How the Federal Gov’t Wastes $400 Billion…

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On the Fiscal Times, we read:

The Pentagon’s embattled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues to be plagued with so many problems that it can’t even pass the most basic requirements needed to fly in combat, despite soaring roughly $170 billion over budget.

As the most expensive weapons program in the Pentagon’s history, the $400 billion and counting F-35 is supposed to be unlike any other fighter jet—with high-tech computer capabilities that can identify a combatant plane at warp speed. However, major design flaws and test failures have placed the program under serious scrutiny for years—with auditors constantly questioning whether the jet will ever actually get off the ground, no matter how much money is thrown at it.

Last year, military officials faulted contractors for all of the mistakes. Contractors claimed they had corrected the issues and that there wouldn’t be more costly problems down the road.

However, a new progress report from the Defense Department casts serious doubts on the progress of the program.

The DOD’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation cites everything from computer system malfunctions to flaws with its basic design—it even found that the jet is vulnerable to engine fires because of the way it’s built.

A separate report from Military.com unearthed another embarrassing issue with the jet that suggests it won’t take off on time.

The “precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb II doesn’t even fit on the Marine’s version of the jet,” according to Military.com. On top of that, the software needed to operate the top close-air support bomb won’t even be operational until 2022, inspectors said.

The Department of Defense, blowing millions of dollars on projects that are going nowhere? It cannot be. Perish the thought.

This isn’t a problem for the DoD. They want their fighter jet, sure; but it’s not like they’re on a budget. They can fritter away money like it ain’t nuthin but a thang. To them, it really is nuthin but a thang.

For the Military-Industrial Complex, this is great stuff. Government bureaucrats on the project get to look relevant. Contractors get a steady supply of labor and money. The Defense corporations developing this stuff get the work. The politicians overseeing the project get to look like hard-nosed sticklers and shake their fingers at delays, while still agreeing to fund the project anyway.

Who is this bad for? The taxpayers. But c’mon: who cares about them? They’re merely geese to be plucked.

ICBMs are basically unstoppable. Biological weapons are basically unstoppable, and cheap. If someone really wants us dead, they’ll use one or both of those weapons. What good will the F-35 do in that situation?

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