A commission investigating U.S. wartime spending over the last decade estimates that the federal government has wasted $60 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan due to “lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents.” Is there a single person who’s surprised at this?
The Associated Press got an advance copy of the report Tuesday from the Commission on Wartime Contracting, but it will be public Wednesday. As disgusting as it is, I just find myself wondering why commissions bother to investigate such things. This happens with pretty much every government-run project of any sort, doesn’t it? Except for some super-scrupulous manager in a fairly small local state office, it’s almost impossible to stop it from happening.
Why can’t we stop it? Simple. There’s no incentive to stop it. When bureaucrats are in the middle of spending money — especially for what counts as a “crisis” — there are no brakes on the system. They simply spend the money and do the accounting later. It’s always this way. It can’t be any other way, because they have no incentive to stop.