Friday, June 6, 2008

Congress forces Pentagon to go into financial crisis

This really ticks me off. Congress has known for over, oh-I don't know, 7 years that we are at war, and that costs money. They know when the budgets are due. They were told this was going to happen, and they went on vacation instead of solving this issue. Grrrrr. This is news from NGAUS. I'll let them take over from here.

Pentagon Cost Overruns at “Crisis” Point, Senator Says at Hearing.

A Government Accountability Office report saying Pentagon weapons programs are far over their budgeted costs has raised the hackles of the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said at a hearing this week the cost overruns have “reached crisis proportions” and cited the GAO report as proof. Levin also said he would propose a law creating an independent director of cost assessment at the Pentagon. [Wonderful. Another layer of beaurocracy? Fool.]

The GAO report said cost overruns and delays of Pentagon weapons programs are getting worse. In 2000, the cost overrun for 75 major programs was $42 billion, or 27 percent, with an average delay of initial delivery of 16 months. By 2007, with 95 major programs on the list, cost inflation had swollen to $295 billion, or 40 percent over early estimates, and the average delay had increased to 21 months. [You can do the math for cost adjustment? How about trying to adjust those figures for a freakin' war?]

The Pentagon’s top procurement officer, John J. Young Jr., said he would need more time to study Levin’s idea of an additional position at the Pentagon to keep an eye on costs. He said he was looking for more ways to save money when buying weapons. Levin said there is a need for stronger evaluation of whether contractors were making unrealistic promises to get a program started, ensuring cost overruns and delays later. "It’s going to take a fundamental change in the structure and the culture of the acquisition system to address that problem,” Levin said. Levin cited the Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Its cost has grown by nearly 40 percent. [Yes, that's about the average you came up with. What else is new? How about your education programs? Arts programs? Staffers? Protection? Flying all over the world? Do you think, per chance, that these are some expenses that can be cut? How about welfare? Grrr.]

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