Friday, May 29, 2009

Wasteful Government Spending

I can think of no politician who publicly opposes the reduction of "wasteful government spending." But what seems wasteful to some appears essential to others.

Jacksonville used to be the home port of the USS John F. Kennedy, the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier built by the U.S. Navy. The ship was expensive to operate and needed extensive repairs. In 2005, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed saving taxpayer dollars by decommissioning the Kennedy. The response by Florida politicians (including conservative Republicans who claimed to advocate the reduction of government) was that the Kennedy was essential to national defense. (It was finally decommissioned in 2007.)

A similar event is occurring now. In April 2009, the DOD proposed to cease buying new F-22 Raptor fighter jets. So many states are producing parts for the aircraft that politicians do not want to support the Navy's own recommendation for curbing its expenses.

So how do we get past this?

See also "Reductions in Defense Spending?"

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