Skip to main content

Though we live in the age of austerity, at least concerning the 99%, the Department of Defense gets around $600 billion a year. More funds than any other military in the world. More funds than the next ten highest spending countries combined.

So what happens to all that money once it enters the Pentagon? No one can really say.

For the last 20 or so years the Department of Defense has not been able to properly audit its finances leaving many in Congress and elsewhere unconvinced that it ever will. Trillions are already estimated to have been wasted.

In a recent renewed push to get some kind of sense of the ocean of taxpayer funds sloshing around the DoD abyss Congress has demanded that DoD be ready for an audit in 2017. The Pentagon's finance chief is already trying to manage expectations.

“Meeting this goal has been more of a challenge than I expected,” said Robert Hale, undersecretary and chief financial officer for the DOD. “We’ve made more progress in the last few years than any other period.”...

“We understand, after 20 years of unauditable financial statements, Congress is skeptical” about DOD progress, Hale said.

Not all of this opacity is due to the flexibility needed to fund war operations. Much of the failure to present books that could be audited is due to waste, fraud and abuse. The GAO lists the Pentagon as high risk for fraud and waste as DoD is currently spending approximately $2 billion per day.

The hypocrisy in DC is pretty astounding. No one, particularly Tea Party Republicans, can shut up about government waste and fraud, yet they continue to give $600 billion a year to a department that is so fiscally mismanaged it has not been able to perform a substantive audit for a generation.

Photo by David B. Gleason under Creative Commons license

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site