A new report by the Government Accountability Office estimates that the “soaring price of oil will leave the Iraqi government with a cumulative budget surplus of as much as $79 billion by year’s end.” Federal lawmakers have responded angrily to the news, noting that the U.S. government has spent $42 billion for the stabilization and reconstruction in Iraq since 2003. From a statement by House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA):
This report is going to make a lot of American families very angry. The record gas prices they are paying have turned into an economic windfall for Iraq. But the Iraqi government isn’t spending the money on rebuilding. American taxpayers are paying that bill too. This doesn’t make any sense, and the Bush Administration never should have let this happen.