Vivek Ramaswamy Criticises the Department of Defence, Asking Why It Has “Never Passed an Audit”
Vivek Ramaswamy recently expressed his displeasure with the Pentagon's budget and its distribution to private defense contractors in a post on X. He voiced his concerns on the social media platform, "Just over 6 months ago, the Pentagon announced its largest budget in American history: $842 billion, *half* of which will go to for-profit defense contractors. The military-industrial complex’s recent roots trace to a 1993 secret Pentagon dinner hosted by Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense Les Aspin who summoned CEOs of America's largest defense contractors to the so-called “Last Supper” to lobby the nation's top defense contractors into consolidations by merging with one another."
The government needs to stop lying to us. About WMDs in Iraq. The 2008 bailouts. Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The origin of COVID-19. Who pressured companies to censor debate on vaccines & lockdowns. About Hunter Biden’s laptop. The Nashville transgender school shooter’s… pic.twitter.com/AuTOO3b9ri— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) November 5, 2023
According to Ramaswamy's article, this meeting, often known as the "Last Supper," was called to persuade the nation's leading defense contractors to combine and consolidate their activities. As reported by Business Today, Ramaswamy maintained that this technique had really succeeded, resulting in a considerable fall in the number of major defense contractors in the United States, which plunged by 90%. Over fifty prime contractors existed in the 1990s, but just five do so now, creating a concentrated cartel of defense contractors that gain enormous profits from war.
He further added, "Take a shoulder-fired Stinger missile that is used today in the Ukraine war: In 1991, it cost $25,000. Today, it costs more than $400,000 to replace each missile sent to Ukraine. Even adjusting for inflation & product improvements, that's a >7x cost increase. In 2015, a Pentagon review found Lockheed Martin and its subcontractor, Boeing, were grossly overcharging the Pentagon & US allies by hundreds of millions of dollars for the Patriot's PAC-3 missiles: total profits approached 40%." He wondered whether it was a fluke that the Defence Department is the only US government department that has never finished or passed an audit.
As reported by the Hill, last year in November, the Department of Defense couldn't account for more than half of its assets in the fifth audit. Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord told reporters at the time that after 1,600 auditors pored over DOD's $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities, the agency was unable to account for nearly 61% of its assets. McCord, who has been the Pentagon's comptroller twice (from 2009 to 2017 and again since June 2021) says that during the audit, officials from both the Pentagon and the independent public accounting firm conducted 220 on-site inspections and 750 remote ones. The job is divided into 27 sub-audits, with the results combined to create a fuller picture and eliminate the possibility of "having something on a record that doesn't exist in reality or having big discrepancies." As per the publication, McCord wanted to keep his attention on the progress made in the year's audit, however, he acknowledges that "the progress is getting a little harder" every time since many of the easier problems have already been eliminated.
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