People are rightly questioning why police departments need surplus military equipment (like the MRAP armored vehicle Walla Walla got recently, valued at more than $700,000). But another question is being overlooked: Why does the government have so much surplus military equipment in the first place?
According to National Public Radio, the Pentagon gave away 600 MRAPs just in the last year. Also, the Law Enforcement Support Office, which administers the program, says on its website that police departments around the country received $449 million in surplus equipment in 2013.
Seems to me, if the Pentagon has so much excess equipment that it can give away $449 million worth of stuff, then perhaps the Pentagon budget is too big. Another possibility is that the Pentagon is not managing its budget — or its stock — well.
Or probably both.
The Pentagon has never been audited, unlike every other government agency (except Homeland Security).
Doesn’t Sen. Patty Murray, who is on the budget committee, agree it is time to open the books and find out exactly what our tax dollars pay for? We need public scrutiny to uncover any and all fraud, waste, duplication or just plain excess in the defense system.
It’s the people’s money. The people should know how it is spent. Audit the Pentagon now.