National Security Desk / Jan. 18, 2017

Make Military Renovation Affordable Again

The Air Force Academy doles out $387,000 … for a foyer?

A strong military requires a meaty budget, and national security is one area in which leftists would love to trim spending. That would be a mistake. However, that doesn’t make the Defense Department and military officials immune from unnecessary and wasteful spending binges. Take, for example, the Air Force Academy, which spent $387,000 (or $261 per square foot) from taxpayers to tidy up a foyer. Not a hall, building or series of rooms, mind you. A foyer. To get an idea of how much money that is, The Gazette reports, “That’s enough to buy 190 500-pound bombs or pay the annual clothing allowance for 1,560 airmen.” It’s also “about $130,000 above the average home price in the Pikes Peak region.” And that spending took place despite the fact that there were not enough funds to purchase desk lamps for the cadet rooms at the AFA. Or maybe that’s why there weren’t enough funds…

This is indicative of the fact there is too much military waste, due mostly to overpayment of contractors with no private sector oversight. The result is that nobody balks at this expense. It is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Military contractors and the contracting price is so “political” — i.e., it’s tied to the greased skid of congressional district spending — that it removes any reality check on these projects. The objective is to get and spend as much money in your district as possible. Again, just what Donald Trump has objected to — the lack of any pressure to keep the price down. Thankfully, changes are coming.

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