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    Posted September 27, 2013 by
    Portland, Oregon

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    Defund This!


    In today's world building new fighter jets and aircraft carriers makes about as much sense as building a bridge from Ketchikan Alaska to the airport on nearby Gravina Island in terms of value vs. cost.


    The budget, the taxpayers and all concerned, except those politicians and contractors involved, will be MUCH better off if these projects are "defunded", writing off the amount wasted so far. Use half of the remainder to pay down the debt and use the rest to rebuild heavily used highways and bridges, many of which are at or near the point of being a danger to motorists.


    Why is that not so obvious so as to be the cause of national outrage?


    Yesterday CNN reported on a sagging bridge in Green Bay, WI. It was noted that many more bridges are in poor condition and that others have collapsed resulting in death and injury.


    There are daily reports about the effort to defund Obamacare (Affordable Healthcare Act). One reason cited is its impact on the budget.


    Yet we've seen nary a mention of hundreds of billions being flushed down the proverbial toilet to build new fighter jets. This despite the fact that none, zero, nada of nearly 200 F22 fighters put into service since 2005 have seen combat action.


    The F22's first report of contact with an "enemy" aircraft came just a couple of weeks ago when the Air Force reported that an F22 had "chased off" an Iranian F4 Phantom over the Persian gulf last March. That's it... over 66 billion dollars to chase off one Iranian jet.


    The story now becomes incredible... except that it is verifiable public knowledge. The U.S. congress has commissioned over 2,400 MORE fighter jets at a estimated purchase cost of 323 billion dollars. The total lifetime cost of ownership will go well above the 1 TRILLION mark.


    To add insult to injury, the decision was made to replace the existing fleet of 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers with shiny new Ford class carriers. The first three have been approved for construction at an estimated cost of 32 billion dollars FOB Newport News, VA.


    Over 30 years remain before the three newest Nimitz class carriers are scheduled to be decommissioned. Shouldn't we be be asking ourselves "What are the chances that concept of fighter jets and aircraft carriers will be obsolete in 30 years?"


    As budget issues dominate the news, one has to wonder how can it be that waste on this magnitude is tolerated... not just tolerated, but accepted without meaningful debate. Do military contractors really have that much control?

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