Can you imagine the audacity to fail a multi-trillion dollar audit of public funds, and then ask for even more of those taxpayer dollars?
Pentagon leaders just did exactly that.
This month news broke that the agency once again failed to pass a basic audit showing that it knows where its money goes. And instead of holding out for any kind of accountability, Congress stands ready to give a big raise to an agency that failed to account for more than 60 percent of its assets.
This is a sign of an agency that is too big, plain and simple. Other major government agencies have long since passed audits. But the Pentagon, with its global sprawl of more than 750 military installations, and a budget increase that alone could more than double the diplomacy budget at the State Department, is so big and disjointed that no one knows where its money goes.
Here’s one solution: the Pentagon needs to be a lot smaller. After twenty years of war, and in a time when government spending is desperately needed elsewhere, the Pentagon’s fifth failed audit in as many years (and having never, ever passed) should be the last straw.
Instead, recent reports suggest that Congress is moving toward a $847 billion budget for the Pentagon and nuclear weapons – and that figure may grow even more.
This isn’t using our taxpayer dollars wisely. It’s robbing programs that we need, like the discontinued child tax credit that cut child poverty by half. And it’s continuing the Pentagon’s legacy of war, all for the benefit of the contractors who commandeer roughly half of the Pentagon’s budget in any given year.
It looks like the people in this country are starting to catch on, though: a new poll shows that just 48 percent of Americans trust the military, down from a high of 70 percent in 2018. With the tide of public opinion turning, the Pentagon should be careful what it asks for.