WFA Alert: The Department of Everything

When you pay your taxes on April 15 or out of your paycheck each pay period, how do you feel about your money you worked for being wasted by people in government agencies who don’t consider where the money they are spending originally came from?

You hope all that your taxes are going to something worthy and vital for the functioning of our nation. But more and more it seems, that is not the case.

A month ago, US Senator Tom Coburn released an eye-opening, highly recomended Waste, Fraud & Abuse (WFA) report called Wastebook 2012: Waste in the Government  (also see Government Waste Addendum).

This detailed outrageous examples of American taxpayer’s hard earned money being wasted by US government agencies and their contractors, during a time when the US has a $16.3 TRILLION (and rising) debt.

Now Senator Coburn has released a new report called, “Department of Everything: Department of Defense Spending That Has Little to Do With National Security” detailing taxpayer’s money being wasted on non-defense items.

When reviewing programs, he asked these three important basic questions that could be used by any government agency when considering how to spend American taxpayer’s money:

  • Does the mission of this program or agency directly relate to the mission of the Department of Defense?
  • Does another federal agency or government or private entity already provide the services provided by this program or agency?
  • Could these resources be better targeted towards higher priority defense needs, such as taking care of troops on the front lines or reducing our $16 trillion national debt?

If you are a government employee or government contractor, always remember and never forget that the money you spend comes not from a magical, never-ending source in the sky but from real, hard-working Americans trying to pay their mortgage and bills and put food on their tables.

Here is his press release, the report and news stories:

Dr. Coburn Releases “Department of Everything” Report on “Non-Defense” Defense Spending

Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released an oversight report, “Department of Everything.” The report outlines how DOD can save $67.9 billion over ten years by making specific cuts to what Dr. Coburn describes as “non-defense” defense spending – spending that DOD can cut without cutting vital defense priorities.

“I believe in peace through strength but we cannot be strong militarily unless we are strong economically. And we cannot be strong economically if we treat politically-sensitive areas of the budget as sacrosanct.

” At a time when our own military leaders are calling our debt our greatest national security threat we need to look at every area of the budget for potential savings. No part of the budget can be taken off the table. Achieving peace through strength, and getting our debt under control, must involve refocusing the Pentagon on its core mission,” said Dr. Coburn.

I prepared this report because the American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation’s defense,” Dr. Coburn added.

“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.”

The $67.9 billion in savings in the “Department of Everything” report could pay for a third of the cost of the planned fleet of new strategic bombers for the Air Force.

It could, likewise, pay a third of the cost of the fleet of Ohio-class replacement nuclear submarines for the Navy.

For the Army, $16 billion over ten years – about 25 percent of the savings in the report – could mean robust funding for modernization or purchase of new rifles and light machine guns for every soldier.

Five areas in DOD highlighted in the report that have little to do with defense include:

  • Non-Military Research and Development ($6 billion)
  • Education ($15.2 billion)
  • Alternative Energy ($700 million)
  • Grocery Stores ($9 billion)
  • Overhead, Support and Supply Services ($37 billion)

In addition, the report found:

• Pentagon-branded beef jerky (p. 22);

• A reality cooking show called Grill it Safe featuring two “Grill Sergeants” who performed a 46-minute cooking video (p. 8);

• Pentagon-run microbreweries (p. 8);

• A smart phone app to alert users when to take a coffee break (p. 20);

• A bomb detector less effective than “a coin flip” (p. 15);

• Research examining the social interaction between robots and babies (p. 31);

• A workshop asking “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” (p. 16);

• More flag officers per troop than at the height of the Cold War (p. 69)

• DOD overhead expenses greater than Israel’s GDP (p. 69)

To read the full report, click here.

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GOP senator outlines $68 billion in defense cuts from ‘Department of Everything’ (AP)

Sen. Tom Coburn cuts the fat at Pentagon in his ‘Department of Everything’ report (Washington Post)

Pentagon wants to know: ‘Did Jesus die for Klingons too?‘ (Washington Times)

Doc Coburn takes a scalpel to outrageous defense spending (Washington Times)
“We are making the point that, if you want to cut another $500 billion out of  defense, you can get 15 percent just on things that have nothing to do with  defense,” the senator told The Washington Times in an interview Friday. “It’s  not hard to cut spending in Washington. It’s hard to get members to cut because  they are clueless about the details of the spending and refuse to do the hard  work of oversight.”

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Reading through the report, DOD spend $5.2 MILLION on research using fish to find that “uninformed individuals tend to side with and embolden the numerical majority.”

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