It is curious that we have heard nothing from the Romney/Ryan campaign about reductions in spending in the military. It seems that the military gets a free pass in their budget-cutting frenzy to reduce federal government spending. Romney's stated plan for military spending is to link this spending to GDP-without any attempt to assess personnel versus weapon systems or to evaluate among weapons systems. Our military should be spending funds on nimble, well trained forces such as the Navy Seals, to fight terrorism-not expensive weapons systems designed for the cold war of the past.
A striking example of wasteful government military spending is the allocation to the Department of Defense for the F35 and F22 fighter aircraft.
In the case of the F35 (Joint Striker Fighter) the cost is estimated at over $700 billion in the period from now to 2037 when several branches of the military plan to purchase a total of 2,400 of these aircraft. Cost overruns have topped $1 billion already. Its construction has been delayed six years, and there have been all sorts of performance problems with the F35.
In the case of the F22 (Raptor Stealth Fighter) there have been even more performance problems than with the F35. Lack of oxygen for the pilots has been the major issue. And DoD officials are so worried about its performance that they won't let it go farther than 30 minutes from an air base. There have been 36 incidents of problems with the F22.
Both these aircraft are budget busters.
If jobs are the issue, there are certainly more effective ways than building the F35 and F22 to support jobs that our government can spend its precious resources on - such as investing in the skills gap of our labor force, repairing our deteriorating infrastructure, like our roads, bridges, and railroads in southeastern Ohio. If supporting our troops is the issue, then let's support those in harm's way and our loyal veterans but not extravagant weapons systems.
Military spending is a form of government spending. If one is against wasteful government spending, then the F35 and F22 aircraft should be high on one's list of programs to cut.
I have written Congressman Bill Johnson about this issue and received no response. He seems to be as guilty of this hypocrisy about government spending as the Romney/Ryan campaign.