Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Could The Defense Department Finally Get A Long Overdue Audit?



A few days ago, the Pentagon uncovered an “accounting error” in the weapons and money that it was sending to Ukraine. As a result of this “accounting error”, the Biden administration says it can send more weapons worth $6.2 billion. These are more weapons that the Biden administration can send Ukraine without a vote of Congress.

If this “accounting error” does not make the argument that the Pentagon is in dire need of an audit, the fact that the Pentagon did not realize how big of an “accounting error” it made on Ukraine does. Earlier this year, the Pentagon thought its “accounting error” on Ukraine meant that only $1 billion of extra weapons could be sent to the country without a vote of Congress.

The Pentagon’s finances did not suddenly just become a mess. In the modern era, the Pentagon has been a poor steward of taxpayer dollars as Based Politics’s Jack Hunter points out.

The Pentagon has been called the ‘black hole’ of federal spending for a long time.

It was called this this year. It was called a ‘black hole’ in 2020. Pentagon coffers were called this over a decade ago. And before that. Needless to say this was a danger President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about over a half century ago.

Why? Because there is not a lot of transparency when it comes to defense spending.

But some members of the U.S. Senate are planning on doing something about it. Republican U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Chuck Grassley are teaming up with socialist Bernie Sanders to try and pass a bill that would audit the Pentagon. The Pentagon is the largest discretionary spending item in the budget. The American people are entitled to make sure that every dollar that is budgeted towards the Pentagon is spent as transparently and as wisely as possible.

More from Jack Hunter:

Paul, Sanders and Grassley’s ‘Audit the Pentagon Act of 2023’ would demand an independent audit in fiscal year 2024, and failure to do so would force the Pentagon to give back one percent of its budget to go toward reducing the deficit. This penalty would apply to any part of the Department of Defense that failed to comply.

A press release from Paul’s office reported that “Last year, the DOD failed its fifth audit and was unable to account for over half of its assets, which are in excess of $3.1 trillion, or roughly 78 percent of the entire federal government. More recently, reports disclosed the Department of Defense miscalculated more than $6 billion in aid to Ukraine.”

Paul said, “Accountability and transparency are the bedrock of responsible democracy. No institution is above scrutiny, especially the Department of Defense which has the largest budget of any federal agency and is charged with carrying out the greatest constitutional responsibility.”

Sanders added, “The Pentagon and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud, and financial mismanagement for decades. That is absolutely unacceptable.”

If we are serious about spending taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively, we have got to end the absurdity of the Pentagon being the only agency in the federal government that has never passed an independent audit,” Sanders added.

The conservative movement and the Republican Party have traditionally had an unhealthy relationship with the Department of Defense. It has traditionally supported higher and higher budgets for that department, often with little to no accountability in how that money has been spent. Often times, Democrats would leverage so-called fiscally conservative Republicans love for higher defense spending in order to get higher welfare spending. It would be a win-win for both Democrats and Republicans while the taxpayer loses.

But some Republicans are finally becoming skeptical of giving the Defense Department more than what it wants. The aftermath of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the increasing use of the military for woke social engineering projects has made some conservatives question their blind support of the Defense Department. The war in Ukraine and the lack of an objective and transparency in that endeavor have only increased skepticism of the national security apparatus in general.

Now will this bill result in a real audit of the Defense Department? Probably not. Most Senators in both parties are more than willing to shovel money with no strings attached to the Defense Department.

But this bill is one of those that shows which Senators have the best interests of taxpayers in mind versus those who are only interested in protecting the Deep State.