A Hamiltonian Take on Pentagon Spending Gimmicks



Congress and the Pentagon have repeatedly used the war spending–named the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account–as a slush fund for its pet projects. This year the House Armed Services and Appropriations committees purposely underfunds the OCO account by $18 billion in order to increase spending for additional weapon systems in the base budget (which, by the way, the Pentagon hasn’t asked for), hoping to trigger the need for the next President to ask for an additional supplemental bill to make up the shortfall around April, when this funding would run out.

The song below is written from the perspective of those committees and should be sung to the tune of “Wait for It” from the hit musical Hamilton.

Lockheed writes us a letter every day
We want more jets but how we gonna pay?
We want more money for industry
Since we have our incumbency to protect
We’ll find money for industry
Readiness we can neglect

Congress won’t discriminate
Between the OCO
And the base

Let them take and take and take
We’ll keep spending anyway
And we laugh and we cry
And we break
Budget deals for spending’s sake
And if you ask us where your money went
Or question how it’s been spent
We don’t care how to pay for it
We don’t care how you pay for it

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