At The Top Of The High Risk List….


Source: Fiscal nightmare looms at ‘bloated’ Pentagon – NBC Politics.

PentagonJust two weeks ago, the GAO kept the Pentagon on its annual “High Risk List” of departments whose books are so mysterious and opaque that they’re at high risk of fraud, waste and mismanagement….

He (retired Army Gen. David Barno) said the Pentagon’s method of operating is comparable to driving a 1985 Oldsmobile which is leaking oil, “and every time we go out on the highway at 65 miles an hour, we come back after another day, there’s more and more oil on the floor of our garage in the morning. And our solution has been to buy more oil, to put it in the engine and go drive it at 65 miles an hour.”

When Mr. Bush declared in 2002 that he was taking his wars “off-the-books” it looks like he meant it! According to this article there seems to be almost no accountability within the Department of Defense. How can those who hold the purse strings in congress allow such a thing to happen. At least a few generations ago we learned about the infamous $10,000 toilet seats whereas now we have no idea, no even those who are in control, of where the money is even going.

I can’t imagine any other organization that could be run like our military. With basically no accountability it is certain that billions, if not trillions, are wasted on fraud and abuse alone.

  • It seems ludicrous how can congress just blindly throw almost half of our discretionary money into a black hole and then go screaming about making cuts to our nation’s safety net because they want to cut the deficit!
  • It seems ludicrous that we throw so much money indiscriminately into our war machine while expecting our teachers to supply pencils, paper and art supplies for their classrooms
  • It seems ludicrous for our citizens to go without even basic healthcare in order to feed the insatiable black hole.

All of above just seems insane to me.  But what is even more insane are those who are allowing this to happen and not hearing a peep out of them. Why are they not screaming their heads off in Washington about this?

I want to bring out one more quote from this article to show at least a glimmer of hope in finally reining in some of these bloated budgets

He (Hagel) added more questions later in the hearing, “Why aren’t we auditing these programs? Where’s the accountability? That’s certainly an area that we’re going to have to take a look at.” And within days Hagel will have his chance to begin that accountability and to reduce the bloat he saw in his department

I pray that Secretary Hagel, now that the Republicans have finally let him take it place, will have the courage to tackle this absurd condition that he is taking over.  I pray that he puts the military spending (you can’t really call them budgets as they seem to have none) back “on-the-books” and insists on knowing where our money goes. It certainly isn’t spent on soldiers’ pay as many are at or below the poverty line.


  1. One thing most of us agree on is that when things go “off the books” it’s usually to hide a huge problem. Wasteful defense spending, enormous unfunded medicare obligations, underfunded teacher/firefighter/police pensions… But it’s easier than fixing the problem (until the crisis hits, anyway)


    • Right on Steve, but I think it is a chicken/egg thing. Is there no accounting because there is fraud or fraud because there is no accounting? Either way I hope Hagel/Obama take it head on!!!! Let’s balance the budget on the back of Mr. Bush’s war spending. 🙂
      That was one of the primary causes and where cuts will do the least harm for the regular guy.


  2. The civilian side of the military is totally out of control. The contracting department is on over run still filling the pockets of Dick Chenney. Disgusting. Did you know that a small family in the Rhode Island now owns the contracts to almost all of the military housing in the seven states? 55 year leases. Crazy. I wonder who they are related to? An accounting firm owns all of the contracts for feeding troops overseas…so no hot food for front line troops…they cannot put civilians at the front line.
    Let’s just have Boeing train the Egyptians with their own people….oh no that has to be our military to train a private industry product.
    Those toilet seats are small potatoes. !Sickening.


    • I hear you Janette. But I will not be resolving those in uniform, and I am talking about the generals and such here, for their portion. When there is virtually no accounting or regulations everyone has their fingers in the pot. The generals ask for more and more money simply as a power issue; they don’t really need it but since it is there….

      If we even cut our military/war budgets by two-thirds we would still be spending many times more than the number two spender. It is time we balanced our budgets on the back of our war machine instead of the poor and elderly. Radical thinking for such an aggressive populous I know…..


  3. I think you have active duty generals mixed up with retired generals. The retired ones are the people lobbying congress to get projects funded—often that the military does not even want…. you might include a current war in that bag of funding.
    The poor and elderly have always come after the rich and powerful. Tone down the need for oil and suddenly our need to be in the Middle East goes away.
    I believe that you give the military much more credit then it is due. Generals (and all officers) come and go with in a year of each other. There are no McCarthy or Patton any more. These guys rotate so quickly my head spins. Just get another star and move along.
    I am all for getting rid of the war machine. The answer is get rid of consumers…………


  4. Had an interesting conversation with a soldier today. He said that he is not allowed to tell the general public about waste and abuse. An example? A congressional district that makes tanks protested when all the tanks needed were made. Instead of closing the plant, the military was forced to continue to buy tanks. They then sell them as surplus to other countries.
    Makes perfect sense to me…not.


    • I imagine that “whistle blowing” is practically nonexistent in the military. That is why we will never likely stamp out a lot of abuse. After all the mantra is to follow orders without question. That kind of precludes any serious thinking of any kind.
      I”m glad I was never in the military as not questioning is literally impossible for me. 🙂


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