WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) April 2019 Porker of the Month for leading the effort to spend more taxpayer dollars on the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
The F-35 has been in development for 17 years, is seven years behind schedule, and nearly $200 billion over budget. An April 14, 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report stated that the program, “will cost around $1 trillion to operate and support over its lifetime, which poses significant long-term affordability challenges.” On March 22, 2019, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson raised concerns about the soaring expense of the F-35 saying, “we just don’t think that there has been enough attention on the sustainment costs of the aircraft and driving them down.”
But less than two weeks after Secretary Wilson’s assessment, Rep. Turner, who co-chairs the House JSF Caucus, announced a proposal to purchase 102 additional aircraft in part because doing so, “enables the realization of cost savings.”
Rep. Turner also touted the F-35’s supposed, “unique capabilities,” less than one year after the House Armed Services Committee found that the F-35C, “may not have the range it needs to strike enemy targets,” and that, “the Joint Strike Fighter initiative, the most expensive weapons program in history, may actually have been out of date years ago.”
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Anyone who looks at the F-35 boondoggle and thinks it is worth expanding is not being realistic. The fact that 103 House members signed onto the JSF caucus’s letter is a distressing sign for fiscal responsibility in Congress. Every taxpayer dollar diverted into the F-35 money pit is a dollar not spent on strategies that will be more efficient and effective in protecting the nation.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. For more than two decades, Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.