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Friday, November 16, 2012

Beef jerky, reality shows, beer: Coburn tells DoD to cut it all out

Beef jerky, a microbrewery and windmills are among the hundreds of items the Defense Department is not only spending money on, but producing each year.
 And Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wants the Pentagon to cut it out.  Coburn said Thursday, DoD will spend almost $68 billion on non-military goods and services over the next 10 years. Some recent examples include a smartphone app to help military members manage their caffeine intake and the sponsorship of a workshop by the Defense Advanced Research Projects  Agency called the 100 Year Starship project, which included a session called, "Did Jesus die for Klingons too?"
Coburn released a new report, called The Department of Everything, in an attempt to shine light on what he calls wasteful spending during a time of ever-tightening budgets.

Coburn identified five areas that he said had nothing to do with national security yet represent a significant chunk of the annual $600 billion-plus Pentagon budget:
  • Non-military research and development: $6 billion.
  • Education, specifically on schools on military bases: $10.7 billion.
  • Tuition assistance that mirrors a benefit from the Veterans Affairs Department: $4.5 billion.
  • Grocery stores on military bases run by the DoD: $9 billion.
  • More than 300,000 military members performing civilian jobs and numerous general officers: $37 billion.
Coburn also said the Pentagon spent $700 million on alternative energy research that was duplicative or unnecessary.

Coburn said every area across DoD must be reviewed, analyzed and decided if it is something that is core to the military's mission.

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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