Trump’s Pledge To Curb Wasteful Military Spending Is Music To Taxpayers’ Ears

One line in a news report about President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to get costs for the military’s new F-35 fighter plane under control illustrates why the military-industrial complex has been so successful in sucking up taxpayers’ money.

Trump’s public promise regarding the F-35 “doesn’t explain exactly how he’ll save billions of dollars in military purchases while also honoring a campaign vow to rebuild the armed forces,” The Associated Press reported.

There certainly ought to be room to cut some spending on the F-35. It is, by far, the most expensive weapons program ever funded by the Pentagon, at nearly $400 billion. Just for comparison purposes, consider that the sum would cover West Virginia’s general fund budget at the current level for a century.

Remember, this is the same F-35 for which Congress funded two different engines for several years, at an unnecessary cost of tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of dollars.

For too long, generals, admirals and CEOs have been able to spend taxpayers’ money wildly because of the attitude reflected in the AP story, that enormous sums of money translate automatically to effective defense which allegedly cannot survive without mountains of cash.

The same philosophy prevails elsewhere in government, of course.

It just isn’t so. Perhaps no one knows that better than Trump, who has found ways to build hotels with gold-plated appearances and affordable price tags.

Of course, Trump operated under a restraint: He wasn’t using taxpayers’ money.