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(NBC News)   Congress: the military needs to save money. Pentagon: Okay, we'll stop refurbishing tanks we don't need. Congress: How about no   (openchannel.nbcnews.com) divider line 62
    More: Fail, congresses, Center for Public Integrity, Odierno, General Dynamics, House Armed Services Committee, Operation Desert Storm, political action committees, Senate Armed Services Committee  
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2953 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Jul 2012 at 1:19 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-30 09:26:21 AM  
"But top Army officials have so far been unable to get political traction to kill the M1. Part of the reason is that General Dynamics and its well-connected lobbyists have been carrying a large checkbook and a sheaf of pro-tank talking points around on the Hill.

For example, when House Armed Services Committee member Hank Johnson, D-Ga., held a campaign fundraiser at a wood-panelled Capitol Hill steakhouse called the Caucus Room just before Christmas last year, someone from GD brought along a $1,500 check for his reelection campaign. Several months later, Johnson signed a letter to the Pentagon supporting funding for the tank."



In most other parts of the world, that's called bribing public officials, and people go to jail for that sort of thing.
 
2012-07-30 09:38:46 AM  
Congress: "No, no, the money has to be taken away from people in the military, not our defense contractors. After all, we don't want our military men and women getting too complacent! Gotta keep 'em bootstrappy!"
 
2012-07-30 09:44:06 AM  
$1500? I couldn't even bribe my alderman to fix a few pot holes. DAMN YOU CONGRESS!
 
2012-07-30 09:48:34 AM  
the 1500 was to put his name in-front of the Congressman, then he bundled a few million along with his fellow contractors which lead to the "support"
 
2012-07-30 10:08:17 AM  
The military-industrial complex has a STRONG lobby.
 
2012-07-30 12:12:58 PM  
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I am shocked that the teahadists are not all over this
 
2012-07-30 12:24:28 PM  
Political donations have to be about the best investment a company like General Dynamics can ever make.

They give $50,000 of their money to politicians and the politicians give $3 billion of public money to them.
 
2012-07-30 01:09:01 PM  
Credit where credit is due: NBC's report was well-written, referenced multiple sources and was targeted, detailed and specific.Good job.
 
2012-07-30 01:17:07 PM  
But Solyndra!
 
2012-07-30 01:23:20 PM  

xanadian: The military-industrial complex has a STRONG lobby.


Being someone who sees it from the contractor side and the Soldier side, it really sickens me.
 
2012-07-30 01:24:07 PM  
This is why we can't have nice things.
 
2012-07-30 01:24:17 PM  
Wait. I've been assured by MANY MANY top conservatives that government spending hasn't created a job no where any where not under any circumstance. How can this Congressmen then claim that cutting this will lead to job cuts?

Though, it should be noted that this case/article deals with corruption from both parties.
 
2012-07-30 01:25:36 PM  
The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

Whoa now, lets not stray from the narrative that its welfare, Planned Parenthood and Obama's teleprompter that's bankrupting this country...
 
2012-07-30 01:26:47 PM  

eraser8: Political donations have to be about the best investment a company like General Dynamics can ever make.

They give $50,000 of their money to politicians and the politicians give $3 billion of public money to them.


In truth it's probably ten to a hundred times that in money under the table and promises of future "consulting" jobs, but still, that's some return on investment.
 
2012-07-30 01:28:15 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: "But top Army officials have so far been unable to get political traction to kill the M1. Part of the reason is that General Dynamics and its well-connected lobbyists have been carrying a large checkbook and a sheaf of pro-tank talking points around on the Hill.

For example, when House Armed Services Committee member Hank Johnson, D-Ga., held a campaign fundraiser at a wood-panelled Capitol Hill steakhouse called the Caucus Room just before Christmas last year, someone from GD brought along a $1,500 check for his reelection campaign. Several months later, Johnson signed a letter to the Pentagon supporting funding for the tank."


In most other parts of the world, that's called bribing public officials, and people go to jail for that sort of thing.


In China, they execute people for it.

Here we just redefine bribery, then cheer when our politicians tell us how much money they "raised".
 
2012-07-30 01:28:43 PM  
Yup. Everyone wants to cut everyone else's spending. "Cut spending, but not spending that affects my district!" That and the campaign contributions. Why do you think cutting spending on welfare, unemployment, etc is always on the table? The welfare lobby just ain't putting enough money in the politicians' pockets.
 
2012-07-30 01:31:49 PM  

namatad: I am shocked that the teahadists are not all over this


That's because the teahadists are the tools of those who profit from this.
 
2012-07-30 01:35:05 PM  
The tank's supporters on Capitol Hill say they are desperate to save jobs in their districts and concerned about undermining America's military capability.


So, capitalism...unless it effects a defense job that's not needed. These are the same clowns who wanted to let GM go bankrupt. Smh.
 
2012-07-30 01:36:52 PM  

unyon: But SolyndraPBS!


T is for tank, that's good enough for me.
 
2012-07-30 01:37:06 PM  
The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!
 
2012-07-30 01:38:39 PM  

DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!



9/11

You said you'd never forget.
 
2012-07-30 01:41:36 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: Wait. I've been assured by MANY MANY top conservatives Republicans that government spending hasn't created a job no where any where not under any circumstance. How can this Congressmen then claim that cutting this will lead to job cuts?

Though, it should be noted that this case/article deals with corruption from both parties.


FTFY

/Republicans aren't conservatives
 
2012-07-30 01:41:43 PM  

DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!


Because the Germans err Russians err Terrorists are going to take us over tomorrow if we cut even one penny.
 
Ehh
2012-07-30 01:42:20 PM  
Another bit of evidence that the whole U.S. government will come crashing down before anyone admits something is (aka they are) wrong...
 
2012-07-30 01:43:46 PM  
But the neocons need tanks to preemptively invade oil-producing countries and spread democracy!
 
2012-07-30 01:43:54 PM  

DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!


The $3B isn't even remotely accurate.
 
2012-07-30 01:44:11 PM  

DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!


Because the Bible said, and this is a direct quote, that "Man shall not rest until all the barbarians of the world lay dead at my feet"
 
2012-07-30 01:44:12 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: "But top Army officials have so far been unable to get political traction to kill the M1. Part of the reason is that General Dynamics and its well-connected lobbyists have been carrying a large checkbook and a sheaf of pro-tank talking points around on the Hill.

For example, when House Armed Services Committee member Hank Johnson, D-Ga., held a campaign fundraiser at a wood-panelled Capitol Hill steakhouse called the Caucus Room just before Christmas last year, someone from GD brought along a $1,500 check for his reelection campaign. Several months later, Johnson signed a letter to the Pentagon supporting funding for the tank."


In most other parts of the world, that's called bribing public officials, and people go to jail for that sort of thing.


Every single one of my Irish relations has said exactly that.
 
2012-07-30 01:45:59 PM  

squidgod2000: DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!

The $3B isn't even remotely accurate.


So it's more? Less? Do you have anything to back up your claim, or are you just posting random shiat for the lulz?
 
2012-07-30 01:46:06 PM  

DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!


Because if we cut military spending by even one measly dollar, the damn Rooskies and Bolsheviks will be at our doorstep enslaving our womenfolk and converting us to Communism, the Cubans would suddenly take over Florida, and all of us would be speaking Cantonese for a new national language. Also, Mexicans.
 
2012-07-30 01:46:47 PM  

squidgod2000: DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!

The $3B isn't even remotely accurate.


According to Wiki, US defense spending is roughly $700 billion annually. That works out to about $81 million per hour. Don't think that includes war spending, just normal defense appropriations.
 
2012-07-30 01:46:55 PM  

Benni K Rok: /Republicans aren't conservatives


They told my dad they were!
 
2012-07-30 01:47:18 PM  
Hilarity abounds in this article.

After putting the tank money back in the budget then, both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have again authorized it this year - $181 million in the House and $91 million in the Senate. If the company and its supporters prevail, the Army will refurbish what Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno described in a February hearing as "280 tanks that we simply do not need."

Okay here's a term any civilian needs to know: legacy program. Anything that has long lived out its usefulness and seen its best day passed, but carries on in defiance of all fiscal knowledge and understanding of warfare, is a legacy program in the DOD. The U2 is a great example of such a thing. The Global Hawk does everything the U2 does and more, with no need for a pilot with special pressure suits and training, yet the U2 is still around, getting upgrades, and being employed daily. That's because it's a legacy program, and dammit, we need that 1950s Cold War relic soaring 70,000' with a human in the cockpit!!!

The M1 Abrams entered service in 1980, but first saw combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. That episode indicated that, on the battlefield at least, the only thing that could destroy an Abrams was another Abrams; only seven of the tanks deployed in the operation were destroyed, all by friendly fire.

Friendly fire isn't funny but the obscene disparity between the Iraqis' old Soviet tanks and our obnoxiously powerful Abrams is. I was a kid during Desert Storm, but the media seriously tried to make it sound like we were liberating France from the Nazis all over again. Nobody dared question the Gulf War the first time around. We were way too busy being ra-ra, war-loving, patriotic Americans ignoring a growing recession.

In the last decade, however, as hundreds were deployed to Iraq and later Afghanistan, a key shortcoming became apparent: Their flat bottoms made the Abrams surprisingly vulnerableto improvised explosive devices (IEDs). As a result, the Abrams in Iraq ended up being used as "pillboxes"- high-priced armored bunkers used to protect ground.

I gotta give the military credit, they routinely take gear that was made for a war they fought ages ago and adapt it to the current one, logic be damned. Our military, highly funded and powerful as it is, often functions in spite of itself and politicians' best wishes.

"The M1 is an extraordinary vehicle, the best tank on the planet," Paul D. Eaton, a retired Army major general now with the nonprofit National Security Network, said in an interview. Since the primary purpose of tanks is to kill other tanks, however, their utility in modern counterinsurgency warfare is limited, he added.

National Security Network, for those curious, is a liberal defense industry think tank formed by an analyst that broke from the Bush regime and supported Kerry in 2004. I'm not saying or implying anything else, I'm just stating what it is so people know the person quoted here better. He is essentially admitting though that the M1A1 was built for a war we last fought 22 years ago - just like any good, defense program is designed to do: fight the last war.
 
2012-07-30 01:49:59 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!


9/11
You said you'd never forget.


I was going to go with something along the lines of as long as there are brown people to bomb, we will continue to make bombs, but I liked your reply better.
 
2012-07-30 01:49:59 PM  
What Congress meant was cut back on things that don't affect defense contractors.
 
2012-07-30 01:50:32 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: "But top Army officials have so far been unable to get political traction to kill the M1. Part of the reason is that General Dynamics and its well-connected lobbyists have been carrying a large checkbook and a sheaf of pro-tank talking points around on the Hill.

For example, when House Armed Services Committee member Hank Johnson, D-Ga., held a campaign fundraiser at a wood-panelled Capitol Hill steakhouse called the Caucus Room just before Christmas last year, someone from GD brought along a $1,500 check for his reelection campaign. Several months later, Johnson signed a letter to the Pentagon supporting funding for the tank."


In most other parts of the world, that's called bribing public officials, and people go to jail for that sort of thing.


Other parts of the world? Heck, Rod Blagojevich is doing 14 years for being caught on tape just openly thinking what a Senate seat would be worth. But hey, actually accepting checks is fine if you are a congress critter.
 
2012-07-30 01:56:37 PM  

Bermuda59: What Congress meant was cut back on things that don't affect defense contractors. campaign contributors


Congress doesn't give a shiat about contractors who don't line their pockets with untraced cash
 
2012-07-30 01:58:55 PM  

DarwiOdrade: squidgod2000: DarwiOdrade: The $3 billion at stake in this fight is not a large sum in Pentagon terms - it's roughly what the building spends every 82 minutes.

$3B in 82 minutes?

That's over $50B every day! One Romney ad says the debt increases $4B every day. So if we cut military spending by 10%, we'd be decreasing the debt by $1B every day. Not a lot compared to the debt, to be sure, but Jesus tap-dancing Christ, why are we not cutting military spending?!?!?!?!

The $3B isn't even remotely accurate.

So it's more? Less? Do you have anything to back up your claim, or are you just posting random shiat for the lulz?


$3B in 82 minutes
~$2.19B per hour
~$53B per day
~$19,229B per year

Were the number right, the Pentagon would be spending about 30x their budget every year.
 
2012-07-30 01:59:34 PM  
*Reads headline*

Lemmie guess, General Dynamics bought them off

*Reads article*

cdn.pjmedia.com
 
2012-07-30 02:02:45 PM  
So today must not be "I'd listen to the military commanders" day on the hill.

Is that Thursday? I thought it was on a Thursday.
 
2012-07-30 02:03:53 PM  
Republican's are the real SOCIALISTS
 
2012-07-30 02:06:08 PM  
SAVE FEDERAL DOLLARS: Put Sandusky and Holmes in the same cell.
 
2012-07-30 02:06:10 PM  
Here's how the Defense budget gets spent:

1Q: Beginning of fiscal year (Every October), all money gets assigned and doled out, down to the last grunt's mop for barracks latrine duty. This is also the time of year when most people go on leave for the holidays, so it's the nicest, quietest time of year for the DOD.

2Q: Most of that money is pretty much spent. Whatever isn't is locked up in some specific or obscure budget that can't be used very easily. It's at this point a lot of units start holding bake sales and running personal snack bars to have a company or squadron picnic, because the morale money was already spent on the Christmas party.

3Q: Commanders from the smallest unit up jockey and beg for whatever's left and is touchable w/in allocated budgets. Generals go to Congress to start asking for money next year (And hey, guess what time of year it is, and guess what this article's about!). This is when sh*t gets uber-political and contractors start lobbying the sh*t out of Congress.

4Q: Unspent funds in specific budgets (That can't just be tapped from willy-nilly and moved anywhere freely) is spent up immediately on useless junk so next October, everyone gets the same amount of money as last year.

Repeat every fiscal year, forever, until China calls in its favors.
 
2012-07-30 02:06:44 PM  
42nd
 
2012-07-30 02:08:07 PM  

Citrate1007: Republican's are the real SOCIALISTS


Not really they just prefer to make the cuts from veterans benefits.
 
2012-07-30 02:15:58 PM  
If there's a chance that some piece of obscenely strong weaponry will CEASE to exist, then I say the NRA has a new mission ...

"But it's our right to buy a surplus tank from the gubbermint! 2nd 'Menment says so!!"
 
2012-07-30 02:18:55 PM  

xanadian: The military-industrial complex has a STRONG lobby.


Seriously. The military itself is pretty realistic----they know that they have to make some changes in response to changing global realities, and they even know of a few ways to save money in the process. Then here comes congress, farking up everything they look at, and forcing the military to put up with their crap.
 
2012-07-30 02:20:53 PM  

HMS_Blinkin: xanadian: The military-industrial complex has a STRONG lobby.

Seriously. The military itself is pretty realistic----they know that they have to make some changes in response to changing global realities, and they even know of a few ways to save money in the process. Then here comes congress, farking up everything they look at, and forcing the military to put up with their crap.


I think a lot of the military knows that the day Congress isn't farking up everything is the day the military coup is complete.
 
2012-07-30 02:24:06 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: "But top Army officials have so far been unable to get political traction to kill the M1. Part of the reason is that General Dynamics and its well-connected lobbyists have been carrying a large checkbook and a sheaf of pro-tank talking points around on the Hill.

For example, when House Armed Services Committee member Hank Johnson, D-Ga., held a campaign fundraiser at a wood-panelled Capitol Hill steakhouse called the Caucus Room just before Christmas last year, someone from GD brought along a $1,500 check for his reelection campaign. Several months later, Johnson signed a letter to the Pentagon supporting funding for the tank."


In most other parts of the world, that's called bribing public officials, and people go to jail for that sort of thing.


What I think is hilarious is that the people who will howl to the top of the hills that Public Sector Employee Unions need to be destroyed because they can work to elect people who will give them more money have absolutely no problem with what you just described.

Apparently one is Socialism and the other is Capitalism, for some reason.
 
2012-07-30 02:25:33 PM  
BUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD YOU GUYS
 
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