Free Minds & Free Markets

One Pentagon Agency Lost Track of $800 Million—But Now We're Spending Even More on Defense: New at Reason

Ben Sheldon/flickrBen Sheldon/flickrBecause national defense is our government's top priority, Pentagon spending demands close scrutiny.

Bonnie Kristian writes:

"Keeping track of the people's money," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has mused, "may not be in the Pentagon's DNA." And last Monday's Politico report on the audit results for a Pentagon division, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), is unlikely to raise his hopes.

The DLA, which Politico describes as "the Walmart of the military," does not know what happened to more than $800 million U.S. taxpayer dollars. The money is thought to have gone to construction expenses, but there is no documentation to that effect. Worse yet, the loss apparently did not come as a surprise to the auditors, who reportedly warned that "across the board," the agency's "financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it's responsible for," sums like a budget of $40 billion per year.

Such stories of Department of Defense (DOD) waste and irresponsibility are a dime a dozen—this is, after all, the department of the infamous $640 toilet seat and the $435 hammer.


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