We taxpayers work hard every day to create a giant pile of money used by lawmakers for purposes they deem fit.

In other words, we don’t have much say in the matter.

Case in point - billions (with a “B”) of our tax dollars have been spent on the war in Iraq and reconstruction of the country we should never have reduced to rubble in the first place. In fact, the current bill for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is $2.9 billion.

An independent audit released Wednesday showed anyone who bothered to pay attention that our money has been squandered.

Auditor Stuart Bowen Jr. concluded there is rampant “corruption among high Iraqi officials and U.S. contract management is weak.”

Of the 18.4 billion taxpayer dollars spent on reconstruction in Iraq, Bowen wrote, tens of millions of dollars have been wasted.

We aren’t getting much for our money.

For instance, $43.8 million was spent to build a camp for housing police trainers - with an Olympic-sized pool. The facility has never been used and continues to stand empty. DynCorp International built the camp. The pool and a bunch of VIP trailers, $4.2 million of the building tab, were ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior but never authorized by the United States. That didn’t keep both from being constructed and paid for by the United States, with our tax dollars.

Scores of weapons we’ve paid for seem to be lost. Armored vehicles, body armor and communications equipment for which we paid $36.4 million cannot be found.

Of the $18.4 billion spent, 34 percent has been used for security and justice in Iraq, but neither prevails as the Iraqis refuse to take responsibility for their own police forces. Just one more thing that is not working. Yet our tax dollars continue to be thrown after a lost cause.

As a result of graft and corruption, the U.S. Justice Department has 78 active cases involving bribery and kickbacks.

Now, President Bush is back in front of legislators asking for 1.2 billion more of our tax dollars to spend on the reconstruction of Iraq. That’s in addition to 21,000 more troops to send into war torn Baghdad where Iraqis have refused to step up as their own police force.

Where is this going to stop and who will pay the bill? How far into the future will this debt reach? No one knows because the debt keeps growing. It is our debt, one made for us by government without asking us if we want to spend our money that way.

I had no say on the invasion of Iraq. The decision was made without my input. I would have voted no. Then, I had no say about how my tax dollars would be spent to reconstruct the country I would never have agreed to invade. Now I must help pay a debt with no end.

Could it be worse? Absolutely. I am not a soldier being asked to put my boots on the ground in a country that never wanted us there in the first place - a country that has been reduced to a pile of junk for reasons that did not exist. No wonder Iraqis are not interested in becoming a police force. That is just one more thing our president is trying to force on a population who do not want anything we’re offering.

Many of us are being dragged through this war kicking and screaming, with no say about it. At least I am.

Kathy Parker writes for Pryor (Okla.) Daily Times.