Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lamar Smith's hypocrisy continues - $485 million for a jet engine the Pentagon doesn't want

Congressman Lamar Smith makes much of the deficit on his campaign website referring to it as “a mountain of debt for our children to pay” then going on to say “which why is Congressman Smith voted against the stimulus”. Unfortunately his hypocrisy is showing because he voted to keep $485 million in the Defense Appropriations bill that pays to continue to develop a jet engine that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the military doesn’t want. This is an alternate engine for the Lockheed built F-135 Joint Strike Fighter which already has an operational engine from Pratt & Whitney. According to Rear Admiral Mike Manazir, the Navy doesn’t want an alternate engine as it “would deploy only one type of engine in its JSFs that go to sea to optimize logistics and supply chains.”

I don’t know about you but if the Pentagon doesn’t want a piece of military hardware I think that’s a pretty good indication that we don’t need it. Smith’s vote amounts to corporate welfare for the GE/Rolls Royce consortium that is developing the engine. I might be able to understand his vote if the engine were being built in his district but it isn’t so he can’t claim local jobs are at stake.

If the deficit is so important to Mr. Smith why is he voting to spend nearly half a billion dollars unnecessarily? According to the logic he espouses on his website that money should go to reducing the deficit.

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