Coburn Outlines $68 Billion in Defense Cuts

By on November 15, 2012 in News

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released a report which outlines how the Department of Defense can save $67.9 billion over ten years by making cuts to what Dr. Coburn describes as “non-defense” spending which is any spending that DoD can cut without instituting cuts to vital defense priorities.

Coburn has identified five areas which he says have nothing to do with national security that are outlined in the report:

  • Non-Military Research and Development ($6 billion)
  • Education ($15.2 billion)
  • Alternative Energy ($700 million)
  • Grocery Stores ($9 billion)
  • Overhead, Support and Supply Services ($37 billion)

Some of the specific wasteful items cited in the report include:

  • Pentagon raids weapons funding to develop its own brand of beef jerky roll-ups
  • A study using robots as playmates for children
  • Studying the science behind storytelling to determine if how a story is told will impact understanding and comprehension of listeners
  • Development of a phone app to let you know when its time for your next coffee break

“I prepared this report because the American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation’s defense,” Dr. Coburn said. “That isn’t happening. Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies. Spending more on grocery stores than guns doesn’t make any sense. And using defense dollars to run microbreweries, study Twitter slang, create beef jerky, or examine Star Trek does nothing to defend our nation.”

The full report, “Department of Everything,” offers additional details on wasteful spending programs identified by Dr. Coburn.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the web site and its sibling sites.

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  1. BR says:

    Coburn is a sideshow to reality.  How about knocking out duplicate efforts by the several DoD services costing us billions more to develop the same weapon system?  How about building a defense for today’s world and not for a battle with the old Soviet Uniton?   Why are we defense spending expodentially more than the rest of the world combined and not focusing on our antiquated infrastructure?

    • R Jones says:

      The over cost of Contractor’s and the Parts over cost could save tons of money.  Get down to realality if you want a contract with the Government, give at the going rate for the public, not with all the overcost.  Parts over cost by company’s of the US & other contries could be brought down a lot.  Things that are made in other countries should be brought home for our US citizens to work on here, they need the jobs and can save money and quility.

  2. RETVET03 says:

    The government could save over 100 billion in ten years just by removing marijuana from the Schedule 1 controlled substances list, allowing states to legalize it at the will of their citizens.  That’s just in savings, not counting revenue which could easily exceed that by 5 times.  Yet the party of “smaller, unintrustive goverment”  finds that they do, in fact, want a larger, intrustive goverment when it comes to controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes.  Just don’t try and tell businesses what to do….like dumping their waste in your water supply.  Yep…..

  3. IAD says:

    I get it….alot is spent on non-military goods. So, when my family lived in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Germany, would my kids go to a local school and just pick up the local language and receive a FREE great education? It shouldn’t take them more than a week or so for a 7th grader to learn Italian enough to start understanding…..right? Same with the commisary and exchange. My wife should know before we get to Turkey how to cook several meals using authentic Turkish food found in the local markets. These comments from Sen Coburn sound like a guy that has never served in uniform, never lived internationally…and never ventured far from his personal parking spot at Reagan airport and all the other perks he seems very comfortable with…..

    • Personnel Officer says:

      I don’t think you read the article very closely.  He’s proposing to eliminate commissaries, exchanges, and DoD schools in the United States, not overseas.