SBY News reports:
The Defense Department could save $7 billion a year if it stopped spending on things like beer-making, according to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) His new report lists hundreds of non-military goods and services the Pentagon either buys or makes for itself. Coburn cites items such as a workshop entitled, "Did Jesus Die For Klingons." His report calls out big items, too. Coburn thinks the military has one thousand more flag officers than it needs, and too many uniforms doing civilian work.
The pdf report Watebook 2012 is here.
Bob Adelmann has a great article at The New American, below is an excerpt:
Although he thinks potential savings could exceed $70 billion over the next 10 years if all of his suggestions were implemented, he also says that his report has just skimmed the surface, and savings could be much larger. He stated,
I prepared this report because the American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation’s defense.
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.
These are actual programs he and his staff uncovered by asking three simple questions:
• 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?
What he and his staff found was merely a smattering, a skimming, a “starting point for reviewing Pentagon spending that is unnecessary, wasteful or simply not related to defense.” He calls this wasteful spending a “rising tide of the red [ink] menace.” Here is some of what they uncovered:
$6 billion spent on non-military research and development. These are research projects that have little or nothing to do with national defense, according to the report.
$15.2 billion spent on education. These include programs to educate children of military families in the US, as well as programs that duplicate the work of the Department of Education and local school districts. It also includes college funding for military members on active duty and duplicates the work of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
$700 million spent on developing “alternative energy.” This includes duplicative and unnecessary alternative energy research being done by the Department of Energy.
$9 billion spent on supporting stateside grocery stores. This includes Pentagon-run grocery stores here in the United States.
$37 billion spent on “overhead, support and supply service” unrelated to the DOD’s primary purpose. This includes more than 300,000 members of the military service performing civilian-type jobs.