$485 Million For a Backup Engine?

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Several lawmakers, including the two top House Republicans, are urging adding $485 Million to the Defense Budget for a Jet-Engine project the Pentagon opposes.

“We have recommended for several years now against funding this engine, considering it a waste of money,” Mr. Gates, the defense secretary, told reporters last week.

According to John Boehner (R-Ohio), Steve Dreihaus (D-Ohio), and Eric Cantor (R-Virginaia), a second engine built by General Electric and Rolls-Royce will create competition and lower costs to the government in the future. Newly elected Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) has also come out in favor of the project. Not surprisingly, many of the production plants fall within their districts.

“It’s another classic example of politics being local,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who opposes the engine spending. Mr. Flake said supporting the spending undermines Republicans’ description of themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility. “If we can’t rein in this type of spending now, how are we going to do it later?” Mr. Flake asked.

According to Republicans, we don’t have money for healthcare, we don’t have money for economic stimulus, we don’t have money for education. But you can never have too many jet-engines!