• Penta-Gone-Wrong

      Tonight on my show we'll debate whether the trillions of dollars we spend on defense (and offense?) really make us safer.

      One excess of government that we don't cover tonight is covered ably this week in the Wall Street Journal.

      Arthur Herman writes about unconscionable excesses in the way our military acquires equipment and weapons.

      "Pentagon acquisition," Herman says, "employs more than 30,000 people--the equivalent of two full Army divisions."

      30,000? Well, as they say: many hands make light work. But he continues:

      Its barrage of review committees and cost accountants drag out the average schedule for major weapons programs to a decade or more (it was two to three years during World War II) and add 25%-50% to the cost of every weapon produced.

      [A]nyone wondering why an F-18 fighter that should cost $18 million costs $90 million, or why operating a future fleet of F-35s is slated to cost more than $1 trillion, needs to realize that these problems arise out of a procurement system that dates back to the age of vacuum tubes and hi-fi sets.

      In the private sector, waste has consequences. Inefficient businesses go bankrupt, and people lose jobs.

      Not in government.

      Government is inefficient at everything it does. Why would defense be different?

      It isn't.

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      Government Spending