It’s time to stop the budget gimmicks and be honest about our bloated Pentagon budget. After years of using war spending as a slush fund to avoid fiscal discipline, it’s time to cut wasteful spending and bring our tax dollars home.
By the end of this year, most of our troops will be home from Afghanistan and our nation will finally turn the page on 13 years of war. But the Pentagon has a trick to keep the money flowing, a massive $80 billion slush fund known in Washington as the ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’ (OCO) account. By using that slush fund, the Pentagon and its friends in Congress have managed to not only protect billions of dollars in wasteful spending, but to completely avoid any of the dramatic cuts that domestic programs like education and healthcare have faced over the past few years!
The Pentagon recently released its budget for the coming year and it looks ready to continue the gimmicks, keeping its slush fund for years to come. Rather than bringing our tax dollars home with our troops – and using some of that money to pay to heal the wounds of our veterans – Congress and the Pentagon chose to add billions to the Pentagon’s OCO slush fund on spending that had nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan and everything to do with special interests in Washington. Every dollar the Pentagon puts in its slush fund is a dollar less for early childhood education, nutrition assistance, and health care. Congress and the Pentagon are depending on Americans not noticing their budget gimmicks. They’re hoping that they can keep using the pretext of the war in Afghanistan to throw tens of billions of dollars into failing weapons systems and wasteful spending at the Pentagon.