“The current budget cut proposals being debated in Congress are the political equivalent of making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight going to the gym and then not going after the first week.”
So writes Tim Shoemaker on the Campaign for Liberty blog.
Shoemaker is right.
Neither the White House nor congressional Republicans are proposing deep enough spending cuts to turn America’s economic ship around and escape a deficit that threatens to drown our future.
Of course, it doesn’t help when self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives, including the Kentucky delegation, would vote for a defense earmark that even the Defense department has repeatedly indicated it doesn’t want and that the nation doesn’t need.
In fact, conservatives refer to it as the “Mother of all Earmarks” and the new “Bridge to Nowhere” project.
But GE wants it, as does Rolls-Royce, its partner in the project to build an alternate engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter.
Yep, that’s right — an “alternate” engine.
Since GE lost in the bid to build the initial jet fighter’s engine to Pratt & Whitney, it’s using its considerable resources — as evidenced by a recent aggressive ad campaign aided by a $9 million lobbying effort — to be allowed to build an “alternate” engine … all at taxpayers’ expense, of course.
Even Tea-party conservative types in D.C. are having trouble saying “no” to GE, which has a presence in or near many of conservative leaders’ districts, including Speaker John Boehner’s in Ohio. About 1,000 employees have been working on the engine at a GE facility near Cincinnati.
GE claims that having an engine making competition will “drive down costs.” Not so, says the Defense department. In its own release, the DoD said the additional costs, including “the burden of maintaining two logistical systems,” will likely outweigh the savings.
On March 24, the Pentagon ordered a halt to the engine’s production.
Despite the fact that the two biggest-spending presidents in U.S. history — Barack Obama and George W. Bush, both administrations’ defense secretaries and the Defense bureaucracy itself said continuing to fund the $4 billion project could sap resources needed for more immediate security concerns, GE vows to try and find a way to keep it going.
Of course, that’s no problem — as long as they do it with their own money.
Click here for a timeline by Citizens Against Government Waste of spending that’s already occurred on this boondoggle.