Saw an example of one of my pet peeves with big government here. In case the article has been taken down, the gist of it is that originally the government had calculated that the mandated destruction of chemical weapons could be completed by 1996 and would cost $1.7 billion. I realize that there are probably a lot of factors involved and all, but $1.7 billion is a lot of money for that kind of project. Well, apparently after a long history of revisions, etc., the Army is projecting that it won’t be completed until 2023 and will cost $27.8 billion. Pentagon investigators fear that the most recent estimate may be too optimistic. The article goes on to point out that “inadvertently” the contracts reward contractors for delays and that they get performance bonuses without earning them. The Pentagon is concerned that there is no accountability with the project (10 years after it was supposed to be done, they just figured that out? Ya think?!? I wonder how much they spent to determine that!)

Unbelievable that the costs could be that far off isn’t it? If I am estimating the cost of a project and am off by a factor of 16 times, you can bet that there will be consequences, even if I’m only talking about a few hundred or thousand dollars. But billions? Maybe that is just slush money for our government though. That’s one reason I believe it (the government) has gotten too big and expensive for us to be able to support it much longer. There is just no fiscal discipline in the public sector, and no consequences for cost overruns. Naturally, you find corruption and fraud under these circumstances. Anyone seen any of that lately? I mean, besides this case?

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