Last week I discussed the tendency for policymakers to treat the Pentagon like a giant jobs program. It was prompted by an article from the Associated Press on members of Congress shoving unwanted upgraded Abrams tanks down taxpayers’ throats because retooling tanks sustains jobs back in the district.
Over the past two years Congress has spent almost a half billion taxpayer dollars—and wants to spend another $436 million—upgrading Abrams tanks that experts and the Army itself say aren’t needed.
The Pentagon’s budget occupies center stage in the sequestration drama. Defense spending comprises approximately 18 percent of the 2013 federal budget, but it accounts for 50 percent of federal spending cuts stipulated in the sequestration agreement.