Government auditors issued a scathing review in March, 2008 of dozens of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.
Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems in 2002. “It’s not getting any better by any means,” said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO’s acquisition and sourcing team. “It’s taking longer and costing more.”
To put this in perspective, $295 Billion dollars is $295,000,000,000. With about 85 million families in the U.S., that equates to almost $4000 per family in cost overruns.
Source: GAO Blasts Weapons Budget Cost Overruns Hit $295 Billion By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer, April 1, 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports. From Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2008.