Military spending is one of America's most enduring political issues. Most experts, including members of the military, would agree that there is a spending problem at the Pentagon, but it appears that no one knows exactly how to fix it.
One problem is that it is nearly impossible to pin down which excesses are most significant. Spending on the F-35 fighter jet program, for example, has ballooned to roughly $30 million in taxpayer dollars spent every day. Donald Trump, the king of debt, even thinks the jet's costs are out of hand. And while financial prudence would suggest simply cutting the program, there is so much waste in the military's budget that a multibillion dollar sinkhole might be the least of its worries.
Take, for example, the $12 billion Zumwalt stealth destroyer. The ship reportedly breaks under pressure, which is not ideal for a ship designed to operate thousands of miles under the ocean. To add insult to injury, the vessel is equipped with the Long Range Land-Attack Projectile — for which bullets cost $800,000 each.
And then of course, there are all of the ways the Pentagon simply loses track of money. In September of next year, the Pentagon will be required to submit a full audit of spending to Congress. This means that the elephant in the room for our armed forces — that is, a $6.5 trillion accounting error that was reported this summer — will finally (maybe) be accounted for.
Someone should hire a really good accountant for the Pentagon, or at least take away its credit card.