Military Buying Italian Planes At $50 Million A Piece . . . And Sending Them Directly To “Boneyard”

220px-Alenia_C-27J_(Pratica_di_Mare)_edit1220px-B52sdestroyedWhile the federal and state governments continue to cut programs for education, scientific research, and the environment, the Pentagon continues to spend wildly on items and them toss them out. We recently saw how they prefer to deliver bags of money to Karzai, buy Russian aircraft that Afghans can’t fly or maintain, or build huge buildings to be then torn down unused. Of course, no one is ever fired for constructing massive buildings that no one wants only to tear them down. After all, these are contracts going to powerful companies with friends in the government. Now, we buying huge planes at $50 million a pop only to roll them directly from the factories into mothballs because no one wants them. To make this even more incomprehensible, we are not even making the cargo planes. Like the Russian helicopters that the Afghans cannot fly, we are buying the cargo planes from Italy . . . and we are continuing to order more as we struggle to find places to dump them.

The dozen Italian-built C-27J Spartans have been shipped to an Air Force facility in Arizona dubbed “the boneyard.” We are ordering five more, which are expected to be immediately sent with the others into mothballs. The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 of the planes which will join some 4,400 other aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles at the boneyard — more than $35 billion of unused airplanes.

Why order planes to be immediately mothballed? Ohio’s senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman wanted them to give a mission for Mansfield Air National Guard Base and to save 800 jobs. So we will spend $567 million to save 800 jobs. Wouldn’t it have been easier to give half a million to each of their constituents and save the rest of the money?

Of course, with citizens rising up against the latest effort of the Administration and Congress to intervene in another war, we could have a pile up of unused weapons . . . until we find a use for them.

89 thoughts on “Military Buying Italian Planes At $50 Million A Piece . . . And Sending Them Directly To “Boneyard””

  1. As a Leftist one would only hope that other fellow travellers like Prof. Turley, Gene H, and others frequenting this blog would finally come to the principled realization that casting a vote for Corporatist Party A vs. Corporatist Party B (2 sides of the same coin) is a political dead end that working people will never prevail from until they organize a 3rd anti-Corporate Party C — that is, only Turley (out of of Constitutional principles), Gene H. (out of similar principles), along with myself & a small handful of other regulars here (for similar reasons) refused to vote for Obama last election despite the consternation of the 99% who voice their opinions here.

    My hope is those dedicated folks here look back at the reasons why Turley refused to vote for Obama last election (despite him voting for Obama the 1st time around) and make the principled break away from Dems once & for all and organize along different lines — because without that break we progressives are DOOMED.

    Anybody whose read the last 24 months of Glenn Greenwald’s blog knows what I’m talking about

    PS: As a coincidence: approx 8 out of 10 words that start with the letter D in the English language have negative connotations.

  2. Linda H,
    If Obama is a dictator, how come all those Republicans and teabaggers causing him so many headaches aren’t in some dungeon somewhere? Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Jong Un, and Stalin would have “disappeared” them by now. So if he is a dictator, how come he has had to fight tooth and nail to get even parts of his proposed legislation passed?

  3. Somebody mentioned the US is trying to give Italians a favor. My money is on that argument since it’s only last week I read that the US is hoping to have multiple bases in Italy, the most in all of Europe. Sorry, forgot where I read it.

  4. david, We all make choices. Some people choose to have fancy houses on golf courses, lakes, etc. We have always lived in a modest house. I don’t judge folks who go the fancy house route, to each their own. Travel is the best education. Our kids travelled this great country and many countries. That is where we chose to use our resources. And, that’s where we continue to spend our money. When folks react like this I always sing the song in my head, “Little boxes on a hilltop, little boxes made of ticky tack, little boxes on a hilltop and they all look the same.” It gives me perspective and a smile.

  5. We all make choices. I WORKED HARD for this. I have NO PENSION or health benefits, I saved for this working 80 hour weeks. And, for the 78th time, I have MUCH empathy for union workers, I despise their leaders who feed off of them. I grew up in a union factory family. I am a critical thinker.

  6. David, Travel is the best education, and you were taught a great lesson! When I was in Boston, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I went down to the hotel lobby for a very run of the mill buffet breakfast. There was a Russian tourist group there and they were wild eyed, stuffing everything they could into their pockets[not the eggs]. I related this to a friend. She told me of a person in her church who had emigrated here from the Soviet Union in the 80’s. The first time she went into a supermarket she was overcome w/ a flood of emotions, seeing the bounty we all take for granted. She, and all the good people of her country had been lied to about the US. The KGB was in charge of those lies, and a KGB man is still running her homeland.

    Cold cuts are also part of an Italian breakfast buffet. But, being Italians, it is a nice display of quality meats and cheeses. Americans have poor breakfast habits, except for rural farm folk who eat hearty breakfasts. You can splurge on breakfast because your body has the entire day to burn off the fat. The protein and fat consumed @ breakfast also keeps one satiated during the course of the day, keeping blood sugars regulated and cravings down. I was back where I grew up in the northeast. The ubiquity of Dunkin Donuts shows one reason why we are so obese as a nation.

  7. The feds don’t have the authority to spend money on education or the environment. Perhaps a little on research only as it pertains to an enumerated power.

    Seems I’m the last person here who should be pointing this out.

    Oh. Bring troops home, stop the phony wars. Then cut the military budget. That ought to curtail wasteful spending or cause the generals to launch a nuke on our soil in a vain attempt to plunder us more than they already have.

    Either way we are sunk.

    This is what happens to deviant and corrupt civilizations.

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