"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 
concurrent receipt.

     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 
financed.

     No matter how rich a country is, corruption 
can grow enough to bankrupt it if left unchecked.