Following his office’s publishing of his annual Wastebook last month, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has now released another oversight report, this one exploring waste and “non-defense” spending in the Department of Defense (DOD), entitled the “Department of Everything.”
In his Wastebook Coburn concluded that “all the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either the action or lack of action of Congress, earning it the well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.” Right behind the Congress, however, is the Department of Defense, which has been spending taxpayer monies on projects, programs, and plans not related to the DOD’s primary function: defending the Republic.
Although he thinks potential savings could exceed $70 billion over the next 10 years if all of his suggestions were implemented, he also says that his report has just skimmed the surface, and savings could be much larger. He stated,
I prepared this report because the American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation’s defense.
That isn't happening. Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies. Spending more on grocery stores than guns doesn’t make any sense. And using defense dollars to run microbreweries, study Twitter slang, create beef jerky, or examine Star Trek does nothing to defend our nation.
These are actual programs he and his staff uncovered by asking three simple questions:
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