Here's an all-American recipe for disaster: Take $450 billion of taxpayer money; pour directly into rat hole, sorry, the Department of Defense.
Out-of-control Pentagon spending is hardly news to fiscal conservatives (not to be confused with spend-till-you-drop Republicans) who have spent decades bewailing the DoD's tendency to treat the U.S. Treasury as a personal expense account. But now there's damning evidence that such profligate tendencies might be hurting soldiers in combat:
"This is no longer a matter that you can shunt aside" as unavoidable inefficiency, said Cindy Williams, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on defense budgeting. "This is a problem that is affecting soldiers every day, as well as the military's ability to conduct combat operations." ...
Among other recent issues the GAO turned up:
# Unpaid soldiers: Pay for National Guard soldiers deployed to fight in Iraq was so mismanaged that many soldiers and their families went unpaid.
# Bad sales: A Pentagon agency mistakenly sold GAO agents equipment that could be used for making biological weapons.
# More bad sales: Another Pentagon agency mistakenly sold chemical warfare suits on the Internet for $3 each while a separate office was struggling to fill shortages with new suits it bought for $200 each.
# Insurance glitches: Military hospitals have failed to collect tens of millions of dollars from insurance companies on behalf of their patients.
# Poor records: Because of inaccurate records, ship repairs ordered by the Navy couldn't be completed because it lacked the parts. [LINK thanks to David Addams]