By Rebekah Johansen
With the country facing record deficits and runaway spending, many different programs and policies can rightly come under scrutiny.
One such program is the billion-dollar F-35 program. A petition has recently begun to make the rounds highlighting the absurd waste contained in this program, which it calls “the poster child for what’s wrong in Washington.”
The cost alone of this program would be enough to take a second look. With a price tag of $1.5 trillion over the its lifetime, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapon program in history.
But, unsurprisingly, it gets worse. The petition points out that the jets, which were conceived to fight Soviet fighter jets, are “nearly useless against the security threats of the 21st century” — and, adding insult to injury, the F-35 doesn’t even work. The development “has been plagued by design flaws, technical failures, and a host of other problems that mean even under the best circumstances, the F-35 is years away from meeting minimal operational standards.”
Congress and the Pentagon, urged along by a host of special interests and lobbyists, are pushing forward to keep buying more broken planes that will require billions of dollars in repairs before they can ever be used in combat. This type of profligate spending is absolutely unacceptable in any circumstance, particularly the current one.
It is important to keep in mind that all spending should be on the table for reduction and that big spending drivers should be considered regardless of relative value involved. However, instances like this one are stark reminders that America’s sacred cows are not so sacred. And they are also reminders of why the Coalition exists in the first place. With powerful special interests urging expansion of such flatly ridiculous uses of money, it is absolutely vital for us to place that much more pressure on elected officials to Reject the Debt — not buy more broken planes.