A huge chunk of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been done outside of the regular congressional appropriations process through "supplemental" spending bills, which don't count on the budget and mask the actual impact the wars are having on the deficit.
This is something Obama vowed to change on the campaign trail. "As President, Obama will […] end the abuse of the supplemental budgets, where much of the money has been lost, by creating system of oversight for war funds as stringent as in the regular budget," a campaign document (.pdf) on defense spending stated.
But, last Thursday, the Administration was back in front of Congress asking for another supplemental for the Afghanistan surge, his second since becoming President.Read Full Article
Two liberal Democrats are teaming up to stop the government from hiring private military contractors like Blackwater in war zones. Rep. Jan Schakowsky [D, IL-9] and Sen. Bernie Sanders [D, VT] today announced the introduction of the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, which prevents the government from using private firms for security, law enforcement, rescue and intelligence purposes.Read Full Article