Sunday, 28 April 2013

Army doesn't want tanks: Army being forced into $436 million in tank upgrades

Army doesn't want tanks: Army being forced into $436 million in tank upgrades, In an archetypal tale that highlights runaway government spending and the gross misuse of taxpayer dollars, Congress is set to drop $436 million dollars on new tanks for the U.S. Army. The caveat? The Army doesn’t even want them.

According to an April 28 MSN Now report, over the past two years, nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds have been earmarked for upgrades to the hulking M1 Abrams tank, an American third-generation main battle tank.

At a cost of $7.5 million per tank, the Army argues that the money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Abrams tank, built to dominate in combat, is proving equally hard to balance in an ongoing budget battle.

The 70-ton tanks have been set for upgrades despite senior Army officials repeatedly saying, 'Thanks but no thanks.'

“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.

So why are the tank dollars still flowing? Politics.

Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts where the tank's many suppliers are located.

If there's a home of the Abrams, it's politically important Ohio. The nation's only tank plant is in Lima. So it's no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are Rep Jim Jordan and Sen Rob Portman, two of Capitol's Hill most prominent deficit hawks, as well as Democratic Sen Sherrod Brown.

The inverted dilemma? Keeping jobs intact to create weapons of war, or allowing Congress to mismanage millions.

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