Friday, May 23, 2008
Henry Waxman: King of Checks and Balances
Rep. Waxman might be the first to guffaw at this description because he is a professional, no nonsense kinda guy. He may be short in physical stature, but when it comes to safeguarding tax-payer money, he's head and shoulders above some of his colleagues. As Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform he's been tackling the outrageous spending and accounting habits of the Pentagon. How on earth can an agency lose track of $15,000,000,000?! Billions have been spent here and abroad on materials and services for which the Pentagon cannot account. We all want to support our troops and understand that paperwork on the front lines may be a low priority. That means a new system is needed to track our money wherever and however it is spent in our national interests. Money paid to contractors right here, in the U.S., should be much easier to track. Yet, there are no paper trails for several, contracted products or services -- sometimes the Pentagon doesn't even know which it bought! As a D.C. resident, I have no voice in how my tax dollars are spent, so it is up to the rest of America to get on top of and stay on top of what their government is doing. I sure as heck would not be happy to learn that the managers of my 403B (nonprofit version of a 401K) had lost track of my funds! That's essentially what the Pentagon has done.