fresh voices from the front lines of change








The F-35 fighter place is a textbook example of how tax dollars are wasted on Pentagon weaponry, Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight, explains in this Burning Issues video.

The F-35 is slated to cost the Pentagon up to $1.4 trillion. Yet the procurement process for the plain ignores the most basic principles of consumer due diligence, Smithberger points out. "You should fly before you buy a plane," she says – but instead the U.S. government has not only purchased a deeply flawed product, but has also put itself on the hook for fixing the flaws.

Why not just cancel the project? Because "political engineering" – spreading the construction of the F-35 over multiple congressional districts – has made the project "too big to fail," Smithberger says. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders, usually a bold critic of military spending in Congress and as a Democratic presidential candidate, has not been a leading critic of the F-35, because some of the production of the fighter takes place in Vermont. Voters themselves will have to press the candidates to put their words about fighting wasteful government spending into action when it comes to Pentagon spending.

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