"Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?"
DOD Lost $1 Trillion
Fuel to the Fire. V-R-A circulated an
article about Social Security payments
to our neighbors south-of-the-border
due to an agreement between Presidents
Fox and Bush. No one seemed to care
if that was going to detract from CR
legislation. This article about what
happened to $1 trillion in the DOD
budget did not stir the air either.
Will the compensation article do better?
Take care, as always,
Veterans Voting Bloc
Washington State Chapter
Points to consider
From: Charles Heckman
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld,
where is the trillion dollars?
Once again, a concurrent receipt bill
has been defeated, not by an open vote of
the House or Senate but by behind the
scenes doctoring of a bill in a Senate
committee. The Bush administration opposes
concurrent receipt, mainly due to the advice
of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He has
convinced Bush that it will cost too much.
If every retired military man or woman who
might apply for it actually does, the
government will have to come up with as much
as $4.7 billion per year.
The San Francisco Chronicle just published
a story on mismanagement at the Department of
Defense (DOD). According to the article, about
one trillion dollars has been lost. It is
really lost. Nobody knows what happened to much
of this money. By simple math, it is easy to
calculate that the missing money would be enough
to pay all of the disabled and potentially disabled
retired military personnel in the United States
both retirement and disability payments for a
period of 200 years and have $60 billion left over.
Needless to say, most disabled, retired military
personnel will not survive more than about 20 years.
That also means that only about 0.47% the theft and
waste at the DOD would cover the cost of one year of
This gives veterans a pretty strong
justification to ask Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld
why he can't manage his department just a little
more efficiently and give our veterans just a small
percentage of what they earned through their
sacrifices for the country. If he cannot do even
this, maybe it is time that we demanded the
appointment of a Secretary of Defense with better
management ability. Is there nobody in our country
with the guts to interfere with the thievery,
sloppiness, and incompetence of our Federal civil
service and the military departments they oversee?
We should also ask our senators and
representatives what should have a higher priority,
giving a disabled, retired veteran a monthly income
slightly above rather than below the poverty level
or letting some DOD civil servant spend $640 for e
ach toilet seat purchased or lose track of the
whereabouts of 56 aircraft, 32 tanks, and 36 javelin
missile command launch units, as Tom Abate reported
in the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to the article, Secretary Rumsfeld
has admitted that "the financial reporting systems
of the Pentagon are in disarray. . they're not
capable of providing the kinds of financial
management information that any large corporation
would have." We should ask the Secretary of Defense
whose fault that is. He has been in his office
since 2001 and is criticizing his own department's
handling of funds. Obviously, Secretary Rumsfeld
finds it more important to take $4.7 billion out of
the hides of disabled veterans than to keep track of
the $1 trillion dollars that the employees he is
supervising have already "lost." So why don't our
elected legislators cut off the funds until all of
the leaks are repaired. With only a tiny percentage
of the losses, full concurrent receipt could be
No matter how rich a country is, corruption
can grow enough to bankrupt it if left unchecked.