Monday, July 22, 2013

Pentagon: Poor, poor pitiful US

Do you plan to take out any new student loans? If so, you'll join the American Impoverishment Program designed by the US Congress as they fund insanely pricey weapons and double the interest rates on those student loans. The Global War on Terror now features the US Congress Battle Against the Middle Class. North Korea blusters but has never actually attacked US soil. Congress goes straight into your paycheck with grubbing mitts, however, so Harry Reid's note on Meet the Press that Gallup Polls show a 10 percent US citizenry confidence in Congress versus a 12 percent favorability rating toward North Korea should perhaps get those members of the elite to think about doing a bit less for Lockheed-Martin (F-35 contractor) and a bit more for the American people's basic need to get their workforce educated without also enslaving them to massive debt.

As the middle class sinks fast--some have a rough proletarian parity, some have hit into a new category of the noveau lumpen--the military continues its grossout at the Congressional feed trough, especially the capital-intensive (and thus capitalist-friendly) huge weapons system. No program is more emblematic of this gluttony gorging than the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapon program in history. To purchase, operate, and maintain the jets is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over the life of the program. Each jet will cost nearly $160 million just to purchase and the US is currently planning to buy 2,457 total F-35s.

Originally conceived to fight Soviet fighter jets, the F-35 is nearly useless against the security threats of the 21st century (terrorism, climate change, cyber warfare). Even worse, the F-35 doesn't work. Its development has been plagued by design flaws, technical failures, and a host of other problems that mean even under the best circumstances, the F-35 is years away from meeting minimal operational standards.

Yet Congress and the Pentagon are pushing forward with plans to keep buying more F-35s - broken planes that they know will require billions of dollars in repairs before they can ever be used in combat. The very same politicians rushing to slash social security, privatize Medicare, and defund nearly every agency of government are insisting that we continue full speed ahead on the F-35. And with an army of lobbyists at its disposal, Lockheed Martin - maker of the F-35 - is fighting hard to make sure nothing changes.
Can anyone but a war profiteer justify this? For a woe and whiny Pentagon version, see the DOD website. They have no shame. Give us everything, or else.

For once, let's choose 'or else.'

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