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Military Spending

Military Jet - USA-Focus.org

 

… I want a complete audit of your books. (Jesus Christ, The Message translation)

FOUNDING FATHERS’ PERSPECTIVE

“Constant apprehension of war has the … tendency to render the head too large for the body.” (James Madison)

“Never for a moment should [government] be left to irresponsible action.” (George Washington)

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues…” (Thomas Jefferson)

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must … undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” (Thomas Paine)

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” (George Washington)

FACTS

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

◊ The U.S. spends more on its military than the next largest eight countries combined. Politifact, 1/13/16. “Obama – U.S. spends more on its military than next 8 nations combined”

◊ The military (Department of Defense) budget is 54% of the total discretionary federal budget ($599 billion). The next largest department receives 7%. National Priorities Project 2015 “Federal Spending – Where does the money go?”

◊ Since 1996, the Department of Defense has received a total of $8.5 trillion from the budget . Reuters, 11/18/13. Paltrow, Scot J. “Special Report – The Pentagon’s Doctored Ledgers Conceal Epic Waste”

◊ During this 20 year period, according to the Single Audit Act of 1996, the Department of Defense – like every federal agency that receives large funding has been required by law to conduct annual, independent audits to account for how they spent the money they were given. Wikipedia “Single Audit”

◊ In the 20 years since this law was passed, the Department of Defense has not submitted a single audit.

They have never legally accounted for $1 of the $8.5 trillion they have received. Every other federal agency has complied.

Thousands of monthly reports, for the past 20 years, have admittedly been falsified to make the individual departmental budgets appear to match with their allocation from the General Budget.

The Sarbanes-­Oxley Act of 2002 imposes criminal penalties on corporate managers who falsify financial reports, but this law has never been applied to managerial actions at the Department of Defense.

None of the 25,000 outside vendor contracts since 1996, worth one-half trillion dollars, has ever been audited.

The Department of Defense does not know how much money it has, how much it pays out, and how much is stolen. In 2011, Robert Gates, Former Secretary of Defense, said, “I learned it was impossible to get answers from any department regarding ‘How much did you spend?’ ”

A law passed by Congress in 2009 requires the Department of Defense to be ready for an audit by 2017. The DOD says they will probably not be able to comply.

Reuters, 11/18/13. Paltrow, Scot J. “Special Report – The Pentagon’s Doctored Ledgers Conceal Epic Waste”

SUMMARY

The Department of Defense, the largest single recipient of federal funds, has defied and violated federal law for over two decades – without any consequences – by refusing to account for their expenditures. No President or Congress in memory has ever publicly taken up this cause on behalf of our legal system and American taxpayers.

Any debate regarding increasing or decreasing military spending is pointless until the Department of Defense complies with the law and makes public a full audit of their past 20 years of expenditures, as required by the Single Audit Act.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

If the Department of Defense does not meet the 2017 extension they were granted by Congress to provide an audit, then the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court should move to subject the Department of Defense to the same punishment and restrictions that would be given any public or private recipient of federal funds who flagrantly violated the highest level of federal law.

Brief #3A – June 6, 2016

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