Sunday, July 8, 2007


Last week it was our tax dollars for an airport that no one has built. This week it is a jet engine that nobody wants.

Well, nobody in the military wants it. The engine in question is a spare for the Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. General Electric Aircraft Engines in Lynn, Massachusetts is designing the engine and says the project will bring jobs to the Bay State. That is where Sen. Ted Kennedy comes in.

According to the Boston Globe,

“Kennedy personally earmarked $100 million for the engine – more than 20% of its cost- during committee deliberations over the 2008 defense authorization bill.”

Kennedy knowing he would need other powerful senators to support the project, left $385 million to be earmarked by his partners in crime. He can be so generous with OUR money. Of course, the $485 million is not actually the cost of the engine project but just the cost to keep it alive. The program “is on a nearly half-billion dollar life support system” according to a recent posting on DefenseTech.org, a widely read military industry website. The Air Force spent $2.5 billion on the program before it decided “that it could not justify the parallel engine project, which could top $9 billion.

This project flies (pun intended) in the face of those who argue that earmarks are not actually extra spending but rather spending that is already in the budget but directed by specific legislators instead of a federal agency. The Air Force has not budgeted for this engine since 2005 and the two most recent Pentagon assessments concurred. “If you have to write a program explicitly into a piece of legislation it has generally failed all other cost-benefit analyses and otherwise would not have been approved.” According to Ronald D. Utt of The Heritage Foundation.

$9 billion of taxpayers money to create jobs in Ted Kennedy’s state building a jet engine that the Air Force doesn’t need or want. Ironically, there is no guarantee that GE, which has plants worldwide, would build the engine in Massachusetts so it is a $485 million crap shoot.

Finally, what is so striking about this earmark is that Ted Kennedy has spent so much time advocating controlling defense spending (perhaps control as in let him spend it as opposed to reducing it) while also excoriating the Bush Administration for failing to listen to the experts at the Pentagon on war policy.

Ted. The Pentagon experts have spoken. They don’t want or need the engine.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, Right Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, The Pet Haven Blog, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Adeline and Hazel, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, Stageleft, stikNstein... has no mercy, Pirate's Cove, Nuke's news and views, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Church and State, CatSynth.com, Right Pundits, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, 123beta, Adam's Blog, Webloggin, The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, , Conservative Cat, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.