ON THIS DAY IN 2001: The Federal Government Loses $2.3 Trillion Dollars

The following is a section from my upcoming book, A Calendar of Federal Failures: Documenting the Federal Government’s Inadequacy One Day at a Time. Expect this book to be released some time in 2018.

On September 10th, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, announced that 2.3 trillion dollars was unaccounted for in the Pentagon Budget. In other words, the Pentagon spent 2.3 trillion dollars and they have no idea what they spent it on.

To put that into perspective, that would have been 8,000 dollars for every individual in the US at the time. This was more than 20% of the United States GDP in 2001. This was almost 40% of the United States Federal Debt in 2001. If I lost 20% of my yearly income, I would be homeless due to the bills I couldn’t pay, and I’d imagine many readers are in the same boat as me. Imagine if you hired an accountant to help you manage your money, and he or she failed to discover how you spent 20% of your budget. Would you keep that accountant? I highly doubt it.

Why is it that such fiscal irresponsibility is tolerable when the Federal Government, but such a move at a much smaller scale would break the everyday person like you and me? The government wouldn’t likely bail us out if we were still employed but we just have no idea what we did with 20% of our income, and I know for certain most of our charities, churches, and communities wouldn’t, for they have individuals who will be more responsible to take care of. The federal government, on the other hand, merely has to raise taxes, print more money, sell government bonds, or perhaps start a war in order to increase revenue.

Considering it’s been sixteen years, one may think that it is fair to ask what the government spent that $2.3 trillion dollars on. That is, of course, not the case. Neither do we know what the government spent that money on, nor will we ever know more than likely. This is largely due to the media’s silence on the issue the day after Secretary Rumsfeld made his announcement, because on September 11th, 2001, nineteen terrorists hijacked several passenger airplanes, two of which flew into the World Trade Center thus destroying the twin towers; one was crashed into a field after the passengers overpowered the hijackers; and one flew into the Pentagon.

This tragic attack killed 2996 and injured more than 6000 and also gave Bush, Cheney, and the Military Industrial Complex the perfect excuse to start a war in the Middle East, a war in which the United States is still engaged today. Since then, defense spending has only increased further. The wars in the Middle East has cost the victims of taxation trillions of dollars. Civil Liberties have diminished. The State has expanded in size and scope. And more than likely, children who were born after 9/11 will be deployed to the Middle East to fight in this senseless war.

Merely talking about the 2.3 trillion dollars will have you cast aside as a conspiracy theorist. I am risking my book being shrugged off as conspiracy nonsense by including this section, but the people have the right to know that money which was stolen from them is completely unaccounted for, and they have the right to know where that money went if the State does know. Regardless of the truth of 9/11, we deserve to know what happened to the 2.3 trillion dollars.

By the way, as of 2016, the Pentagon now has spent 6.5 trillion dollars which is completely unaccounted for. That’s nearly 35% of the federal debt. Think about that.