Citizen’s Against Government Waste (CAGW) put together a list of the most egregious examples of pork in the defense budget. It’s disgusting.
# $3,385,000,000 added anonymously for four projects. This figure equates to 44.7 percent of the dollar amount included for earmarks in the bill. According to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, signed into law on September 14, 2007 by President George W. Bush, members of Congress are required to add their name to each earmark. However, they continue to violate this law by adding anonymous earmarks to fund projects – often big-ticket items – at the expense of taxpayers.
# $2,500,000,000 added anonymously for ten additional C-17 aircraft. In a floor statement posted on his website, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voiced his opposition to the C-17 funding: “[w]hat we would do in this bill is effectively fund the purchase of new aircraft that we neither need nor can afford with critical sustainment money. That would have a significant impact on our ability to provide the day-to-day operational funding that our servicemen and women and their families deserve.”
# $465,000,000 added anonymously for the F136 alternate engine program. According to a November 10, 2009 Reuters article, deliveries of the F136 alternate engine will be delayed by one year. Built by General Electric and Rolls-Royce, the alternate engine program has had two major setbacks in as many months. In October, F136 testing was halted when a nut came loose, damaging turbine blades in the engine. Top military officials, former President Bush, President Obama, the Office of Management and Budget, and independent analysts all agree that the alternate engine should be eliminated. The project is expensive, unnecessary, and only survives because of pork-barrel politics.
# $250,000,000 added anonymously for advance procurement of components for the two DDG-51 destroyers planned in fiscal year 2011. According to a September 29, 2009 Associated Press article, the DDG-51 destroyer is “to be built in Pascagoula, Miss., home to Republican Sen. Thad Cochran....” Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), and Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) added $8,100,000 for a hybrid drive system for the DDG-51 destroyer.
ABC News also reported the waste in the spending bill, including the C-17’s the Department of Defense doesn’t even want. Later Charles Gibson asked President Obama if he’ll sign the bill even though it contains so much pork. Obama said something like “Well, I know there’s a lot of pork in there, but I have no choice but to sign the bill.” Well, he could have sent a message to Congress to send him a bill that doesn’t include a any pork. Maybe point out Pelosi’s recent promise to address the deficit. She could start by cutting out the lard. He could have vetoed the omnibus bill that increased spending. But the truth is, he has no problem with wasteful spending. He likes it. Look at all the previous spending, budget, bailouts and stimulus's he signed earlier in the year. Oh wait, he "inherited" all this...that's right