F-22 as Stimulus
Andrew Exum catches something that we online-only news consumers missed:
Those of you who still read the paper copy of the Washington Post in the morning could not have helped but notice the full-page color advertisement for the F-22 in today’s front section. The really interesting thing about the advertisement was that it made the case for the F-22 based upon two things:
1. National Security
2. American Jobs
And this, folks, is why the F-22 is never ever going away. Because at this stage, it’s defenders have all but abandoned the increasingly laughable idea that manned aircraft is the way of the future and have begun to call the F-22 what it actually is: a massive federal jobs program.
Yup. And a smart advertising campaign, too.
The thing is, even for a guy like me — who has been critical of spending our money on not just one but two new fighter-interceptors when we’re in a budget crunch and fighting two low-tech wars — this makes sense. If you’re trying to trim the defense budget and focus on the wars we’re actually fighting, spending as much money as we have spent on the F-22 is embarrassing. But if you’re trying to stimulate the economy and you’ve decided budget deficits don’t matter in the near term, there are many worse ways to preserve jobs than by spending money on the F-22. The only irony is watching all these free market, fiscal conservatives suddenly find their inner Karl Marx and go all command economy on us when it comes to big defense programs.
Well, if you’re going to spend tons of your grandchildren’s tax dollars, you might as well 1) bring jobs to the district and 2) buy cool military toys. I agree that unmanned is the wave of the future — if not the present. But F-22s are undeniably a good jobs program.