Photo via the Daily Press
It doesn't take a green blogger to tell you that the government's defense budget is bloated--and that we're manufacturing way more weapons and vehicles than necessary. Which is why it's good news that the senate voted in favor of halting production of seven F-22 Raptors, supporting Obama's agenda. Not only will the materials that constitute the planes and the energy required for their production be saved--but so will $1.75 billion. And before everyone gets on my back for being a liberal, naive, give-peace-a-chance hippie, consider this: the Republican, Bush appointed Secretary of Defense was in favor of scrapping the planes. They're simply not useful in the current kind of warfare the US is engaged in--and would be produced essentially only to gratify the massive defense contractor Lockheed Martin (and the more-massive body of employees who would build them).
"The president really needed this vote, not just in terms of the merits of the F-22 itself but in terms of his reform agenda," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) told POLITICO: "We have got to be a leaner, meaner government. We have to be more efficient."Indeed. Also encouraging were the presidents words after the vote landed in favor of his agenda:
In his own remarks after the vote, Obama stressed too that defense spending is now "a zero-sum game" and the F-22 an "inexcusable waste of money" at a time when the U.S. is "fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit."This attitude is refreshing, especially when it's focused on such politically hallowed ground as the US defense budget. After all, defense spending is at a whopping $515 billion (Obama actually increased it this year)--around 4.7% of the entire US GDP. And the military can launch as many campaigns to "go green" as it wants--the fact remains that cutting the proverbial large-scale fat (like now-useless fighter plane contracts) off of military spending will do more to conserve resources, energy (the military uses the most energy in the US), and money than, say, acquiring rubber tracks for military vehicles.