This CBS news segment shows the Pentagon is unable to keep track of 25 percent of the money it spends, or about $2.3 trillion a year. No one knows what this money has been spent on; there are no records of it.
Despite this, defense spending has continually increased over the past few years, and few attempts have been made to ascertain where the "missing" money is, and accurate accounting alone could be used to reduce the military budget.
In all, $2.3 trillion comes to about $8,000 for every man, woman and child living in America.
This kind of government waste is not an isolated phenomenon. It is one of the reasons why, for example, our health care system is the most expensive in the world.
As of this year, the United States is now spending $2.2 trillion for "health care," or more than 16 percent of the nation's gross domestic product annually. But even this astronomical sum has been exceeded by the amount our military loses track of annually. Not spends -- that's a much, much higher number -- but loses.
Incidentally, government actuaries predict health care spending is on track to increase nearly a third by 2011, to nearly $3 trillion. You can do your part to help avert that disaster in the making by taking better responsibility for your own health.
On Vital Votes, Bryan from Austin, Texas comments on ways all of this wasted money could have been better spent: