Defense Spending is Republican’s “Sacred Cow”

F-35

Nearly one-half of the Pentagon’s budget each year goes to waste, but Republicans continue to seek increases. They want to cut or eliminate all social programs, and defund Planned Parenthood, an organization which has aided low-income and poor women for decades, but continue to allow our military to be inefficient and wasteful. Marco Rubio proposed raising the defense budget to one-trillion dollars, although they already receive five-times more than the combined nations of the world. As Donald Trump, the standard bearer of the party says; he “loves war;” and he obviously hates most of America’s people, if you can believe anything the failed businessman says.

Let’s explore the truth; some of the failed projects by the Pentagon which cost taxpayers every year. Republicans don’t want you to have a raise in the minimum wage to support your family, or to receive healthcare, but they support military waste.

The biggest loser is the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter.”

The F-35 was intended to be the ‘ultimate fighting machine,’ adaptable to all branches of the military. The expected cost was to be a mere one-trillion dollars. It has failed every expectation. In a simulated “dog fight” with a now ancient F-16, it was defeated. The good news is that although it is a huge failure, our allies have agreed to purchase them, if they are ever mass produced.

Production delays and cost overruns will cost the American taxpayers not one, but many more ‘trillions of dollars.’

Next is the Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier.

Expected to be launched this year, it cost taxpayers 17 billion dollars. It was designed to replace the “Nimitz” class carriers, and fitted with an automated design would allow more efficient operation and require less seaman. There’s only one problem; in tests it had repeated reliability failures and will able to launch only one-tenth of the aircraft projected when the need arises.

The Navy was unable to decide on a single combat ship, so it decided to order two. 32 Freedom-class and Independence-class ships have been ordered. The cost has not been revealed, but what has been exposed is the fact that experts seriously doubt that they could survive in actual combat.

“Antimissile shield radar SBX.” You may not remember the decision by George W. Bush to scrap an anti-missile system to appease the Russians. The SBX has now been developed at a cost of $10 billion. Its primary purpose is to detect missile launches by North Korea. There is a single problem; it doesn’t work.

More than 2,000 M-1 Bradley tanks are gathering dust in a warehouse in Herlong, California; the result of a disagreement between Congress and the Army.

When the Pentagon has money and no projects to waste it on, it finds a way to spend your tax dollars. It has spent more than one-and-one-half billion dollars on projects in Afghanistan which are either not needed, or have failed.

Why is the Republican Party supporting a wasteful military? Two reasons. First of all, this is one of the few ways they attract voters. Using fear tactics, they have convinced uninformed Republican voters that we need an overgrown military to defend our nation, as they ignore the fact that terrorists cannot be destroyed with conventional warfare.

Secondly, they are the party of big business and the wealthy. Many Republicans are heavily invested in the military industrial complex, including Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and other members of the Bush Administration.

“War is good business.”

Op-Ed

By James Turnage

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