Headline that came and went “Pentagon Racks Up $35 Trillion in Accounting Changes in One Year”… then a man running for president, who started a news company reporting on this story, one of the few following the story, says he has the skill set to manage these ‘issues’…
$35 Trillion (Not a Typo)
The ‘Pentagon’ made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone — a total larger than the U.S. economy.
The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way according to Pentagon figures.
“Within that $30 trillion is a lot of double, triple, and quadruple counting of the same money as it got moved between accounts,” said Todd Harrison, a Pentagon budget expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year, when it reviewed $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities.
The Pentagon Spent Nearly $1 Billion on the audit
Mark Easton, the Defense Department’s deputy chief financial officer, wrote the GAO that in response to its audit the department “is actively developing strategies” to reduce accounting adjustments.
A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.