This post has been corrected to properly quote and attribute phrasing that was copied from a report produced by Sen. Tom Coburn’s office.
BuzzFeed takes its responsibility to readers very seriously, and plagiarism is a major breach of that responsibility. Please read our apology to readers here.
Last year, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report detailing where the The Department of Defense could save $67.9 billion over ten years in “non defense” spending.
1. $9 Billion is spent each year on Pentagon-run grocery stores here in the United States.
2. The Pentagon also runs its own subsidized liquor stores on bases across the country.
Here is one in Fort Sill Oklahoma.
3. The Department of Defense (DoD) funded research “examining what the behavior of fish can teach us about democracy,” according to the report.
4. The Department of Defense funded development of a “smart phone app to alert users when to take a coffee break.”
5. The Department of Defense funded research examining how to make silk production “from wild cocoons in Africa and South America.”
6. The Department of Defense “funded a study that concluded people in New York use different jargon on Twitter than those living in California.”
7. Eight fulltime DoD employees serve on Board of Geographic Names, in charge of naming streams, mountains, hills, and plains across the United States.
8. The Department of Defense funded reality cooking show called Grill it Safe featuring two “Grill Sergeants” who performed a 46-minute cooking video.
Upon watching most of this video Buzzfeed has concluded that the Pentagon should not get into the entertainment industry.
Specifically, the project aimed at making “thin, rolled up” beef jerky, as seen in the research photos below.
10. The Department of Defense funded research examining the social interaction between robots and babies.
11. The Department of Defense has spent over $1,000,000 on workshops studying interstellar space travel.
These conferences asked important national security questions, such as: “What will interstellar explorers wear?”
And (seriously): “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?”
12. The Department of Defense funded a study that determined “a man holding a gun appears more masculine than he would otherwise.”
13. The Department of Defense funded research to conclude that Petri most likely had feathers.
“Archaeopteryx, which existed 150 million years ago and long considered to be the first
bird, probably had black feathers which may have helped it fly, according to research funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).”
14. The Department of Defense spends $10.7 billion on education programs that “duplicate the work of the Department of Education and local school districts.”
These special schools “operate at a cost of over $50,000 per student.”
“In contrast, the Department of Education has found the average annual cost per student in America is $11,000 per student,” according to the report.
The report shows how one such military school in Dahlgren Virginia is less than one mile away from a public school.
15. The Pentagon’s overhead, or desk job budget, is more than the entire GDP of Israel.
In the face of the looming Sequestration, which will involve massive spending cuts to the Defense budget, this report should perhaps be revisited.
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