As most of Washington has begun to see the need to have some serious conversations about how we might make do with less spending, it probably comes as no surprise that for many members of Congress it is little more than just talk.
While some congressional leaders prepare to do battle with the bureaucracy and the White House over cuts to cherished programs, others, (including some Republicans), are trying to force the administration to spend billions more than it has already requested.
Congress is trying to force feed the Pentagon additional hardware that both the Bush and Obama administrations agreed would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, they want to force the military to buy an alternate engine for the forthcoming F-35 Lightning fighter jet.
Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with there being any problems with the engine that the Pentagon selected for the F-35 to begin with. It works just fine and the brass is quite happy with it. And it is not that the Pentagon usually makes a habit of buying two engines from two different manufacturers for all of their planes. They don’t. The problem is that General Electric didn’t win the contract to supply engines for the F-35. Pratt & Wittney did. So GE did what most big companies do in such situations, they lobbied Congress. The result: members of Congress are trying to come to the rescue with a little corporate welfare.
But the fact is that corporate welfare is just as wasteful and insidious as the other varieties. In this case, it subsidizes failure. And given that our national budgets are running trillions of dollars in red ink, it is a subsidy we cannot afford. read more »