Sen. Tom Coburn recently released a report, titled ‘Department of Everything,’ in which he claims that eliminating DoD activities like commissaries and grammar schools could save $68 billion over 10 years.
Coburn’s report details several “duplicative and wasteful” programs that the report argues have nothing to do with the nation’s security that are wasting money and resources. However, many servicemembers and military retirees will not be pleased to see that commissaries are once again in the budget cutting crosshairs.
Coburn argues that the following DOD programs duplicate other resources and programs:
- Non-Military Research and Development ($6 billion)
- Stateside DoD Elementary Schools and STEM programs ($15.2 billion)
- Alternative Energy ($700 million)
- Commissaries ($9 billion)
- Overhead, Support, and Supply Services ($37 billion)
The report has some interesting findings including more than $1 million spent on the 100-year Starship Project, and $100,000 for a workshop titled “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?”
The report highlights the following list of obscure DoD expenditures:
- Pentagon-branded beef jerky.
- A reality cooking show called Grill it Safe featuring two “Grill Sergeants” who performed a 46-minute cooking video.
- Pentagon-run microbreweries.
- A smart phone app to alert users when to take a coffee break.
- Research examining the social interaction between robots and babies.
Coburn’s press release states that the $67.9 billion in savings in the “Department of Everything” report could pay for a third of the cost of the planned fleet of new strategic bombers for the Air Force. It could, likewise, pay a third of the cost of the fleet of Ohio-class replacement nuclear submarines for the Navy. For the Army, $16 billion over ten years – about 25 percent of the savings in the report – could mean robust funding for modernization or purchase of new rifles and light machine guns for every soldier.