The U.S. national debt is approaching $21 trillion dollars as we speak. Everything from federal agencies to entitlement programs to foreign wars have all racked up a tremendous amount of debt. Only now are we beginning to see just how deranged the federal government is when it comes to spending the money they take from us.
One of the agencies that is coming under scrutiny for losing money is the Pentagon. The Department of Defense is the largest agency in the federal government. It also receives a huge amount of taxpayer dollars to fund its various activities across the globe.
Over time, the DoD’s budget has ballooned to a proposed $639.1 billion for FY 2018. What exactly is all that being spent on?
Well, we’re still in Afghanistan, and we basically might as well be in Syria at this point given all of the military operations we were promised would never take place… But apparently there are a lot of other things going on that we are unaware of. And why is that?
A new audit of the Pentagon reveals $21 trillion in unauthorized spending by the DoD and Housing and Urban Development over a period of seventeen years. That’s beyond terrifying, folks; a number that we simply cannot comprehend.
The audit was conducted by Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore and his team of graduate students and a former government official. Thanks to their diligent work, the true extent of reckless spending is just now being exposed.
Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.
The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. (Luckily, the researchers downloaded and stored the documents.)
He decided to conduct the research after he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report showing the Army had $6.5 trillion unsupported spending in fiscal year 2015.
When Skidmore saw the report, he didn’t believe that the number was in the trillions. “Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion,” he said. “So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion.”
But sure enough, he found the report, and the true number was $6.5 trillion.
Skidmore and Fitts agreed to work together to investigate the issue further. Over the summer, two MSU graduate students searched government websites, especially the website of the Office of Inspector General, looking for similar documents dating to 1998. They found documents indicating a total $21 trillion in undocumented adjustments over the 1998-2015 period. (The original government documents and a report describing the issue can be found here.)
On December 7, the DoD announced it would be conducting an audit of the department’s spending, though it did not reveal the motivation for the audit.
“While we can’t know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference,” said Skidmore.
On December 8, he and Fitts published a column in Forbes discussing their findings. In the piece, they stated that this staggering level of unauthorized spending “should be a great concern to all taxpayers.”
In essence, what this tells us is that the federal government has literally been stealing money on an unfathomable level. If Congress has not authorized such spending, it is illegal. The DoD might as well have broken down our doors and raided our wallets themselves for what they did.
Will anyone be held accountable? Who knows at this point. But will the Pentagon even admit to its colossal failures, and the vast criminality it has engaged in by so blatantly violating the Constitution? Don’t hold your breath, unfortunately.