The following article is good. And we should be collecting what is owed to us, corporation or foreign government both. But my problem is the obvious fact of Government bureaucracy, departments what ever you want to call them, they are out of control. They cannot be managed, too many good ole boy deals, greasing the palm so to speak. I am not sure the United States should be selling all of these weapons to some of the nations we are selling too. I know some will say we have to insure our interest, keep peace and stability in the region? Oh really, is that happening in Egypt now? With the way it appears to be going President Mubarak is out of there. Say the Muslim Brotherhood prevails and becomes the political force in Egypt, will those weapons not be used against us and our own allies possibly? Just think about the endless scenarios that could come out of this situation. This Government of ours is run amok starting with the socialist (Wolf in sheep’s skin) FDR to the present. With a few bright spots along the way, I know we arose to the occasion and won WWII. Regan was perhaps the only President we really had that tried to run the nation as the founding fathers wanted. We are in a big mess, the fight is not over and will never be. Freedom is not free. When good men do nothing evil men prevail. Now the article.
Taxpayers for Common Sense – Weekly Wastebasket
Volume XVI No. 5: February 4, 2011
Now that the sale of American weapons to foreign governments is in the news again, we’re reminded of the billions of dollars taxpayers spend developing these weapons each year – and the billions we should be getting back on our investment.
One number that floats to the top of current news reports about the unrest in Egypt is the more than $1.3 billion worth of military equipment we sell that country each year. That equipment is sold under the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales program, created in the 1976 Arms Export Control Act. The law stipulates that we loan Egypt money to purchase military equipment, but Egypt has to buy it from U.S. military manufacturers.
These deals mean big money for the U.S. defense industry: America sold more than $68 billion worth of arms to developing countries between 2006 and 2009, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. But taxpayers also spent big money developing those weapons in the first place. DOD spends tens of billions of public funds annually on weapons research and development: The budget request for FY2010 topped $78 billion.
U.S. law requires that a “recoupment” fee be factored into foreign weapons sales contracts to compensate taxpayers for their investment. Though the State Department decides who gets military aid and how much, the Foreign Military Sales program is administered by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and the actual contracts managed by each of the military services. DSCA calculates the size of the fee depending on the value and type of weapons delivered, generally around 4%. The money is supposed to go back into the U.S. Treasury as general revenue to help pay off our debt.
In spite of the billions in taxpayer dollars they’ve received for research and development, the U.S. defense industry has long fought these fees. A similar fee on “direct commercial” sales, or sales negotiated directly between companies and foreign governments, was repealed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. The recoupment fee on foreign military sales came under attack in 1995 when former Representative William Clinger (R-PA) added an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Reform Act that would have rolled the fee back. The increase in exports many defense companies hope will offset a feared U.S. military budget drawdown (we’ll believe that when we see it) may renew efforts to eliminate the fee.
Unfortunately, history indicates taxpayers may not be getting their full due. Over the years, government watchdogs have repeatedly documented DOD’s propensity to let foreign customers slide on payment. For example, the Government Accountability Office found in a 1999 report that the military failed to collect payments from Taiwan, Korea and Japan for sales of F-16 fighter jets and attack helicopters – the same kinds of items we’re exporting to Egypt today.
Recent collection figures on recoupment fees are hard to come by because no member of Congress has requested them of late. Judging by the size of our debt and the number of proposals currently being floated to reduce it, now is a good time to do so. Congress should immediately request another audit on collecting recoupment fees.
Reducing spending isn’t the only step we should take towards fiscal responsibility: taxpayers also need to claim the money they’re owed.