Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Actual "Fraud, Waste and Abuse," and Likely Nothing Will be Done

The Commission on Wartime Contracting has presented its final report, and (shockingly) the Commission found lots of "fraud, waste and abuse," three of the most popular (and empty) words thrown around Capitol Hill these days.  I've only read some of the articles written about the report's finding, but color me far from surprised.  There was no question in my mind that our dealings with defense contractors was outrageously expensive.  And in the midst of the screaming about cutting discretionary spending, there seems to be a rather muted response to the Commission's report.

Where is the outrage from the right on this issue, this empirical evidence of "fraud, waste and abuse."  It's possible that up to $60 billion dollars has been lost during the course of this war, and it's been cited in the report that more extensive oversight and regulation is needed in order to keep a reasonable accounting of how and where government money is spent with contractors.  If I recall correctly, these are the very types of suggestions that have Republicans screaming about "job killing" pick any term.  Yet, for all of this faux concern about combating "waste, fraud and abuse," I've zero confidence that they will muster even genuine interest in the findings in this report.  Well, the example used in the press release cites an agricultural program that started in 2009, so naturally the right will dismiss everything between 2001 and 2008, and focus solely and singularly on anything that happened beginning January 2009.  Remember that for this lot, the past doesn't matter, and private industry must never be regulated, only paid by government in some way, shape or form. 

And lest folks think that I have only enmity for the GOP on this issue, think again.  Democrats are supposed to be the party that believes in well run government, and this report shows that that was not happening with regard to taxpayer dollars while we were at war.  Their lack of united outcry continues to leave open the perennial GOP charge of "government bad, unless it helps the private sector."

Hell, some of that lost money would be real handy right now, considering the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, and while Rep. Eric Cantor continues to show off his emperor's clothing, I am sure the last thing on his mind is considering looking for those "savings" in one area that has been shown to be hemorrhaging cash:  defense contracting.  After all, we don't want to upset those "job creators" with efforts at actual good governance and oversight.  Heaven forbid.

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