One-Third of Wartime Contracting Funds Wasted

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Hey, members of the Super-Duper Committee looking to cut a grand deficit-reduction deal, if you’re looking for wasteful spending to remove from the federal budget, give Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) a call. This just in from her office:

KANSAS CITY – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will discuss the findings today of a two-year inquiry into wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. McCaskill will make the announcement via phone at 11:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 a.m. CT from her offices in Kansas City.

The U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting, created by McCaskill and inspired by President Harry Truman’s commission on war profiteering in World War II, discovered rampant waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the contracting apparatus. The Commission found that at least $31 billion and as much as $60 billion has been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan to date and that much more will be wasted in the future without significant changes to the way the government plans, awards, and oversees contracts.

The new report provides a blueprint for addressing these failures of contracting including specific recommendations. McCaskill intends to develop legislation based upon these recommendations. The Commission was created through legislation spearheaded by McCaskill and U.S. Senator Jim Webb (Va.); it passed with broad bipartisan support.

Instead of slicing funding for, say, food safety programs, weather satellites, medical research, health care, or education, perhaps the SDC can squeeze tens of billions of dollars in waste out of this sloppy system. It’s just a thought.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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