The Pentagon has gone on some crazy spending binges in the past, and so it is no wonder that many are worried about how the budget might play a factor in upcoming spending habits. Since the Pentagon released a formal budget of roughly $583 billion, much of this money is looked at as waste. This waste is not something new, but with waste reaching a historic high, there might be a little cause for concern.
Pentagon spending scandal
Increased spending was found by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction. Several scandals were found involving government aid to Afghanistan, which included the creation of private villas for personnel working for one of the Pentagon's economic development initiatives. These facilities were costly, but were actually barely ever used. Analysts were able to determine a price for all the wasteful spending in Afghanistan, which totaled $17 billion. Republican Senator of Iowa, Charles Grassley, wanted a complete audit involving the Afghan cases. On January 20th, hearings were held by the Senate Armed Service Readiness Subcommittee. Brian McKeon acted as witness for the Pentagon, staying defensive as several senators for Democratic and Republican parties questioned him about the Pentagon's lack of accountability for billions in wasteful spending, as well as their poor record keeping skills.
Wasteful spending elsewhere
Wasteful spending wasn't just taking place overseas, but it was happening right here in the United States. The Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency spent well over $7 billion dollars on equipment that was never needed. Pentagon officials also spent money on a F-35 combat aircraft, which is said to be worth $1.4 trillion over its lifetime, and is the most expensive weapon undertaken by the Pentagon. Spending binges by the Pentagon were happening a lot in the 1960's, and it seems like they might be back at it, over fifty years later.
How the Pentagon can stop wasteful spending
Experts believe that in order to cut back on wasteful spending, the department needs to develop financial incentives so that officials can get the books in order. Ron Wyden and Ted Cruz of the Senate, and Barbara Lee and Michael Burgess of the House have all gathered bills that were sent to the Pentagon, which stated that they need to be audit ready. In addition, the Pentagon needs to implement a tighter budget, so they can crack down on wants versus needs. Congress, the President, and presidential candidates should all speak out regarding Pentagon waste and provide solid plans for how to prevent wasteful spending in the future.
Highest Pentagon costs
With a budget of $583 billion, the biggest allowance is going toward properly maintaining a professional national military. A large amount of money goes to providing military members with health care and weapons. Because of rising costs of both of these military necessities for troops, the budget seems to be dwindling. Many believe the military budget is being gutted, and are blaming Obama for the proposed budget.
What do you think? If you get a chance, you can learn more about the Pentagon's budget here. Is the military budget being gutted or is it an accurate amount for what they need?