Commentary By Ron Beasley
The socipathic Republicans/Conservatives hate welfare unless it's for large corporations that are part of the military industrial complex. In order to avoid cuts in the "defense" budget they want to cut food stamps.
WASHINGTON -- The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession.
Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation's debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget.
So what are they trying to save? The billion dollar flying lemon better known as the F35. They had to cheat to keep the F35 and Lockheed Martin alive.
It seemed like a promising step for America�s next stealth fighter: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter passed a key Pentagon test of its combat capability. But it turns out that the family of jets cleared the mid-February exam only because its proctor agreed to inflate its grade. In essence, the military helped the F-35 cheat on its midterms.
The collusion between the Pentagon testing body, known as the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), and the F-35 program � first reported by Inside Defense � confirmed that the U.S.� most expensive warplane met previously established performance criteria. Specifically, the review was meant to show that the jet can fly as far and take off as quickly as combat commanders say they need it to.
But the review council, which includes the vice chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, eased the standard flying profile of the Air Force�s F-35A model � thereby giving it a range boost of 30 miles. And it tacked an additional 50 feet onto the required takeoff distance for the Marines� F-35B version, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just took off budgetary probation.
This lemon has 13 known flaws. This will increase the amount of wingnut welfare required and delay delivery. But the project continues and Lockheed Martin remains alive. It's a Budgetary Disaster but easy money for a major defense contractor.
While the Republicans continually talk about government waste the F35 is waste they won't talk about.