Many people are not aware that the Pentagon has a slush fund it, and Congress, uses to pay for pet projects and avoid spending caps. This slush fund (also called Overseas Contingency Operations account) was created to pay for the war in Afghanistan – a war that is coming to an end in December.
For the 2015 fiscal year the White House has asked for $58.6 billion in “emergency’ war spending – even though Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work testified it would only cost $11 billion to carry out U.S. troops’ post-2014 missions in Afghanistan. That leaves a lot of slush left over.
With Congress likely to pass this massive slush fund, we decided to find other ways the money could be spent. It turns out the $58.6 billion OCO request could:
- Pay the salaries of over half the nation’s elementary teachers
- Provide 7.5 million veterans with health care for a year
- Fund the Unemployment Insurance bill for 3 million Americans six times over
- Pay the salaries of over 800,000 sheriffs or police patrol officers
- Provide over 26 million low-income children with healthcare
In fact, the “emergency” slush fund budget is so large that it equals the fifth largest US federal agency – larger than the Departments of State, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Justice, Transportation, and Labor (including many of those combined).
Not only that, it would also be the fifth largest defense budget in the world – more than even Great Britain spent on defense last year.
Now remember, this is supposed to be an “emergency” fund set up to pay for the war in Afghanistan – which is coming to an end. In fact, the US will have fewer than 10,000 troops there in 2015. Fortunately, a several Members of Congress have had enough and are demanding that the slush fund be shut down. And you can, too!
Please contact you Members of Congress and tell them to eliminate the Pentagon’s slush fund!