I have a friend that always wants to sell stuff on eBay.  I don’t know if he has ever sold anything but he knows how.  His plan is to offer something really, really cheap so people will bid on it, and then have a $50 shipping charge.  Well, I hope he never becomes a defense contractor with no morals at all, because then look what might happen!

This is from Think Progress:

Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers.

The Pentagon paid a small South Carolina parts supplier about $20.5 million over six years “for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas. The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq.”

OK, here’s the deal.  I know it costs money to get stuff safely to Iraq and then safely to the place you’re sending them.  My brother does it all the time through the army and it takes a while.  So they always send over EXTRA PARTS for all the vehicles they send!  But maybe these marines needed the screws fast.  What about FedEx?  What about UPS?  The screws are all going to the same place — how much could it possibly cost.

 But I live in Texas.  Right near an army base in fact.  Pretty safe.  A friend sent me a DVD and it cost her $2.36.  If I needed it overnight she could get it to me for $10 or $15.  If she got on an airplane to bring it to me, it would cost about $500.  And why couldn’t the guys from the army base in Texas go to the hardware store themselves and get a few washers.  They don’t get paid a lot, but most of them have an extra 38 cents!

This is corruption.  That’s why they didn’t think of any of those solutions.  But the real question is if the company will have to give back the money and if they will be able to get more contracts from the government in the future.  Will they go to jail?