Defense fraud costing hundreds of billions of dollars

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    Feb 02, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    http://sanders.senate.gov/graphics/Defense_Fraud_Report1.pdf
    http://sanders.senate.gov/graphics/Analysis_of_contractor_fraud_rpt.pdf
    DoD report to Congress on Contracting Fraud

    The military paid a total of $285 billion to more than 100 contractors between 2007 and '09, even though those same companies were defrauding taxpayers in the same period, according to a new Defense Department report.

    The Pentagon also spent $270 billion on 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million. Another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of criminal fraud.
    Sanders' analysis
    Despite these findings, DOD stated in the report that it “believes that existing remedies with respect to contractor wrongdoing are sufficient.” Given the prevalence of repeat fraud, this is hard to believe.

    For comparison,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_fraudAccording to the Office of Management and Budget, Medicare "improper payments" were $47.9 billion in 2010, but some of these payments later turned out to be valid.


    So does anybody think we should leave defense completely intact (as Republicans and some Tea Partiers do), even though it means defense fraud is on a totally different level of spending?

    And while I appreciate Medicare contracting out to private companies to detect fraud (even though it means some inconveniences on many medical providers), why are the DoD and the Pentagon not doing the same thing to these contractors? Are they just too big too offend (e.g. Boeing, Northrop-Grummond), or do they have an inordinate amount of influence in Washington?
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    Feb 02, 2011 11:01 PM GMT
    Well this is good to know that this waste is getting attention finally. From what I've read on Huff Post lately, both parties are joining to push for cuts in the Pentagon, hell, even Repub. Sen Shelby is pushing for cuts and he's got a lot of influence. Wonder where the Tbaggers stand on this? the Far right, won't hear of it, like DiMint, Palin, Bachman and the like.
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    Feb 02, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    Actually, Bachmann would like to cut defense spending, but from the VA, instead of the billions from fraudulent contractors:
    http://www.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central/stripes-central-1.8040/veterans-vow-to-fight-bachmann-budget-cuts-1.133573WASHINGTON – Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann earlier this week unveiled her latest plan to rein in government spending, proposing more than $400 billion in budget cuts in lieu of raising the nation’s debt ceiling again. In a statement, the Minnesota Republican said she’s calling on lawmakers to “do the hard work of making real and necessary cuts in federal spending.”

    But the proposal immediately upset veterans groups, because it includes $4.5 billion in cuts to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an area where most conservatives on Capitol Hill have been reluctant to even suggest cuts.
    ...
    Bachmann’s budget cuts also include about $15 billion in defense spending, but those savings will come from cuts already outlines by Defense Secretary Robert Gates last month.


    I see an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation in cutting defense spending. DeMint seems like a reasonable guy when presented with facts.
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    Feb 02, 2011 11:46 PM GMT
    Some Republicans, including Eisenhower, would be aghast at the levels of military spending today promoted by establishment Republicans.
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-01/opinion/zelizer.gop.national.defense_1_military-spending-defense-spending-defense-budget?_s=PM:OPINION
    Some Republicans have acted reflexively, insisting on no cuts to the military budget. Howard McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and an establishment Republican, said: "I cannot say it strongly enough: I will not support any measures that stress our forces and jeopardize the lives of our men and women in uniform."

    Other Republicans have joined him. Sarah Palin has repeatedly stated that military spending should be off the table when it comes to deficit reduction. "The administration," Palin proclaimed last June, "may be willing to cut defense spending, but it's increasing it everywhere else. I think we should do it the other way round: Cut spending in other departments, apart from defense. We should not be cutting corners on our national security."

    But some Republicans, primarily those associated with the Tea Party, have started to push back against their colleagues. Former House Majority Leader Richard Armey, who has worked closely with the leadership of the Tea Party Movement, told The New York Times, "A lot of people say if you cut defense, you're demonstrating less than a full commitment to our nation's security -- and that's baloney." House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have signaled they are willing to consider the Pentagon's budget in discussions.

    For many Republicans, the sound of conservatives calling for a smaller national security establishment seems to be sacrilege. After all, this is the party of Ronald Reagan, and it has insisted since the 1980s that more defense spending is essential to protect the nation. Whenever he was asked what he would do if it came down to a choice between defense and deficits, Reagan said: "I always said national security would come first, and the people applauded every time."
    ...
    Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, "Mr. Republican," spoke about the dangers of creating a leviathan state that quashed America's best democratic traditions. Even as Republicans like Taft abandoned their isolationism following World War II, they remained skeptical and critical of unlimited defense spending.
    ...
    While Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson called Sputnik a disaster "comparable to Pearl Harbor," Eisenhower insisted limits must be put on how much the country spent on weapons. A frustrated Eisenhower privately said to legislators that the nation could "choke itself to death with military force as well as protect itself." He warned, "There is no defense of any country that busts its own economy." The president feared that the United States faced the risk of "destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without."

    Those kinds of arguments quickly faded from the conservative lexicon. Most Republicans have embraced a firm and unequivocal stand in favor of higher defense spending. When Democrats have proposed reducing the defense budget since the 1960s, the GOP usually jumped and accused their opponents of being weak on national security.
    ...
    Defense spending has not been a process in rational decision-making; it has been a political process often driven by partisan competition and interest group lobbying. If enough Republicans break with their party's conventional response, Congress could finally make significant process in developing a leaner and more effective budget for the Pentagon, one that revolves around national security needs rather than politics.
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    Feb 03, 2011 12:17 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    q1w2e3 saidSo does anybody think we should leave defense completely intact (as Republicans and some Tea Partiers do)


    All Republicans think we "should leave defense completely intact..."

    Incorrect.

    The rest of your "thoughts" aren't even worth responding to since you are obviously willing generalize and shape the truth so that it fits your political agenda.


    He didn't say "all". Your putting words in his mouth does not make it so. And you're pretty defensive about Republcians for an "independent." icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 03, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Lol, don't quote him to me since I've blocked him. I posted the CNN article almost reflexively after I read it since I wanted to qualify my statement about Republicans and since I was sure some will attack me on that same point.

    The prevailing attitude among non-Tea Party Republicans is to leave defense spending alone and cut almost everything else, as witnessed by their proposals to cut discretionary things like NPR and NEA, which are small change compared to how much is wasted in defense. Penny wise, pound foolish--at least they think their penny pinching is "wise."
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    Feb 03, 2011 4:46 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidLol, don't quote him to me since I've blocked him. I posted the CNN article almost reflexively after I read it since I wanted to qualify my statement about Republicans and since I was sure some will attack me on that same point.

    The prevailing attitude among non-Tea Party Republicans is to leave defense spending alone and cut almost everything else, as witnessed by their proposals to cut discretionary things like NPR and NEA, which are small change compared to how much is wasted in defense. Penny wise, pound foolish--at least they think their penny pinching is "wise."




    Its hard to believe that the Tbaggers being as far right as they are, are among those willing to cut the Pentagon, but you spelled it out so, I'll accept your research. Thats good !!!


    I really think the Pentagon could be cut by some 30% and not diminish our security in the least. The waste in the Iraq and Afghanistan war is criminal and there should be prosecutions over it, instead of renewed contracts. Of course when Haliburton and KBR gets no bid contracts from its previous CEO and from one of its previous owners what do we expect but crooked dealings ?? KBR, it should be told, was previously owned by the Bush family, going back to grandaddy bush. OH THIS WAS ONE COZY LITTLE SET UP to the tune of billions barrowed from China to hand out to chronies. ITS SICKENING !~!!!
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    Feb 03, 2011 10:39 PM GMT
    Speaking of reluctance to cut the defense budget by Republicans:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48774.htmlFor the House, the first step comes next week when Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will formally set a 2011 appropriations ceiling of $1.055 trillion — $32 billion less than the latest estimate by CBO of the full-year of the stopgap spending bill due to expire March 4.

    Most simply, domestic and foreign aid programs would be cut to $420 billion or about $40 billion below current levels. But an additional $8 billion would be added for defense and security needs, even after making $13.3 billion in reductions from Obama’s Pentagon request.

    The real details won’t become clear until next week when the House Appropriations Committee will unveil its own version of a new continuing resolution to cover the last seven months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.


    Let's repeat the OP:
    OPThe military paid a total of $285 billion to more than 100 contractors between 2007 and '09, even though those same companies were defrauding taxpayers in the same period, according to a new Defense Department report.

    The Pentagon also spent $270 billion on 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million. Another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of criminal fraud.


    And another sacred document that was unfortunately lost for 200 years but recently found:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010602485.html?sid=ST2011010402167
    The Conservative Constitution of the United States

    Congress shall balance the Federal Budget, preferably by eliminating the Departments of Labor, Energy, Education and State.

    The preceding provision shall not apply to spending for the Department of Defense, appropriations for which shall increase three times as quickly as the growth in gross domestic product and upon the approval of House leadership in conference with Boeing, Halliburton, the Ashcroft Group and Kissinger Associates.
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    Feb 12, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    The details of the above bill are out (the bill was filed today):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/11/republicans-bill-spending-cuts-60-billion_n_822250.htmlThe continuing resolution introduced on Friday would drastically reduce funding for many government programs, including NASA and state and local law enforcement. The Department of Education would see a funding cut of about $4.9 billion under the bill, with nearly $1.4 billion coming from grants for state training and employment programs. The bill would also remove $715 million from funds for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's rental assistance program, which is already unable to help many of the 7.1 million low-income households found to be in a "worst-case" housing situation in a HUD report released on Friday.

    Some of the cuts were directed at long-time targets of Republican ire, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, which would see a $60 million cut under the bill, $16 million of which will be eliminated from climate protection activities. The bill also would create a funding limitation that would prevent the EPA from prohibiting or restricting emissions. The health care law, another frequent Republican target, would be given reduced spending for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.

    The bill also includes a few increases, most notably in defense. It would increase funding for the Department of Defense by $8.1 billion, and would give $312 million more for nuclear weapons infrastructure than 2010 funding.


    OK, $8.4 billion more for defense/nukes, and numerous other small cuts in social programs amounting to $60 billion. I'm sure defense contractors (fraudulent or not) will be very happy.icon_evil.gif
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    Feb 12, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidSome Republicans, including Eisenhower, would be aghast at the levels of military spending today promoted by establishment Republicans.
    Eisenhower called it years ago! He was right!
    The "industrial (read 'corporate')-military complex"
    Both of which repubs have stated are their golden cows.

    Remember guys, I WAS a republican and a career military guy. I just dont haphazardly spout off with nothing to base it on. I've seen it from the inside and the outside.