More Than One Trillion Dollars in Defense Spending Is Unaccounted For

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has uncovered trillions of taxpayer dollars remain unaccounted for. The Department of Defense has repeatedly received failing grades in federal accounting transparency and accountability. Likewise, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service, and the IRS also failed the GAO’s assessments.

In 2003, Inspector General to the Department of Defense revealed that $1 trillion had essentially disappeared along with 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missiles. Oops!

The United States’ ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq have contributed significantly to the trillions of missing and unaccounted for taxpayer dollars. Twenty billion dollars were shipped to help support the reconstruction of Iraq, most of it was never seen again. Waste and fraud on the part of war contractors has cost up to $60 billion in the span of 2002 to 2011.

Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution reads:

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

At what point does the disparity of missing taxpayer funds violate Section 9?

government-accounting

Source: MastersInAccounting.org

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  1. Charlotte Dean Oof! this is embarrassing, and a testament to caring too much about private sector efficiency without expecting the same efficiency from our bureaucratic organizations
  2. Henry Flatt How is this possible? Now if this is true, what is there we can do about it? Petition the White House for a redress of grievances?
  3. Bob Conner If the government was held to the same requirements as most private sector business, the government's "CEO's, CFO's and COO's" would all be in jail where they belong.
  4. Shawn M. Griffiths I wouldn't put it past the government lose track of a trillion dollars.
  5. Wendy Innes I find it hard to believe that this money is just lost. I mean I can't lose more than about 50 dollars out of my bank account without going looking for it. Maybe some of those in power need a basic lesson in real life. It isn't just numbers on paper. American's worked hard for that money that the government taxed them on and then "lost". I'm wondering how much ended up in secret accounts for operations and equipment that Americans don't know about.
  6. Carl Wicklander This is an important aspect of government spending to think about. Far too often, it seems, people don't think military spending should be subject to the rules of accounting.
  7. Michael Higham This ties right into what @wendyppp was talking about in her latest article. If there's all this money in the military unaccounted for, it should be directed to services for military children and mental health programs for veterans.
  8. Brian Iniguez "At what point does the disparity of missing taxpayer funds violate Section 9?" Right after the semicolon.
  9. James Spurgeon I think we could the government could definitely help itself out by keeping track of where its money goes. You are right that this would clearly violate Article 1, Section 9. They stand there and say that there is no place to cut money from the budget, but we apparently have money to just lose. As for war contractors, if there is not 100% transparency on what they are doing with the taxpayer dollars, then their contract should be immediately revoked. Maybe, however much each department loses (or is unaccounted for) in a year is how much gets cut from their budget the following year. Give them some extra incentive to follow their dollars.
9 comments
Charlotte Dean
Charlotte Dean

Oof! this is embarrassing, and a testament to caring too much about private sector efficiency without expecting the same efficiency from our bureaucratic organizations

Henry Flatt
Henry Flatt

How is this possible? Now if this is true, what is there we can do about it? Petition the White House for a redress of grievances?

Bob Conner
Bob Conner

If the government was held to the same requirements as most private sector business, the government's "CEO's, CFO's and COO's" would all be in jail where they belong.

Shawn M. Griffiths
Shawn M. Griffiths

I wouldn't put it past the government lose track of a trillion dollars.

Wendy Innes
Wendy Innes

I find it hard to believe that this money is just lost. I mean I can't lose more than about 50 dollars out of my bank account without going looking for it. Maybe some of those in power need a basic lesson in real life. It isn't just numbers on paper. American's worked hard for that money that the government taxed them on and then "lost". I'm wondering how much ended up in secret accounts for operations and equipment that Americans don't know about.

Carl Wicklander
Carl Wicklander

This is an important aspect of government spending to think about. Far too often, it seems, people don't think military spending should be subject to the rules of accounting.

Michael Higham
Michael Higham

This ties right into what @wendyppp was talking about in her latest article. If there's all this money in the military unaccounted for, it should be directed to services for military children and mental health programs for veterans.

Brian Iniguez
Brian Iniguez

"At what point does the disparity of missing taxpayer funds violate Section 9?"

Right after the semicolon.

James Spurgeon
James Spurgeon

I think we could the government could definitely help itself out by keeping track of where its money goes. You are right that this would clearly violate Article 1, Section 9. They stand there and say that there is no place to cut money from the budget, but we apparently have money to just lose. As for war contractors, if there is not 100% transparency on what they are doing with the taxpayer dollars, then their contract should be immediately revoked. Maybe, however much each department loses (or is unaccounted for) in a year is how much gets cut from their budget the following year. Give them some extra incentive to follow their dollars.