Speaking of spare F-22s, I’m pleased to report that Congressional Republicans have rediscovered their affinity for corporate welfare (emphasis mine):

Without further spending for the F-22, companies that supply critical components for it would begin shutting down soon.

The chairmen and ranking Republicans on both the House and Senate defense appropriations subcommittees recently wrote to Mr. Gates to voice their support for the F-22, cautioning that “the last thing our nation needs is to terminate jobs in this time of such economic uncertainty.”

Like many big weapons systems, the plane, which relies on 1,000 parts suppliers in 44 states, has strong support in Congress, which recently provided up to $140 million in bridge financing for some of the suppliers.

The ranking Republican on House’s Defense Appropriations Defense Subcommittee is Bill Young, who opposed the financial services bailout and voted against the Big Three rescue package.

I’m struggling to identify the logic of Young’s position, as the auto industry bailout is also premised on preserving jobs – more, I’d wager, than are threatened by cuts in the F-22 program – at a time of economic uncertainty. Shouldn’t he at least pretend there’s some pressing national security issue at stake here? He does realize we have access to Google, right?


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