About $10 billion has been squandered by the U.S. government on Iraq reconstruction aid because of contractor overcharges and unsupported expenses… More than one in six dollars charged by U.S. contractors were questionable or unsupported…
Noting that auditors still have $300 billion of Iraq spending to review, Waxman said the total amount of waste, fraud and abuse "could be astronomical.”
Despite that alleged waste, the CBO found that it would cost twice as much to replace contractors in Iraq with military personnel. Makes you wonder about waste in the military itself.
For instance, last year, Obama touted his success at convincing congress to cut $1.8 billion in wasteful spending on F-22 fighter jets that even the Department of Defense said it didn't want. Congressmen were still so eager to get business for local Boeing and Lockheed Martin factories that it took a veto threat to cut the funding.
Sanity won that time. But last month, congress approved funding for 10 new C-17 planes, a VH-71 presidential helicopter, and a jet engine despite objections from the Secretary of Defense. He told congress he didn’t want or need them.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson was honest about her priorities:
“This one item alone [C-17’s] will account for about 14,000 jobs in our area.”
Lobbying will keep paying off as long as government is so powerful.