GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is retiring this year. But he’s not shy and retiring. Coburn has released his 100-page “wastebook” detailing some of the more ridiculous ways Uncle Sam spends your hard-earned money. Needless to say, cnn.com starts its story on Coburn’s revelations with the three most absurd examples: “Monkeys taught how to gamble and play video games. People paid to watch grass grow. Swedish massages given to rabbits.” I was kind of hoping the feds gave Swedish meatballs to the rabbits, but that’s just me. Anyway, ammo. Seems the Pentagon was a bit ambitious and/or lackadaisical in its procurement process . . .
“The real shock and awe may have been the $1 billion price tag the Pentagon paid to destroy $16 billion worth of ammunition, enough to pay a full years’ salary for over 54,000 Army privates,” said Coburn.
The book cites Pentagon officials who said the surplus ammunition has become “obsolete, unusable, or their use is banned by international treaty.” The book notes a 2014 Government Accountability Office investigation which concluded poor record keeping was the reason the military purchased so much ammunition it didn’t need.
I think Coburn’s crusaders meant “couldn’t use.” That’s what they meant, right? ‘Cause if they didn’t need the ammo, well, I reckon a few readers (and a lot of large companies) would have gladly taken it off of Uncle Sam’s hands. No matter what the caliber. [h/t JG]