Department of Defense: The Biggest Financial Problem In the USA.

On this episode of “Things I Learned Today,” I’m talking about the extreme fiscal disaster that the United States Department of Defense really is, and the insane financial problems that war is causing our country both abroad and domestically. The pentagon, and the accounting system there, is the biggest financial problem in the USA.

We think we’re thanking and support our men and woman who are fighting overseas. Supporting our troops. Of course, we do it with Facebook posts and bumper stickers, by changing our covers and photos to the flag. We don’t really do anything at all to truly make them feel like we care. We do things that make ourselves feel like we care.

That’s the core problem in terms of thanking our troops. Too many people doing too many things that help them in no way at all. and that brings me to today’s show, where we talk about a failed and corrupt system that is the core element of this country’s budget problem… a system that isn’t ever held accountable for anything it does. A country that uses the word “war” too often to call themselves free.

Many of you likely don’t know Shawn Aiken, a now 32-year-old wounded veteran that was one of a thousand examples of our military screwing over our vets. A soldier that put his country over his own health, and will pay for that courageous choice every single day, for the rest of his life. his family would have as well, if Reuters hadn’t stepped in and investigated his case.

The issue: The United States Government has some of the most advanced and sophisticated weapons on the planet, both physically and digitally. We’re able to slam a missile into someone’s home from 10,000 miles away, and just as easily, hack in and infiltrate advanced computer systems operated by those we believe will harm us. The NSA is able to spy on every single American citizen connected to a network of any kind, and the cost of this giant set of programs accumulates and excessive overpriced budget of nearly 600 Billion dollars yearly, a budget which rises every single year.

Yet, despite being completely over funded in every single department imaginable within our military, the United States department of Defense has lost a lot of money, sucks at paying the troops what they deserve, have never submitted to an audit of any kind, and have the most outdated computer systems remaining in this country.

How outdated? My parents owned a Mac in the 1990’s that has more sophistication than some of their computers do. Their accounting computers aren’t even able to communicate with the rest of their systems. Much of the military’s software is advanced, but not the part that manages their money. The United States is easily the most wasteful country on the planet in terms of money, and while politicians bicker over whether food stamps are a drain on out country., the Department of Defense just lost more money than food stamps will accumulate in cost in 10 years, probably even 100 years…. and not a single person even brings it up.

How much have they lost? How much money is completely unaccounted for? Since 1996… $8.5 Trillion. That’s trillion. With a “T.” Putting that into perspective, that’s more than the entire economic output of China last year. Gone. Lost. No way to track it. It’s floating around someplace. Maybe somebody stole it. Maybe they’ve purchased a lot of cool toys with it. Whatever happened, we’ll never know. Because it’s gone, and cannot be distributed or used on anything else now.

There are thousands of accounting systems in the Military, but you won’t find a single person that actually knows the real number. Knows all of them.  – and all of these systems aren’t communicating with each other.

Many of my friends will say that demanding a budget decrease in the military is un-American of me. Many will even say that I’m a communist for wanting their budget slashed all to hell and to have that money used for education and healthcare for everyone instead. They clearly won’t even know what they word means while they say it, but they’ll use it anyway because buzzwords are just that good at distracting from reality. They’ll say the idea makes us vulnerable and it’s un-American.

You know what I think is un-American? Allowing a thief to run free. Allowing a wasteful part of an organization to be left unchecked. To apply no accountability to those who should be held responsible the most. To have one of the biggest threats in our country remain unchecked and unaccountable: The United States. Ourselves. We are our biggest threat. So continue bickering over whether a company should pay higher taxes, a number still far lower than every other first world country. Meanwhile, that distraction has you missing the real issue. The real culprit of our budget problem. The word “war” and everything that goes with it.

The wars we fight using government money is a catastrophic drain on every element of our country. Every element, of course, except weapons manufacturers, oil companies, private prison systems and giant pharmaceutical companies. The land of the free, that’s us supposedly, incarcerates more people per capita than every other country in the world. Notice I didn’t say first world countries, or Democratic countries. I said all. The war on drugs is the culprit. Locking up people who are only criminals because a law was passed that makes them so. If they passed a law tomorrow that said “listening to a radio while driving is now illegal, because it’s dangerous,” every person who drives a car with a radio on is breaking the law. Every person who does this is now a criminal. You’re not a criminal because you’re a bad person doing wrong in the world. You’re a criminal because of a bad law making you one. That’s what’s still happening with non-violent criminals that have been sent away on drug possession charges.

Until we get rid of war in this country, we will never get rid of our core problems, and we’ll never fix our economy. We’ll never be able to show the troops the respect they deserve either… because the troops don’t want a war. They are forced to fight it, but they don’t want it. They want peace. They want to come home and see their families. Let them do it. End war.



Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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