David Sirota: Pentagon Loses More Than Cost Of Health Care, Stimulus And Bank Bailout Combined
The amount of money the Pentagon can’t even track would pay for the programs conservatives say cost us too much money. But try telling them we should cut Pentagon waste and account for where the money goes. It wasn’t some left-wing kook, but rather Donald Rumsfeld who said:
“(W)e cannot track $2.3 trillion in (Pentagon spending) … We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion … There are those who will oppose every effort to save taxpayers’ money … Well, fine, if there’s to be a struggle, so be it.”
Our $600-billion-a-year defense budget is seven times the cost of the health care plan before Congress.
•The 2010 Pentagon budget means “every man, woman and child in the United States will spend more than $2,700 on (defense) programs and agencies next year,” reports the Cato Institute. “By way of comparison, the average Japanese spends less than $330; the average German about $520; China’s per capita spending is less than $100.”
• “(The Pentagon budget) dwarfs the combined defense budgets of U.S. allies and potential U.S. enemies alike,” reports Hearst Newspapers.
And most worrisome:
•In 2000, the Pentagon admitted it has lost — yes, lost — $2.3 trillion. In 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a subsequent Department of Defense study said it was only $1 trillion. To put such numbers in perspective, contemplate what those sums could finance. $1 trillion, for instance, could pay the total cost of universal health care for the long haul. $2.3 trillion would cover universal health care plus the bank bailout plus the stimulus package.
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