I’m Confused (Once Again)

November 16th, 2007 by xformed

Secretary Gates talks back to Congress.

The current flap of Congress being asked for about $190B to continue to fund the war and Nancy Pelosi coughing up $50B with demands to extract ourselves from conducting National Defense proves to me Congress shows more and more ignorance of their own jobs.

Just because DoD gets handed about a trillion dollars or more, doesn’t mean it’s in one huge bank account, to be spend as the DoD officials decide.

I’m no real money expert, but was, for 2.5 years, responsible for managing about $34M worth of funds. Federal budget money is tagged in all sorts of ways, so it will be spent in the manner in which it was justified to Congress thought the development of each annual budget.

Quickly, as a not to detailed level, there is money that is specifically authorized for expenditure in a specific fiscal year and then there is “multi-year money.” The multi year money is labeled with how much of it will be spent in each fiscal year in the range of the funding. Within those two gross categories, there is account designation as well. For instance, there will be funds for manpower (pay checks), MILCON (military construction projects), software development, and a raft of other designations. The Federal Budget is like a real budget, in some ways, that is based on justified needs.

The game rules for money managers? It’s a federal crime to shift funds from one account to another, without getting permission. Here, I’m not clear on exactly how that process works, but I know it exists, and suspect it has something to do with going back up the chain of command to Congressional offices that control appropriations. So, for Secretary Gates just to shrug his shoulders and start walking around the Pentagon halls, with his steno pad, asking for funds from various people to make up the shortfall of his request, he’s in violation of Federal Law. I’m sure Nancy and Harry are aware of not only this, but, if he does do it in the correct way, the extended period of time it will take to accomplish moving $140B from existing accounts to the one funding the front line warfighters needs. That way, they can slow roll the effort at a second level.

Congress really gets this when they “ear mark” funds for their special projects, yet somehow have amnesia when it comes to DoD spending, unless, of course, there is tax money designated to be laundered though the DoD funds to get to a family member, friend of political supporter, then they are all over making sure it’s not diverted.

One more reason to rid ourselves of the “professional” politician class we have become hamstrung with.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007 at 7:28 am and is filed under Leadership, Military, Political, Supporting the Troops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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