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Net Assessment

Apr 4, 2019

In addition to “being the taxpayers’ greatest investment,” Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi writes that the Pentagon is also “the world’s largest producer of wrong numbers, an ingenious bureaucratic defense system that hides all the other rats’ nests underneath.” Last year, the Department of Defense became the last Cabinet-level department to submit to a comprehensive review of its books — and it flunked the audit. But Defense Department “never expected to pass it,” explained then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Whether it ever will — or is even committed to doing so — is an open question. In this week's episode of Net Assessment, Bryan, Melanie, and Chris discuss Taibbi’s scathing feature, aptly titled “The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit,” and unpack his suggestions for how to fix the problem. Bryan has no grievances — life is coming up roses now that his beloved Virginia Cavaliers have made it to men’s college basketball’s Final Four (Cavaliers’ head coach Tony Bennett, naturally, earns his attaboy). Chris faults those who want to keep expanding NATO, and Melanie credits the Southern Poverty Law Center for (belatedly) doing the right thing.