When $8.5 Trillion is Chump Change

Three cheers for Reuters pointing out that the Pentagon can’t explain what it did with $8.5 trillion that taxpayers gave it between 1996 and 2013.

Three trillion cheers for a blogger who is pointing out that this fact renders many other concerns ludicrous, and recommending that people bring it up at every opportunity:

“What’s that? Body cameras for all cops will be too expensive? How about we find 1/10,000th of the money we sent to the Pentagon.”

“Oh really? There’s 500 million in provable food stamp fraud going to poor people how about the $8.5 TRILLION the pentagon can’t account for?”

“Oh really? You think Obamacare is going to cost us almost a trillion dollars over 15 years? How about the 8.5 Trillion that just disappeared into the ether at the Pentagon? What’s your take on that?”

“Oh really, you’re concerned about deficit spending and the debt? Fully 1/3 of the national debt is money we sent the Pentagon and they can’t tell us where it went. It’s just gone.”

“College for everyone will cost too much? You must be really pissed at the 8.5 Trillion, with a ‘t’, dollars the pentagon’s spent and can’t tell us where it went.”

This is all very good as far as it goes, whether you like the body cameras or corporate health insurance or other items or not. We could add an unlimited number of items including some expressing our concern for the other 96% of humanity:

“You can end starvation and unclean water for tens of billions of dollars; what about that $8.5 trillion?”

Et cetera.

But here’s my real concern. The $8.5 trillion is just the bit that the Pentagon can’t account for. That’s far from all the money it was given. U.S. military spending, spread across several departments with the biggest chunk of it to the Department of so-called Defense, is upwards of $1 trillion every year. Over 17 years at the current rate, which rose sharply after 2001, that’s upwards of $17 trillion.

Imagine that the Pentagon accounted for every dime of that missing $8.5 trillion, named every profiteer, documented the life history of every man, woman, and child killed, and passed the strictest audit by an independent team of 1,000 accountants reporting to 35 Nobel Laureates — if that happened, I ask you, exactly what difference would it make?

Why is the $8.5 trillion that went to unknown purposes worse than the other trillions that went to known and named weapons and dictators and militants and recruitment campaigns? The documented and accounted for spending all went to evil purposes. Presumably the unaccounted for “waste” did the same. What’s the difference between the two?

As World Beyond War points out, war has a huge direct financial cost, the vast majority of which is in funds spent on the preparation for war — or what’s thought of as ordinary, non-war military spending. Very roughly, the world spends $2 trillion every year on militarism, of which the United States spends about half, or $1 trillion. This U.S. spending also accounts for roughly half of the U.S. government’s discretionary budget each year and is distributed through several departments and agencies. Much of the rest of world spending is by members of NATO and other allies of the United States, although China ranks second in the world.

Wars can cost even an aggressor nation that fights wars far from its shores twice as much in indirect expenses as in direct expenditures. The costs to the aggressor, enormous as they are, can be small in comparison to those of the nation attacked.

It is common to think that, because many people have jobs in the war industry, spending on war and preparations for war benefits an economy. In reality, spending those same dollars on peaceful industries, on education, on infrastructure, or even on tax cuts for working people would produce more jobs and in most cases better paying jobs — with enough savings to help everyone make the transition from war work to peace work.

Military spending diverts public funds into increasingly privatized industries through the least accountable public enterprise and one that is hugely profitable for the owners and directors of the corporations involved — thus concentrating wealth.

While war impoverishes the war making nation, can it nonetheless enrich that nation more substantially by facilitating the exploitation of other nations? Not in a manner that can be sustained.

Green energy and infrastructure would surpass their advocates’ wildest fantasies if the funds now invested in war were transferred there.

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  • nomadfiles

    That’s a lot of cheddar. Methinks it was funneled into black projects. A good indication as to the size of those projects that the citizens know nothing at all about. Shhhh.

  • I know exactly where it *ALL* went! The Corporatocracy How the Corporate Welfare State Divides and Conquers

    A small, readily-identifiable ruling oligarchy that no serious political observer denies the existence of is able to keep the public from attacking it by dividing them along ideological grounds so that the public spends all their time arguing over definitions and splitting doctrinal hairs instead of attacking the commonly acknowledged enemy. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect system of control.


    Dubai Growth over 11 years time lapse

    The growth of Dubai within 11 years documented in a NASA timelapse


    Jun 11, 2014 World Most Expensive Cars Show 2014 at Dubai Festival City


    The wars started in 1991, and here is your sign!

  • SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 Defense Business Practices

    Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials talked with reporters about the need to refine the Defense Department’s business practices. An opening ceremony will kick off Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week. They answered questions from members of the media


    More than 50% of US Government Spending Goes to the Military 2010 US Spending Priorities


  • animalogic

    This story is HILARIOUS…teeth gnashing, ulcer inducing, tear duct flooding hilarious.
    And in the end, one is left pale, cold,alone and sweating, because you just know that very, very few will give a shit…$ 8.5 trillion dollars….gone…?

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    Q: is the NY EEOC intentionally dismissing disability discrimination complaint(s) and cases = forfeiting the game = favoring employer?
    Fact1: On 11/2/2009 I suffered an on-duty work-accident with injuries
    Fact2: On 3/28/2013 NYS WCALJudge Robert Anderson classified me as having
    Permanent Partial Disability;
    for employer I could do inside work or outside work
    (as an inside technician or as an outside technician) with restrictions
    Fact3: [you know who] never engaged me and my doctor Dr. Lippe
    “in good faith” in the mandatory ADA interactive process
    Fact4: [you know who] never (not once in 5 years) offered me
    a reasonable accommodation (a reassignment) in writing
    Fact5: [you know who] did not get me (the 1st time)
    my 2010 W2 until April 6, 2011; 3 months late!
    (ADA violation and IRS violation prove no interactive process)
    Fact6: [you know who] did not get me (the 2nd time)
    my 2012 W2 until April 19, 2013; 3 months late!
    (ADA violation and IRS violation prove no interactive process)
    On March 21, 2014 I filed a written disability discrimination complaint [against you know who] with the NY EEOC
    On or about May 9, 2014 [you know who] received from the NY EEOC my disability discrimination complaint(s)
    On or about May 9, 2014 the NY EEOC requested a reasonable accommodation for me (pour moi)
    10. How quickly must an employer respond to a request for reasonable accommodation?
    An employer should respond expeditiously to a request for reasonable accommodation. If the employer and the individual with a disability need to engage in an interactive process, this too should proceed as quickly as possible.(37) Similarly, the employer should act promptly to provide the reasonable accommodation. Unnecessary delays can result in a violation of the ADA.(38)
    Fact: the EEOC has the authority to draw adverse inferences
    against a party (a respondent)
    for(e!) failing to comply with EEOC requests for information.
    29 C.F.R. Section 1614.404(c).
    Fact: On or about May 13, 2015 [you know who] responded (in writing) to the NY EEOC;
    12 months! (369 days!) later
    Q: did [you know who] respond to the NY EEOC promptly (within 2 weeks)?
    Q: why didn’t [you know who] respond promptly (within 2 weeks)?
    Q: why did the NY EEOC let [you know who] take its time (12 months!)
    (369 days!) to respond?
    On or about May 15, 2015 the NY EEOC notified me that [you know who ] responded
    to my disability discrimination complaint(s)
    The NY EEOC stated that I needed to respond by May 29, 2015 (within 2 weeks!)
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    I responded to the NY EEOC with my 14th written communication
    (which included my prior 13 written communications); 271 pages!
    I followed THAT up with my 15th written communication; a 16 page fax
    I followed THAT up with my 16th written communication; 100+ pages
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    On or about June 9, 2015 the NY EEOC investigator and director signed order dismissing (denying me?)
    my disability discrimination complaint(s) and case
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    Fact: EEOC investigator Young never interviewed me
    or my witnesses
    Fact: EEOC Enforcement Unit never interviewed me
    or my witnesses
    Fact: EEOC investigator Zygmund never interviewed me
    or my witnesses
    Fact: I wrote (overnighted 500+ pages) to(o) the NY EEOC 7 times!
    signed by E. Nixon on 3/21/14
    signed by E. Nixon on 4/22/14
    signed by E. Nixon on 5/13/14
    signed by E. Nixon on 7/9/14
    signed by E. Nixon on 1/6/15
    signed by E. Nixon on 5/28/15
    signed by E. Nixon on 6/2/15
    I got back and I am saving
    all 7 signed green cards (USPS Form 3811)
    Fact: I faxed man y pages to(o) the NY EEOC 10 times!
    I got back and I am saving
    each fax confirmation
    Q: did the NY EEOC ever “amend” my disability discrimination complaint(s)?
    Q: if nyet (no)
    then why nyet (no)?
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    Investigate! the NY EEOC
    1) misconduct and/or mismanagement
    2) dereliction of duty
    3) throwing out G-D’S Mail (as if T rash?)
    4) failing to “amend” my disability discrimination complaint(s)
    5) failing to investigate my disability discrimination complaint(s)
    in a ‘thorough and timely’ manner
    chew! chew!

    A party may request that the EEOC reconsider its decision
    within 30 days of receipt of the Commissioner’s decision.

    Whenever a charge is filed by or on behalf of a person claiming to be aggrieved… alleging that an employer… has engaged in an unlawful employment practice, the Commission
    1) shall serve a notice of the charge (including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice) on such employer… (hereinafter referred to as the “respondent”) within ten days, and
    2) shall make an (‘efficient and effective’ and ‘thorough and timely’) investigation thereof.

    U.S. Department Of Justice? (Scooby Do!o),
    where are you?
    (up a tree?)
    let’s go fishing
    on G-D’S web
    for(e!): http://www.gpo.gov/…/CFR-2006-…­le29-vol4-sec1614-10­8.pdf
    § 1614.108 Investigation of complaints.
    Agencies may use an exchange of letters or memoranda, interrogatories, investigations, fact-finding conferences or any other fact-finding methods that ‘efficiently and thoroughly’
    address the matters at issue.

    Q. What can I do if I believe that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not properly investigated my charge of discrimination?
    A. If you believe that the EEOC did not properly investigate your charge,
    you may wish to contact the following office:
    Director, Office of Field Management Programs
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    131 M Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20507
    B. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline is a clearinghouse for receiving and handling allegations regarding fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, or misconduct affecting Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) programs and operations.
    Without sufficient information we may be unable to act on your allegation. The more information you can provide, the better the chance we have of determining whether any wrongdoing has been committed. We are very interested in the information you have regarding waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, or misconduct
    in EEOC programs.

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    while you were sleeping I went fishing
    on G-D’S web
    look at what I caught and reeled in:
    NYS WCB 2001 Annual Report
    NYS WCB 2002 Annual Report
    NYS WCB 2003 Annual Report
    NYS WCB 2004 Annual Report
    NYS WCB 2005 Annual Report
    NYS WCB 2006 Annual Report
    eat! eat!
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    how many Indian-American women and men do you see in reports?
    how many African-American women and men do you see in reports?
    how many Asian-American women and men do you see in reports?
    how many Latin-American women and men do you see in reports?
    how many Native-American women and men do you see in reports?
    how many ME-American women and men do you see in reports?
    someone call the cops!
    (someone call the Chicago EEOC!)

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    while you were sleeping I went fishing
    on G-D’S web
    look at what I caught and reeled in:
    NYS WCB commissioner bios
    (google it! ask it! aol it! yahoo it! bing it!)
    eat! eat!
    U.S. Department of Justice,
    when you delivered the FDNY the news “hire! all people
    (not just friends and family)”
    did you (DOJ) go down the FDNY’s chimney?
    did you (DOJ) kick the FDNY’s door down?

  • Ginger Jerod

    My children wanted IRS W-2 earlier this week and were made aware of a business with lots of sample forms . If others need IRS W-2 too , here’s http://goo.gl/WJDCyY

  • Rodney Harrisburg

    my wife was needing a form earlier this week and encountered a great service that has lots of form templates . If others are requiring it too , here’s a http://goo.gl/Z4ZbNU