Fiscal killers

Fiscal killers

by digby

For anyone who thinks that Military Industrial Complex profits are going to suffer in all this budget cutting should think again. Get a load of this boondoggle:

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was joined by Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) in introducing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2397, to eliminate the $70.2 million added by the Appropriations Committee for an East Coast missile defense system.

“Military leaders have repeatedly said that they don’t need this unproven and unnecessary weapons system. This weapons program doesn’t match any threat to New York that will occur in the near future and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Congressman Nadler. “Congress must understand that in order to keep New Yorkers – and all Americans – safe, we need to fund a military that is equipped to deal with the security challenges of the 21st century. Members of Congress should stop forcing their pet programs into the defense bill – especially when the Pentagon says that it is unnecessary.”

“This boondoggle lavishes millions of taxpayer dollars on a project that the Department of Defense and outside experts have said is not needed and will not work. Instead, we should invest this money in effective 21st Century national security programs, in proven investments for job creation such as infrastructure, or in responsibly reducing the deficit,” said Congressman Garamendi, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Hey, it's always possible that the UK could turn on us and fire our own ICBMs at New York, but it's unlikely.

This is a perfect demonstration of why the entire budget battle is nothing more than an excuse to slash necessary programs for average people. There's always money for military boondoggles whether it's "missile defense" or border security or another already obsolete piece of expensive hardware. Like this one:
The F-35 was conceived as the Pentagon’s silver bullet in the sky — a state-of-the art aircraft with advances that would easily overcome the defenses of most foes. The radar-evading jets would dodge sophisticated antiaircraft missiles and give pilots a better picture of enemy threats while enabling allies, who want the planes, too, to fight more closely with American forces.

But the ambitious aircraft instead illustrates how the Pentagon can let huge and complex programs veer out of control. The program has run into other technical problems and nearly doubled in cost as Lockheed and the military’s own bureaucracy failed to deliver on the most basic promise of a three-in-one jet that would save taxpayers money and be delivered speedily.

Behind the scenes, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin had also engaged in a conflict of their own over the costs, though both sides now say that the relationship has improved and that the program is making progress. The number of test flights had picked up, and the Marines said before the grounding this week that they were about to shift from simply testing the planes to starting to fly them operationally...

The Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 of the jets by the late 2030s. But the program, the most expensive in military history, has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, and it could easily become a target for budget cutters.

There's always enough money for this stuff isn't there? Meanwhile they'll tell you that you must be prepared to "sacrifice" your meager retirement income for the greater good.

A major problem with our system is that the only type of government job creation that's allowed is weapons building. And those who do that business are given a blank check signed by the taxpayers. It doesn't take a genius to realize that this creates a huge incentive to use such products so that there is a need to make more of them.