Tanks, But No Tanks? Congress Reverses Army Decision And Moves To Order Half A Billion Dollars Worth Of New Unwanted Tanks

220px-M1A1Many of us have criticized our politicians for years for abandoning the national interest in favor of petty or corrupt interests. I have worked in this town for decades and I have never seen the situation quite this bad where lobbyists seem to have unprecedented and open control of Congress. No greater example can be found than the move this week to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on tanks that the Army does not want and experts overwhelming say the country does not need.

Both Republicans and Democrats (the same people complaining about the cuts in budget under the sequester) joined together to order $500 million of new Abrams M-1 tanks that no one wants. Why? Because of a powerful lobby and a company who sweetened the pot by spreading the contracts around to key districts. The Army has other uses for the $436 million that would make the country safer but members want their cut of the defense pork. Then of course there are also those countless educational, scientific, and public welfare programs slashed for lack of money.

The money has changed two budget hawks into pork profiteers. Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman have insisted that the Army will order the tanks which will likely add to hundreds now rusting in storage areas. They are joined by liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Ohio will benefit most from building the tanks. The Lima plant is operated by the land systems division of General Dynamics, which spread around $11 million last year on lobbyist members of Congress.

Jordan makes no apologies for insisting that money needed for national security should be shifted to an unwanted program: “Look, (the plant) is in the 4th Congressional District and my job is to represent the 4th Congressional District, so I understand that . . . But the fact remains, if it was not in the best interests of the national defense for the United States of America, then you would not see me supporting it like we do.” Really? Experts have lined up to say it is not in our best interests. The military has told you it is not in our best interest. But you are not convinced?

By the way, our tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old.

Source: NPR

29 thoughts on “Tanks, But No Tanks? Congress Reverses Army Decision And Moves To Order Half A Billion Dollars Worth Of New Unwanted Tanks”

  1. Hey, why waste money on wages for soldiers, on medical care for injured and disabled people when you can give it to war profiteering corporations who donate to your reelection campaign?

  2. What Mike S. said. And…,yes, I’ll say it again. It’s much, much worse than most realize…

  3. As I’ve been asserting all along our country is run by a coup engineered by the Corporate Military/Industrial Complex.

  4. I could have sworn I heard something about ending earmarks and pork. More meaningless promises from those who haven;t a clue what the definition of promise, morality or integrity is.

  5. Paul, i did not mean throw them out by election. I meant force the govt to resign by Economic Strike. Force an economic collapse and drive them out.

  6. The greatest infrastructure bill in U.S. history was relatively recent.

    The money must have gone to foreign nations to rebuild their infrastructure, because no one can point to U.S. infrastructure improvement (Inferior Structure).

  7. OS,
    You have hit the nail on the head. Our money should be going to rebuild our infrastructure which will not only improve the country, it will create jobs all over the country. Not just in a few congressional districts or states where these defense contractors are located. While I do want these defense workers to keep their jobs, we need them to be working on defense systems the military actually need and want.

  8. Sam, yes indeed, throw them all out. When this next election comes around my ballot will not have a single D or R candidate selected. They both have been corrupted and it is time to give the Greens or Libertarians a chance. I mean how bad could they be? Do you think they might spend bankrupt the country? Oh wait, the Rs and Ds have already done that.

  9. It is time to throw all of them out. Time for a real change of people top to bottom. Time to disband both parties and install new election and party rules.

  10. The US has great tanks. We also have a lot of them. What war do they plan to fight with all those new tanks?

    We also have the F-35 in the pipeline. Another project neither needed nor wanted, but being forced on the Air Force. You cannot run fast enough to catch me to make me get in an F-35 and start it, much less fly it.

    We have bridges falling into the Mississippi river, and a crumbling infrastructure, post offices and airport control towers on Hospice care and they are ordering more military hardware that no one wants.

    Meet the F-35: The DoD’s Pricey Benchwarming Plane:

  11. And yet I heard Grandpa Walnuts on my radio this morning whining about how sequestration was leaving our DoD in grave danger.

    But the danger is not from lack of money Senator McCain, the danger is from scumbags like you that that ignore the actual needs of the military and the nation so as to throw even more money into the bottomless maw for your buddies

  12. $500 million could have been spent to help 10,000 wounded warriors rebuild their lives. $500,000,000 / $50,000 = 10,000

  13. Instead of shipping them to the Army because the Army does not want them, why don’t the porkies send them straight to their home town police departments?

  14. Feed the military industrial complex and starve the people. Standard fare for the morons in Congress.

  15. How bout you Brown?
    The problem that Democrat voters have in this is that if we dont vote for a schmuck like Brown then we will get one like Peter King, a republiCon thief.
    “How bout you Brown?” was a phrase from either a Chech and Chong routine or some other comedy thing about 30 years ago.

  16. Of course…we need them more than NASA…. Private defense contractors lobbyist really earn their pay…

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