The Pentagon made$35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone— a total that’s larger than the entire U.S. economy
Courtesy of ZeroHedge
Over the past two weeks of coronavirus headlines and heightened global anxiety, along with impeachment coverage and after over the Super Bowl weekend Americans huddled in living rooms in blissful oblivion, a story which in more normal times would be front and center has gone largely unnoticed. To be sure, the Pentagon couldn't be happier that this bombshell has taken a back burner in global headlines:
The Pentagon made$35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone— a total that’s larger than the entire U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department’s continuing difficulty in balancing its books.
The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way, according to Pentagon figures and a lawmaker who’s pursued the accounting morass.
It sounds more appropriately news out of The Onion or Babylon Bee given this is *Trillions* and not just billions — though that itself would have been remarkable enough. Naturally, the first and only question we should start with is: how is this even possible?
After all, $35 trillion is about one-and-a-half times the size of the entire US economy. Not to mention that the figure easily dwarfs the GDP of the entire combined nations of the European continent. Consider too that the current actual US budge for defense-related funding is $738 billion.
“Within that $30 trillion is a lot of double, triple, and quadruple counting of the same money as it got moved between accounts,” Todd Harrison, a Pentagon budget expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg in a recent report.
But are we really to believe that mere “combined errors, shorthand, and sloppy record-keeping by DoD accountants” — as another analyst was quoted as saying — can explain a $35 Trillion accounting black hole?
According to the DoD, there's nothing to see here…
The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year, when it reviewed $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities. While auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, they flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments.
With tax season now fast approaching, it's not too comforting to know the Pentagon enjoys over half of all discretionary domestic spending for its global war machine in maintenance of ~~our humble Republic~~ Empire .
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Bloomberg attempted to get a handle on it further in explaining, "The military services make adjustments, some automatic and some manual, on a monthly and quarterly basis, and those actions are consolidated by the Pentagon’s primary finance and accounting service and submitted to the Treasury."
"There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate," the report added.
Spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s inspector general, Dwrena Allen, downplayed what to most Americans will sound like the makings of an explosive scandal. “In layman’s terms, this means that the DoD made adjustments to accounting records without having documentation to support the need or amount for the adjustment,” she said.
And for further perspective on the DoD's "defense" of the beggars belief figure:
"It means money that DoD moved from one part of the budget to another," Clark explained to Task & Purpose. "So, like in your household budget: It would be like moving money from checking, to savings, to your 401K, to your credit card, and then back."
However, $35 trillion is close to 50-times the size of the Pentagon's 2019 budget, so that means every dollar the Defense Department received from Congress was moved up to 50 times before it was actually spent, Clark said.
"Trillions" explained away by a little benign neglect of simple documentation?
Of course, in the real world outside the halls of government and of largely unchecked power, a mere single trillion would be enough send people to jail. Here we're talking $30+ trillion and it appears this gaping accounting black hole bigger that most of the world's past and future economies will itself be memory holed and explained away as being but the minor errors of some DoD pencil-pushers, apparently.
Courtesy of ZeroHedge br br Over the past two wee... (
To date, the DoD has not finished a single audit, nor have any of the recommendations made regarding what little audit has been done applied, nor any of the recommendations from DoD's own IG implemented.
The job of the Defense department is NOT to keep Americans safe, but to transfer as much wealth from the US treasury into private hands as possible. Anyone concerned that officers nearing retirement oversee 100's of billion in DoD contracts - who then retire and take lucrative jobs at the very companies they were overseeing? Nope. Anyone concerned that members of congress invest in companies they then steer lucrative contracts to? Nope. Are Americans stupid and lazy? Yep.
You're right about DOD. Ike warned us about it. You can add a long list to corrupt agencies. Education educated no one and never has, just sucks money. DOJ is worse than the criminals they're supposed to fight. D of Energy funnels money to cronies such as Solyndra. The public just puts up with the kleptocracy and pays for it.
To date, the DoD has not finished a single audit, ... (
It almost seems every time we say Medicare for All Money disappears so we can never afford it.
$35Trillion would buy every man woman and child free Medicare. It is a right to have healthcare in this country.
Just as it is a right to a decent education. When things become rights they become unavoidable. And the government is obligated to see everyone is covered, because it is their right.
Republicans don’t believe a word of this. They couldn’t care less if live die or whatever.
They don’t want to pay for anything related to Covid19. They only want to collect the insurance premiums but not pay out anything.
What a perfect gig. Collect money everyday. Pay out a bare minimum, no manufacturing, no workers other than robots on telephones collecting money. Perfect Capitalism. A money stream that gets bigger and bigger as more and more become sick. Patriotic companies , right ? Republican patriotic healthcare companies who first said, if you get sick , die quickly.
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