Yahoo Money’ The Daily Ticker quoting a Reuters investigation that reveals that $8.5 trillion – that’s trillion with a “T” – in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for.
You read that right. While Republican politicians rush to slash food stamps for the 47 million Americans living in poverty – the highest amount in nearly two decades – Republican U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has the audacity to complain that $20 billion dollars in automatic sequester cuts to the massive and secretive $565.8 billion Defense Department budget are ” too steep, too deep, and too abrupt,” all while the Pentagon and the Defense Department are overseeing massive fraud, waste, and abuse.
For anyone wondering, Reuters reports that the D.O.D.’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China.
In an interview, Linda Woodford, an employee at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service – the Pentagon’s main accounting agency – reveals to Reuters that she spent the last 15 years of her career simply “plugging in” false numbers every month to balance the books;
“A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate. We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”
In the REAL WORLD, that would be called MASSIVE FRAUD.
Woodford’s involvement in the fraud doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. The report also reveals that “a single DFAS office in Columbus, Ohio, made at least $1.59 trillion – yes, trillion – in errors, including $538 billion in plugs, in financial reports for the Air Force in 2009.”
Yahoo Finance lists some additional findings, including;
- The DOD has amassed a backlog of more than $500 billion in unaudited contracts with outside vendors. How much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.
- Over the past 10 years the DOD has signed contracts for provisions of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury is a mystery.
- The Pentagon uses a standard operating procedure to enter false numbers, or “plugs,” to cover lost or missing information in their accounting in order to submit a balanced budget to the Treasury. In 2012, the Pentagon reported $9.22 billion in these reconciling amounts. That was up from $7.41 billion the year before.