Well, misery loves company, right? Just in case you were thinking your slumping 401k was bad, the Iraqi govenment said it's expecting a $15 billion drop in budget for 2009 due to lowered oil prices. Iraqi parliament lawmaker Abbas al-Bayati said the 2009 budget was based on $120 oil prices, and the drop to around $70 will cause the country to have to cut spending from $79 billion to $64 billion. Now, I know all of you want to shed tears at the thought of not sending a larger amount of your dollars over to Iraq, but have heart! The Iraqis do have other options, which I will share with you now. 1. Saddam Hussein museums: Nothing says guilt money like tourists flocking to see the sites of atrocities. Hey, if people will travel to Auschwitz or Salem, Massachusetts, odds are they wouldn't mind seeing some of Hussein's torture chambers. 2. Amusement parks: Think of all the fun that can be had at an Iraq-themed amusement park. How about a ride that travels through the political quagmire of the war? Or patrons can take turns pulling down a large, mock statue of Hussein. And for the kids, think of the hours of fun to be had crawling through the spider-hole tunnels. But children are warned not to kick the Chemical Ali costumed characters too hard, who knows what will leak out. 3. Film studios: Look, Hollywood's going to keep on making anti-war movies no matter how poorly they do at the box office. You want them to make those things out in the Mojave Desert? Heck know, we know the modern filmgoer demands authenticity. I say set up a film studio smack dab in the middle of the Green Zone. If George Clooney wants to make a statement, let him do so in the thick of it. 4. Class trips: Give students a chance to visit the Tigris and Euphrates river valley and see where civilization began. After spending a few days there, they'll realize why most human beings left. The Iraqis are free to use any of these, I 'm sure they could use the added revenue. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; email@example.com
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