that the government's first priority would be the people and infastructure. Instead, Iraq's corrupt, hand-chosen individuals continue to line their pockets, turn their heads when blood is shed and pay no attention that over half the country has no running water.
    American women and men have been over there for seven useless years and the only tangible piece of evidence the Iraqi government has shown us in terms of government stability is the $80 billion surplus which they can thank us for.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  78. john from indiana

    As a veteran who served in Iraq the answer is this. Leave!

    Seriously, downsize our forces there and let iraqis solve iraqi problems. IRAQ IS NOT OUR 51ST STATE.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  79. KEVIN

    I think the American people should just not pay taxes for a year, and let Bush and Cheney use their own money to pay for this mess they wanted so bad. Funny Iraq has a surplus and were in debt. If were paying for Iraq why isnt Iraq and the Afghans paying to restore New York. Hell they ought to just give us oil. Energy crisis solved.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  80. Ex-Obama Democrat for McCain

    Lets steal it ! we've poured that much of our money into rebuilding their country (for which they are not even grateful). Lets take it and run 🙂 John Framingham MA

    August 6, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  81. Warren - Detroit, MI

    The United States taking Iraq's oil surplus would be like the school yard bully beating someone up and then taking their lunch money.

    Shameful.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  82. Cathy

    Pay our NATIONAL DEBT!!!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  83. Diane Glasser

    Jack that is easy – make them pay for having our troops still there patrolling their streets and towns. They could also hire more of the infamous Bush/Chaney construction companies that brought us all those thousands of unfinished buildings that are now grumbling or the electrical contractors that did such a great job of wiring the soldier's barrack where our soldiers were getting shocked or electrocuted while showering in the bathrooms in Iraq. I am sure those contractors are still chomping at the bit to get another a lucrative job there in Iraq.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  84. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Buy first class airline tickets for all our soldiers over there and fly them all home as fast as possible and if McCain and shrub Bush don't like it they can go over there and take their places.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  85. Rudy NYC

    Oh that's easy. Trickle down economics, Jack. Give it to the oil companies so that they can stop charging us so much for oil and gas. I would expect to see about a dollar hike in the price of gasoline about a week after we gave it to them. They would claim that they had to re-coup the cost of moving from one bank to another.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  86. Mark, Oklahoma City

    With $80 BILLION is oil profits, Iraq can RENT their own army to provide security. Now, let's get the hell out of there!

    August 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  87. JS

    Use it to repatriate the millions of Iraqi's who have fled their homes. Then use any current income to help rebuild the country, in other words, help bring Iraq back to the country it was before we destroyed it.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  88. A Bob White

    Despite Sen. Levin's belief, with which I often agree and support, we destroyed Iraq's infrastructure and we should fix it. Iraq did nothing to us including Sept. 11. We did "it" to them, thanks to G.W. Bush and a US Congress who voted to 'proceed.' And it is up to the Iraqs to determine what to do with "their" oil surplus.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  89. Patti - Lapine, Oregon

    You know, don't you Jack, that if the Iraq Gov. says it has 80 billion in surplus, then they probably have 160 billion. Why would the Iraq gov. tell the U.S. government how much money they really have? With the price of oil and the fact that China is buying it up like there's no tomorrow, who really knows how much money Iraq really has. Why, in the world does our Congress continue to allow Bush to give away the taxpayers hard-earned money to aid this country who obviously have plenty of their own money? We are a bunch of idiots for allowing this to continue.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  90. lou

    They are going to need that money to rebuild a country we destroyed. I watched a report recently where the reporter asked an Iraqi citizen what should he thought about the surplus of oil money coming in and he said they people there need food more than anything. You can't eat oil.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  91. martin tennessee

    Stop spending our money on their infrastructure immediately.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  92. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    If you're a Democrat we'll just pull out and struggle for the next decade to develop electric cars–while the Europeans wheel and deal for cheap oil from Iraq.

    They aren't in OPEC you know.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  93. Paula from Georgia

    Let me get this, we invade a nation. Over 500,000 plus have lost their lives (IRAQ) people. The government in place should give each family in Iraq some of it. Then put forward a plan to finally get out from behind the wall, and give a actual portrait of the nation being free and no more fear for them or us. Rebuild all offices that are needed. From the poorest citizen to the ones that came back with their higher education. Mostly to the POOR.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  94. Dave

    We shouldn't have gone there in the first place and you people are now trying to lay claim to their money? They didn't want us to invade them and you kick them while they are down by suggesting we rob them too?
    wow...just wow.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  95. Frank Galizia

    You nailed it Jack. I cannot believe anyone would even consider voting for such a fossil. McCain not understanding computers is a clear indication of how qualified he is to be our next president. We need someone that understands 2008 America not 1908. We need new solutions to the problems we face. It seems unlikely they will come from a man that was not even willing to join the technological revolution in the 1990's.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  96. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    The Iraqi government should issue a tax free check to everyone in this country to make up for what our country has given them for THEIR WAR. Then, Bush should do the same out his own pocket . They have all this money and they can't even take of themselves? Sounds like another of Bushs crooked deals he brokered with Iraq to screw the United States.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  97. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    The fourth branch of the Iraqi government is the oil ministry, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bush's good buddies in the oil industry. Their is nothing Iraqis nor Americans can do about how the money is managed while Big-Oil is in control of all the real political power. Aparently that situation is politically expedient for Speaker Pelosi so all we can do is grin and bear it... unless you happen to be a voter in Pelosi's district.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  98. Tennisguypitt

    Jack,

    Blame the president... and when we are done whining, we can force them to use it. Let's get an uncorrupt official in that country.

    Obama '08

    August 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  99. Rudy NYC

    Give to McCain for his so-called "economic surge". Then he can give it to the oil companies so that they can lower the price of oil and gas. Then the oil companies can tell us that they cannot lower the prices because demand is so high. Then McCain can declare his "economic surge" a success because the prices did not actually go up at all.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  100. Ted Beaverton, OR

    Isn't a lot of this surplus stashed in US banks?
    Well...
    ...take it.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  101. grigore caragacianu

    Iraq's potential $80 billion oil surplus should finance the American troops withdrawal.
    A portion of it should compensate the innocent victims of war on both sides.
    It should not be used to cover legal fees for laweyrs defending
    those who commited crimes of war, crimes against humanity, and
    myriad of other crimes connected to the war.

    Greg from Warren, Micgigan

    August 6, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  102. Ron Mechanicsville, VA

    We need to LEAVE! And stop paying for anything in IRAQ!

    August 6, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  103. Dave Bird

    Nothing it is not ours! They are a free nation and can do with it as they please.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  104. pete in ny

    Ah yes- Bush's War which seems to be being won by the U.S. despite the best efforts of Obama and the Democrats to lose it before the surge had even begun.

    It must be awful to go thru life as bitter as you seem to be but if you'd lay it aside people might have an intelligent discussion.

    Yes, it is reasonable to expect that Iraq cover more of the expenses of rebuilding and thanks to the success of the surge their economy now is generating funds to do so. It is also worth remembering that these profits are due to the run up in oil prices and so couldn't have been negotiated in the past.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  105. Greg from Mechanicsburg PA

    Iraq should use the money to finance their government. And we need to cut our losses and get our troops out of there. The entire region hates us for being on their soil and for pushing westernization upon them. We need to develop and implement a comprehensive Middle East policy that dramatically reduces our presence in the entire region. Sadly, I don’t believe that conservative Republicans know the meaning of “comprehensive.”

    August 6, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  106. Erico 33139 FL

    Let's build a BIG pipeline accross Iraq onto the USA and syphon off the equivalent in Billions of USDollars spent cleaning up the mess in Iraq. I'll bet you oil will drop to a comfortable $65.00 per drum.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  107. Dennis north carolina

    see that the money is used to rebuilded the country and bring our troops home.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  108. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    We should confiscate it and pay back the US Treasury for all the reconstruction money spent. Let's send a member of the Gambino family to give them a message they can't refuse.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  109. Allen in Hartwell GA

    The next president should hold a press conference congratulating the Iraqis for establishing a stable government, declare the "War on Terror" won in the Iraqi Theater, and got our soldiers the hell out of Iraq.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  110. Marty

    Once again, we find ourselves believing Bush's pipe dream that the oil would pay for the war. Get over it, people! It's not going to happen. What happens with the $80 billion surplus isn't only NOT up to us, but is none of our business. For once let's just but out of it.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  111. Tim

    It is extremely important for a world leader to be computer literate. Not knowing "the Google" is like not knowing how to read 40 years age. But it's more than just using the computer for blogs and email - it's understanding the potential for things like national medical databases to save money and lives. It becomes a matter of judgement as to what the government should spend our money on in terms of technology and looking to the future not the past.
    ~ Tim in Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  112. Kerry

    Paying us back for carrying them during the Bush fiasco war would be a great start...

    Debary, Florida

    August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  113. Shafi Alam

    $ 80 billion dollars could be used in Iraq to help the displaced and unemployed people. Most of the suicide bombers come from these kinds of groups. Using brains and not so many U.S. soldiers could diminish the problems of American people. Experience is not enough to be commander in chief. Competence, judgment smartness and honesty are prerequisite.

    Shafi Alam
    Austin, Texas
    Now Tokyo, Japan

    August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  114. Paxton from Virginia Beach, VA

    While the loss to American taxpayers is inexcusable, it was our government that undertook these projects, and we have already footed the bill for this war. Iraq's oil reserves are just that - Iraq's.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  115. Mary Kish

    Jack that is a no brainer, it should go to us for us training their soldiers and police...and to help rebuild that rock pile.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  116. Zennie Abraham in Oakland, CA

    Jack, Senator McCain better hurry up and "get" the Internet, because with this "Miss Buffalo Chip" fiasco, he's being burned by it.

    Zennie Abraham in Oakland, CA

    August 6, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  117. Edgar Morales

    it's their money, not ours. Besides, we should be paying for all the damage we caused.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  118. Deb - New Jersey

    It's Iraq's money. What they choose to do with it is up to them.

    The fact that we've spent over $700 billion dollars in rebuilding Iraq is
    to protect our oil interests. We should definitely stop spending our money in Iraq and focus more on the issues that we face here at home.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  119. B.E.Lahmon Jackson MS

    They should keep it all for themselves ,they never said they would use that money in the first place,Bush told us that lie and since it was his decision to go to war with them in the first place I think he should be impeached and forced to rebuild Iraq his damm self but it's too bad that's never going to happen because it would be too much like right

    August 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  120. Betty - AL

    My opinion won't matter. Only W is the decider.

    I do think our Elected officials should not get huge raises ever year until our deficit is taken care of. That might help lower the deficit.

    Our seniors got something like 2.3% (on small amounts), and the officials got thousands (around 10 or 15%). Do they need more food than we do?

    Thanks

    August 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  121. Chris Loosemore

    You know all I hear is the price of gas the price of gas, yet who are the ones that keep filling the large cars and trucks up, that's right we do.

    If Iraq got 80b suplus for selling us oil that we choose to buy and put in our vehicles it is their money to make.

    Should we take the surplus that the fast food companies make because we obesity problem in the U.S.
    How about tobacco companies.

    The fact is we have put ourselves in this situation lets not look for others to blame. lately we have gotten real good and looking to point fingers, its time we focus on us and not everyone else.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  122. Chris

    So lets see....
    1) We invade a country that's been producing oil for decades
    2) We destroy their government, kill their people and watch as the country decends into chaos.
    3) Spend 5 years watching the country fall apart while we spend hundreds of billions trying to get it on its feet.
    4) Want Iraq to help us out paying for the mess that's been caused with their oil sales (which again, they've been selling for decades).

    Isn't this the same as me going in and firebombing a Grocery store, kill the owners and all the staff, let the place get looted, spend tens of thousands of my own money to try and rebuild the damage from the bombing – and then try and bill the new owners for my expense?

    WE SCREWED UP. WE PAY.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  123. Arthur Paliden

    Divide it among the people. It works out to about $3000 per person and let them use it to stimulate their economy. Afterall is that not that Bush did for all you Americans already.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Katie

    The oil reserve $s are their's, but how much longer should Americans foot the bill for rebuilding. When does further development of Iraq become Iraq's responsibility? Our careless spending is making the emerging economies rich and driving the US into the poor house.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  125. BDIDDY

    Hmm,we're rebuilding a country while our people are losing there homes,can't afford to fill up our tanks anymore and can barely feed our families.U tell me who the greatest American gangster is now,nothing trumps presidential power in this country!!

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  126. Michael Salem

    Jack, Surplus money from the oil fields should go to our men and women in the military.. The cost is and will be huge for the next 70 years.

    Michael S Oakland,California

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  127. HartlessBeest

    Jack,
    The Iraqis do not owe the U.S. a thing, simply for the fact that this was an illegal invasion with the resulting aftermath causing great loss of civilian lives and needless destruction. Unfortunately, due to the brainless incompetents, Cheney/Bush, the American Taxpayers will eventually end up footing the bill.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  128. Matt

    I say for the next 5+ years, whatever surplus they have, 50% is given back to the United States as payment for what we have already put into their country. The other 50% is invested in their own infrastructure, national defense, etc so that we can pull out our forces and let the Iraqi people govern themselves.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  129. Randy Hazel

    All of that $80 billion should go to the U.S. for our war efforts and reconstruction effort. Iraq should not profit one penny until the U.S. is made whole money-wise. A portion of the money returned to the U.S. should go to wounded veteran's, covering their medical expenses, and also a lump sum to survivors of persons killed in the war.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  130. kinkan

    They give oil to US. Nothing is free, period.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  131. vong

    I think america need to concern about the economy first...right now we need to take care our country first before Iraq war..economy is number 1..

    August 6, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  132. Jim-Saint Paul Minnesota

    Yes, we should be very sorry to the Iraqi people that we invaded the country, but aren't we giving them a gift of our federal tax dollars as a way to say sorry. Soon our appologies have to stop, and tell them it is now time to fend for themselves.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  133. Bob K

    It's not their money- it is our money from the rise in oil revenue caused greatly by President Bush' great Iraqi adventure. The right thing would be for them to use the money to improve THEIR own country, but why would they do that when the US taxpayer is already doing it, and funding numerous crony contractors to boot!

    August 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  134. Paul

    Here are some ideas on how the $80 billion surplus Iraq will have from oil sales could be spent.

    1. Use it to help the families of soldiers who have been killed or injured fighting this misguided war that was waged over oil in the first place.

    2. Use it to repay the American public for the money we as a nation have spent on Iraq. $80 billion could go a long way toward education or health care programs.

    3. Use it to buy oil for the American public. Let's see....$80 billion divided by $120/barrel is about 660 million barrels of oil.

    4. Make the Iraqi government spend the entire $80 billion surplus on their internal security force, thus allowing American troops to come home.

    The list goes on and on!

    August 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm |