Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Citizens Against Government Waste & John McCain

A letter came in today, the usual please send money letter, from these guys. As examples of "waste, fraud and abuse" they cited buying 262 C-130's over 21 years, when the Defense Dept only wanted five. That's $13 billion, used to be real money back before the porkulus. On the other hand, the C-130 is one heluva useful airplane. It moves stuff up to the front lines at 300 knots. It can get 20 tons into a 1000 foot dirt runway. This means it can bring rations, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, combat troops, vehicles, artillery, SAM's, radar sets, hot coffee and clean laundry anywhere in the world. After WWII a US general ranked the DC-3 transport plane as one of the great war winning weapons. The C-130 is a DC-3 writ large. In short, it's a very useful thing to have, and it doesn't go obsolete. We might not need all 262 of them, but it's a real weapons system, useful in any kind of war, anytime in the future.
After trashing the C-130 buy, they whined about some nitnoy (small) stuff, dubious sounding program names with tiny price tags in the $1 to $5 million area. They did not mention big ticket programs, F35 fighters, Future Combat System (what ever that turns out to be), littoral combat ships, presidential helicopters, ballistic missile defense, C-27 cargo planes, GPS satellites, C-5 transport rebuilding, and Air Force tankers. Each of those programs is billions of dollars. Compared to that, a million dollars for "atmospheric water harvesting" is nothing.
I decided to put the letter in the fireplace with the rest of the morning's junk mail. If they cannot see the forest for the trees, heck, see the forest for the saplings, they don't need my money. Too bad John McCain let his good name be used by such an ineffectual bunch.

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