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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gross, wasteful defense spending, with 2 local touches in the Star today

There are two important articles in The Kansas City Star today on big, ugly, wasteful government spending--this time through the Department of Defense--with, as said above, local touches. One from our own Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill here:

McCaskill's law aims to stop war profiteering, rein in costs

It seems, in her efforts to rather wisely get better contracting measures and cut unwise, wasteful spending at the Pentagon and in defense spending, Senator McCaskil ran up against powerful interests in Congress and our government that otherwise wanted to support and maintain that ugly, wasteful spending:
When Sen. Claire McCaskill set out to crack down on waste and fraud in wartime contracting six years ago, the new senator figured a push to save taxpayer dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be a no-brainer.

"I assumed that cleaning up war contracting and profiteering would be a consensus item that would fly through the process," McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and former state auditor, said in a recent interview. "I learned quickly that that was very naive."

This month, after half a dozen years of hearings, reports, overseas fact-finding trips, painful compromises and some last-minute, round-the-clock negotiations, the first substantial overhaul of the federal government's wartime contracting practices since World War II finally became law.
In the end, McCaskill didn't get everything she wanted. Some of her proposals were dropped or scaled back, and she acknowledges that the new law will add paperwork for the federal bureaucracy without any additional funds.

So our Senator, Claire, a Democrat, mind you, wanted to cut spending and cut waste out of government budgets but what happens? Her own colleagues cut her off and fought trimming that spending. Insanity. Then, as if that isn't enough, it seems one of our own big, local firms is getting pieces of the money action in defense spending, too:

And it's not even the first time it's happened with them, either:
An Overland Park contractor under fire for cost overruns and delays in the construction of a major power plant in Afghanistan now faces fresh criticism on another, much smaller project.
What's really great about this, too, is that B & V blamed another company for the problems. Trouble is, for B&V, that the government found, in an investigation, that it wasn't the other company, it was, in fact, B&V.
Nice, huh?
So, you want smaller government spending?
Sure we do. Naturally we do.

Read more here:

And what agency spends more money than any other in our country?
Defense.  The Department of Defense.  The Pentagon.
We need to cut spending by the military, without doubt.
And here's the even more ugly, blatant truth.  The Pentagon gets so much money, they can't--and don't--account for all of it.  They're that irresponsible:
"'According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,' (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion--that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America."
So, thank you, Senator McCaskill for your efforts and work. Please keep it up.
As for Black and Veatch and all the other government contractors out there, fleecing our country? 

Folks, I say again, we have to work to kill campaign contributions so we can get the big, ugly, corrupting influence of the wealthy's and corporation's money out of our election system and so, finally, out of our government.

Nothing will change until we do.

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