That does not mean that the Defense Department spent, lost, or could not account for $35 trillion, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank in Washington, D.C.
"It means money that DoD moved from one part of the budget to another," Clark explained to Task & Purpose. "So, like in your household budget: It would be like moving money from checking, to savings, to your 401K, to your credit card, and then back."
The Pentagon failed to spend an eye-popping $27.7 billion of the funds it was allocated over five fiscal years – and President Donald Trump intends to give the U.S. military even more taxpayer cash to play with next year.
The authors of a new defense spending conference report ran a victory lap last week to tout the billions of dollars they added to the U.S. military budget, but they hardly mentioned the cuts they had to make to pull that off.