Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

How to Blow $700 Billion – Rolling Stone

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2019

And this is just what we know about…

According to a study led by Michigan State University professor Mark Skidmore, some $21 trillion in Pentagon accounting transactions, made over a 17-year period, lack supporting data. This doesn’t mean the money is gone — the Pentagon only received roughly $9.2 trillion in budget money during that time — but it does mean the system is so choked with bad numbers, we have little idea of what mischief might be taking place at the Department of Defense.

Here’s a brief list of some of the problems likely lurking in the Pentagon’s books.

For more, check out this month’s feature story: The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit.


An alarmingly simple scheme. As Andy the Air Force accountant puts it: “A contractor accidentally invoices the military twice. It gets paid twice.” For example, one company got paid in full for delivering just 28 percent of a lug-nut contract; or the Swiss contractor that supposedly over-billed by $757 million to supply the troops in Afghanistan.


There have been multiple cases involving officials taking advantage of flaws in the Pentagon’s system over the years. One Air Force sergeant ended up sending 17 checks worth $436,684 to a co-conspirator. A civilian secretary bilked the Air Force out of $1.4 million for more than a decade before anyone noticed.


Be seeing you


Wondering where your taxes go?


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