During an event in Iowa on Monday night, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders fielded a question about the Department of Defense, calling for a closer look into wasteful spending and fraud.

The day before 9/11 — September 10, 2001, this guy that I have nothing to do with, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he gave a speech and he said that there are trillions of dollars in the Dept. of Defense that we can’t account for.

That was Rumsfeld the day before 9/11 — the speech never got a lot of attention.

The Department of Defense is the only agency of government, to my knowledge, that cannot sustain an independent audit.

You go to them and ask how many private contractors we have. Well, they really don’t know. It’s so complicated, a huge complicated system.

I believe when we talk about making government more cost effective, it doesn’t simply mean cutting Medicaid and food stamps.

What it does mean is taking a hard look at an agency which recieves $600 billion per year where there is an immense amount of waste and fraud.

The Department of Defense is responsible for about $600 billion of the national budget, approximately 18 percent of the overall budget. By not being able to audit the DOD, American taxpayers risk being robbed.

And for those who might assume that Sanders is calling for less money for American soldiers, the end of his comments on the subject speak to that particular issue.

“And while we have massive cost overruns with defense contractors, we’ve got deployment after deployment for our soldiers, and we’ve got military families on food stamps. So maybe we want to change that.”

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com