Bureaucracies tend to be at the mercy of the political tides. Be it Republicans’ historical tendency to antagonize agencies like the EPA (and now apparently the FBI/CIA), or Democrats’ propensity to oppose the activities of federal bureaucracies such as ICE and the DEA — the various public-sector organizations tend to wax and wane with time and the trials and tribulations it brings.
But one absolutely massively bloated bureaucracy always seems to either retain or, more often than not especially in recent eras, increase their substantial share of the loot from American taxpayers.
That organization is, of course, the United States military – more specifically the Department of Defense.
‘Defense’ has become little more than a comical spot of irony when it comes to our military’s title. With quite literally the longest war the US has ever fought still underway in Afghanistan – as well as shadow conflicts in places like Iraq – the US military is involved in a bit more than sentry duty for the homeland…
Factor in large deployments maintaining a massive network of thousands of US bases across the globe and it’s no wonder politicians tend to lean towards pumping up the coffers of our army, navy, et al.
With so many Americans either directly enlisted in the military or otherwise economically or personally attached to supporting the armed forces through thick and thin – as it seems to be these days with so many tragically killed or wounded heroes – the positive political ramifications of running on a platform that includes keeping the military flush with cash. It could be argued doing so helped push now President Trump over the edge in the razor-thin 2016 election during which he boasted a desire to give the historically funded military even more budget to work with. True to his word in this category at least Trump appears to be doing just that with Military media reporting earlier this year,
“President Donald Trump went to Fort Drum in upstate New York on Monday to sign the nearly $717 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a 2.6 percent military pay raise and could set the stage for the creation of a Space Force.”
With plans for an even larger 2019 budget to sign into place, the military appears to be on track for even more tax dollars to blow. And blow it they do. Politico reported earlier this year as well,
“One of the Pentagon’s largest agencies can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending, a leading accounting firm says in an internal audit obtained by POLITICO that arrives just as President Donald Trump is proposing a boost in the military budget.
Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent.
The audit raises new questions about whether the Defense Department can responsibly manage its $700 billion annual budget — let alone the additional billions that Trump plans to propose this month.”
It’s hardly a one-time affair, with the Pentagon’s corporate culture quite literally having become combatively gluttonous on tax dollars to the point of hiding their own discoveries of waste. The Hill found in 2016,
“- that the Pentagon buried a report that exposed $125 billion in waste in the department’s administrative operations is just the latest indication that it is more interested in padding its budget than spending taxpayer dollars wisely.”
With so much utterly egregious waste transpiring within the ranks of America’s warfighting bureaucratic institutions, Americans at large truly ought to be calling for *less* spending, not more. Especially as the disgustingly daunting 23+ trillion-dollar public debt continues to skyrocket.