A proposal concerning spending

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pointed out that President Barack Obama’s plan for freezing spending in certain categories improperly exempts all of the militarism budget from any cuts whatsoever. I mean, seriously now, does any sentient human being truly believe that all of the $549 billion the military intends to spend during 2011 is justified? That absolutely none of that is waste? The first two paragraphs of a July 2009 Wall Street Journal story tell a disturbing tale:

When John McCain was shot down over Hanoi in 1967, he was flying an A4 Skyhawk. That jet cost $860,000.

Inflation has risen by 700% since then. So Mr. McCain’s A4 cost $6.1 million in 2008 dollars. Applying a generous factor of three for technological improvements, the price for a 2008 Navy F18 fighter should be about $18 million. Instead, we are paying about $90 million for each new fighter. As a result, the Navy cannot buy sufficient numbers. This is disarmament without a treaty.

Probably the most egregiously wasteful program in the entire Pentagon is Missile Defense. In October 2006, the INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Hanit was hit by missile supplied by Iran and fired by Hezbollah. Even if the ship had been taken completely by surprise, it was an extremely advanced warship with an allegedly working missile-defense system. The system, in a real-time surprise problem, was useless in protecting the Israeli ship.

On 9/11, the Pentagon was protected by a missile defense system that cost $130 billion and was allegedly capable of shooting down a missile about the size of an oil drum traveling at over 6000 mph. It was defeated by a Boeing 757 (Wingspan: 124 ft, height: 44 ft, length: 178 ft) traveling at about 600 mph. The failure of that system was so blatant, the article I’ve linked to makes the case for a conspiracy, usually called a “911Truth” theory.

The Clinton Administration tested a missile defense system five times, finally saying the heck with it, “when the ‘bullet’ and booster rocket stages didn’t separate.”

In December 2004,

Pentagon officials could not immediately explain the reason for the failure. They said some kind of anomaly prompted the automatic shutdown of the launch sequence just 23 seconds before the interceptor was due to take off from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. Plans had called for the interceptor to soar into space and knock down a mock warhead fired from Kodiak Island in Alaska about 16 minutes earlier.

And very sensibly, President Obama had to choose between a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic versus a better relationship with Russia, which was getting agitated at the potentially-aggressive system being based so close to their border.

It’s long past time America came to its senses and canceled this complete and utter waste of money. There are many other programs equally deserving of cancellation, but this program would be a very good place to start economizing.

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