By Lauren Lyster | Daily Ticker – Mon, Nov 25, 2013 9:23 AM EST

If you thought the botched rollout of Obamacare, the government shutdown, or the sequester represented Washington dysfunction at its worst, wait until you hear about the taxpayer waste at the Defense Department.

Special Enterprise Reporter Scot Paltrow unearthed the “high cost of the Pentagon’s bad bookkeeping” in a Reuters investigation. It amounts to $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for. (The year 1996 was the first that the Pentagon should have been audited under a law requiring audits of all government departments. Oh, and by the way, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with this law.)

We talk to Paltrow in the accompanying video about his findings.