Our generals: Serving their country, and then cashing out 

It's standard, but that doesn't mean it's not tawdry. The revolving door that allows government officials to monetize their public service reflects a problem with our government, in my opinion. The Boston Globe has an upsetting piece today on generals who cash out:

The Globe analyzed the career paths of 750 of the highest ranking generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades and found that, for most, moving into what many in Washington call the “rent-a-general’’ business is all but irresistible.

In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense roles — nearly 90 percent.

From 2004 through 2008, 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star officers went to work as consultants or defense executives, according to the Globe analysis. That compares with less than 50 percent who followed that path a decade earlier, from 1994 to 1998.

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Timothy P. Carney

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