Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending. Here is their latest news update.
Military Spending: Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Recent revelations of mismanagement and misappropriations by the military raise serious concerns about how it will use this year's increase in military spending.
The FY2000 Defense Appropriations Bill contains billions of dollars in increased spending of tax money, but also notes "serious budgeting and funding execution issues regarding appropriations for defense" in recent years.
The statement came on the heels of an Associated Press story that the military lost $2.7 billion in military property, including several engines for fighter aircraft. The Pentagon said the problem derived from faulty accounting and records keeping.
The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) also found fault with DoD spending practices and accused DoD of playing a "shell game" with taxpayer money.
The subcommittee found that not only did the Pentagon hide money in false projects and redirected it to unpopular or cancelled programs, but also that the DoD violated the law by starting programs without prior congressional approval.
In one case, the Army entered into a multi-year production contract for new tactical vehicles and negotiated a multi-year production contract for a targeting acquisition system against Congress's wishes.
In a separate case, the Army ignored Congress by diverting another program's funds to the Line-of-Sight Tank program.
But the Army wasn't the only branch of the Armed Services to be criticized by the committee.
After requesting substantial funds to further develop and improve the MILSTAR satellite, the Air Force funneled the funds to purchase the satellite instead, according to the committee.
In another example of Air Force waste, almost $270,000 was diverted from an account normally used for military operations to pay for kitchen renovations to the home of the superintendent of the Air Force Academy.
Can such misappropriations really be in the national interest? Wasting taxpayer dollars on military pork distorts the budget process and undermines real defense priorities. Rep. Lewis deserves credit for his efforts toward making the military more accountable for its spending.
For more information contact Keith Ashdown at 202 546-8500 ext.110 or email@example.com ; TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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