Saturday, April 30, 2011

McCain Says : It’s Nuts - Kline Eerily Silent

John McCain (R-AZ) and John Kline (R-MN-02) share responsibilities for our nations defense spending as both sit on their chamber’s respective Armed Services Committees … both portray themselves as fiscal conservatives who proclaimed a War on Earmarks … and yet both need to take some responsibility for the growth in defense spending.

Regardless of which party controls the White House, defense spending has grown at unsustainable levels.
Under President Bush, military spending averaged 3.9 percent of GDP.
Under President Obama, it has averaged 4.9 percent—a full percentage point higher.
It is incomprehensible to assume spending under the president who launched the War on Terror is insufficient for even the most hawkish member of Congress. Congress has virtually plenary constitutional power over appropriations, one that is not qualified with reference to its powers in Article One Section Eight of the US Constitution ... the blame clearly falls on CONGRESS.

But these two players are not the same.
On one hand, there is Senator McCain who sees military wasteful spending and takes action … for example, his amendment to terminate funding for the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 alternate engine while Mr. Kline and his compatriots in the House took the opposite stance. Finally, a stop work order has been issued ending the funding … as previously note, Mr. Kline was eerily silent to recognize this taxpayer victory.

The next battle is MEADS - the Medium Extended Air Defense System. (For more about MEADS, there is a commentary on the MN Political Roundtable.
The Army has decided not to go forward with the missile defense system. Senator McCain said, “It’s nuts.” "The Army wasted an average of $3.4 billion a year on programs that came to nothing" as Senator McCain used MEADS as an example of the failings of Defense Department.

Mr. Kline needs to explain why the MEADS program should not be given a Stop Work Order … there are proven alternatives … such as the Patriot. Consider that the current War on Global Terror has two active theatres … Iraq and Afghanistan … and do you ever hear any talk of the Patriot Missile Defense system ? No … why … the simple answer is because these conflicts are with non-state actors involved in a counter-insurgency campaign and the Patriot is not part of that defense plan.

However, if a missile defense system is necessary, simple math provides the answer … the cost for a single MEADS fire unit will run well over $300 million, while a modernized Patriot fire unit comes in at less than $80 million.

Mr. Kline, do the math … Stop MEADS … Save the taxpayer’s money … there are plenty of us that feel we are TaxedEoughAlready that don’t feel the need to support your friends in the defense industry. The Pentagon is slated to spend $6.5 trillion over the next ten years, please listen to Senator McCain … STOP MEADS.

5 comments:

dog gone said...

The MEADS program is just one of those which should receive such a stop work order.......so why doesn't it?

To rephrase the question, who connected to the MEADS project, either directly or indirectly, is giving Kline or his buddies money? Because absent a financial reason for it to be in the interest of Mr. Kline, or someone for whom he is doing a special dirty little favor, there IS not a lot of reason for him not to join McCain and others in opposing this sort of blatant waste.

Or...am I missing something?

Minnesota Central said...

Dog Gone,
THANKS for offering your thoughts.

There is a new commentary on the MN Political Roundtable citing that Grover Norquest’s group, Americans For Tax Reform has complained that the House continues to fund MEADS.
On the opposite side is Dave Berganini, the president of MEADS International ... let's remember that Lockheed Martin leads MEADS International … and that, Lockheed Martin has been a major benefactor of Mr. Kline’s votes … heck, as the largest federal contractor, Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth more than the total combined budgets of the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Congress.
All told, NASA and the Defense Department account for roughly 80 percent of Lockheed Martin’s annual sales and they are not opposed to making campaign donations to any member of Congress that will help their cause.

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