Thursday, February 15, 2007

One In Six Dollars Squandered

That's how much Congress' auditors say has been wasted in Iraq.
The U.S. government has squandered as much as $10 billion in public money on Iraq reconstruction aid because of overcharges and unsubstantiated expenses. More is yet to come, federal investigators said Thursday.

The three top auditors overseeing work in Iraq told a House committee their review of $57 billion in Iraq contracts found that Defense and State department officials condoned or allowed repeated work delays, bloated expenses and payments for shoddy work or work never done.

More than one in six dollars charged by U.S. contractors were questionable or unsupported, nearly triple the amount of waste the Government Accountability Office estimated last fall.

"There is no accountability," said David M. Walker, who heads the auditing arm of Congress. "Organizations charged with overseeing contracts are not held accountable. Contractors are not held accountable. The individuals responsible are not held accountable."

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, has pledged scores of investigations of fraud, waste and abuse — with subpoenas if necessary — on the administration's watch.

Of the $10 billion in overpriced contracts or undocumented costs, more than $2.7 billion were charged by Halliburton Co., the oil-field services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Noting that auditors still have $300 billion of Iraq spending to review, Waxman said the total amount of waste, fraud and abuse "could be astronomical."

"It's no wonder that taxpayers all across our country are fed up and demanding that we bring real oversight to the 'anything goes' world of Iraq reconstruction," he said.
And Bush says budget cuts should come out of social programs like medicare and Medicaid.

I say they should stop the hemmorage of money into the pockets of administration cronies in corporations doing business with the Pentagon and Homeland Security. The Bush administration have turned it into a cesspool of waste and cronyist corruption more reminiscent of a Third World nation - and it was already bad enough before they came along. These people are playing fast and loose with someone else's money....YOURS!

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