January 28, 2023

As the Pentagon Fails Another Audit, Congress Wants to Spend Even More on “Defense”

America’s military technocrats (a. k. a. “generals”) specialize in losing wars as well as losing your money. Naturally, Congress wants to give them even more taxpayer cash

Within November, the Pentagon introduced it had failed yet another audit.

In spite of the fact that the Department of Defense has had years to get its behave together, the Pentagon nevertheless doesn’t know how it usually spends or maintains its trillions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded assets and income. As  Breaking Protection   mentioned last month :

The Pentagon has failed its  annual audit   for your fifth year in a row, an expected result that will nonetheless represents something of the disappointment for an effort that officials hoped would continue steady, if incremental, 12 months over year progress.  .  .  . The Pentagon has failed every audit considering that 2018, the first audit of the department ever performed in its history.

Accounting like this, of course , would certainly land most private-sector C-suite executives in prison meant for various financial crimes. Furthermore, this is the same government that will insists it has the prerogative to spy on most in our banking transactions and that has even recently started challenging that we report every Venmo and PayPal transaction over $600. But that’s not how things work in the government sector. The Pentagon can fail an audit on actually trillions of dollars, and all that means is “ there is certainly room for improvement. ”

Indeed, instead of tie funding to precise information about how taxpayer cash is spent, Congress this month has mostly been debating how much to increase protection spending.

A week ago, Congress began   hammering out a give up on increasing the protection budget yet again . Although there continues to be wrangling over the Pentagon’s covid vaccine mandate, and just how many more weapons to send in order to Ukraine, the proposed spending budget would be  a good 8 percent increase within the 2022 budget . Some Republican leaders had sought a slightly smaller boost of 3 to 5 percent, yet as is so often the case, the GOP is more than happy to sign off on actually larger budgets so long as they will benefit certain interest groupings. The White House experienced sought $802 billion, however the final tally is likely to are available in over $840 billion.

Trillions Spent on Failing

A budget of this magnitude would be at an all-time high in current dollars. Looking at all defense functions, including spending on nuclear arms through the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB)   estimate just for 2023 is now $827 billion dollars   (see table 5. 1). That’s a boost of 7. 8 percent over 2022, and an increase of 14 percent over 2009, when the United States government was busy with the “ surge” in Afghanistan and various occupation and counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq. The united states eventually lost both wars,   after spending over $2 trillion . Moreover, those wars were seriously financed by borrowed money, and American taxpayers may now be on the hook for  more than $6 trillion in interest payments .

Today, the Afghanistan regime is in the particular hands of the Taliban, just like it was before the US attack in 2001. Meanwhile, in Iraq, the US invasion, by destroying the Iraqi condition, created a power vacuum which was filled by the Islamic State (ISIS). Today Saddam Hussein’s secular state has been changed by a pro-Iran Shia regime. Given that the US regime treats Iran as its implacable enemy, it’s hard to imagine how  the US regime as well as generals   might have been less competent in these wars.

Another side effect of the wars has been to multiply costs for Experienced Affairs. Veteran services, of course , are essential in recruitment plus retainment of troops. These costs ought not to be looked at separate from defense expenses. They are simply deferred settlement that is promised to soldiers at the time of service. Thus, if we include veteran costs as we should, we find that protection costs have ballooned even more. In the 2023 fiscal 12 months, total defense costs, which includes veteran expenses,   are estimated   to soar over $1. 2 trillion. That’s up 10 percent from the 2022 fiscal year, and up a whopping 42 percent since 2009.

Source:   Table 5. one, Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables .

But How about Inflation?

Supporters of more military investing are likely to complain, however , that will inflation has taken a attack out of defense spending which therefore we ought to calculate spending only in inflation-adjusted dollars. The fact that the regime itself has been responsible for this inflation, of course , is apparently of no moral meaning.

Although private-sector real wages have now declined for  nineteen a few months in a row , it is currently argued that the taxpayers should be taxed even more to fund military spending. The idea the following is that government agencies supposedly have a “ right” not to be deprived of investing power by the very inflation that the regime created.

But , for the sake of disagreement, we’ll look at inflation-adjusted military spending. Not surprisingly, we find that will by this measure, investing has not increased nearly as much. However , when we include experienced spending, defense spending in 2023 will be at an perfect high even by this particular measure.

In 2020 dollars, 2023 investing is estimated to reach $1. 03 trillion,   according to the OMB . That is certainly an 8 percent increase over 2022, but “ only” slightly up through previous peaks in 2010 and 2020, when spending also hovered around $1 trillion.

Supply:   Table five. 1, Office of Management and Budget, Historical Furniture ,   Bureau of Labor Data .

What will all this taxpayer cash be used for? The Pentagon doesn’t know, given the haphazard accounting, but we can be sure at least several number of billions will go to supplementing your the  $65 billion already spent on aid to the Ukraine regime   and the hundreds of billions a lot more already spent to keep up with ongoing “ assurances” to the  freeloader Western member states   of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After all, Berlin recently announced that it  won’t make good on recent promises   to raise its own military investing to the agreed-upon standard 2 percent of gross household product (GDP). We can anticipate to hear plenty of bromides from European politicians about NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION solidarity and the defense of Europe. But it’s very clear the Europeans are delighted having American taxpayers spend on nearly everything. About this, the US regime— which enjoys becoming the big fish in NATO— will do nothing. In other words, the united states regime has no problems fleecing the taxpayers for trillions of dollars that the Pentagon can’t even keep track of. But the regime is also happy to end up being complicit in Europe’s insistence that Americans pay Europe’s bills as well.

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