As I’ve watched political maneuvering in Congress to push through wasteful spending on the F-22 fighter jet, I’ve shifted from hope, to amused resignation. New information revealed by the Washington Post just as the weekend began has me shifting into indignation.
The military has tried to end the F-22 program, given that the F-22 is an unneeded, excessively-expensive machine that still doesn’t work right, in spite of two decades of development. However, Congress just won’t let the F-22 die. Many members of Congress think that the F-22 is valuable because its production creates some jobs, though the same number of jobs could be created in the production of something that our country actually needs – something that doesn’t put American pilots in danger every time they climb inside it.
It turns out that the F-22 is so poorly designed that it can only be flown for 1.7 hours before it starts breaking down so rapidly that it is in danger of falling out of the sky. Furthermore, for every hour that the F-22 is in the sky, it needs 34 hours of repairs.
Imagine if the government hired a worker to commute 17 hours before coming to work for one hour, and then driving back home for 17 hours again. Republicans would be up in arms about the waste. Yet, every Republican on the House Armed Services Committee has voted in favor of spending more money on buying F-22 jet fighters. Why? Does waste look better to a Republican when it comes with wings?
Of course, the Republicans are in the minority on the House Armed Services Committee. So, the F-22 funding didn’t pass, right? Wrong. Six of the Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee joined the Republicans to help them push the F-22 back into the military budget.