Cut Pentagon Pork: Defund the F-35 Now

clee March 27, 2013 10

The F-35 joint strike fighter, which we have affectionately named the “Fiasco 35,” has been a disaster since production began in 2001. Twelve years later, the costliest weapons system and the single most expensive item in the 2013 Pentagon budget has yet to fly a single combat mission.1

The F-35 program has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, has been grounded twice, does little to address 21st century threats, and is still nowhere near completion. Tell Congress: stop funding the F-35 fighter jet program now.

We will then deliver your petition signatures to Congress on April 15th as part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, to turn up the heat on the F-35 and rein in wasteful Pentagon spending.

With constant delays due to significant engineering issues and design flaws, the cost of the F-35 has risen to $395.7 billion. But that’s just to build the planes. When you add in the cost of testing, operations and support, it will cost an additional $1.1 trillion — bringing the overall price tag to an incomprehensible $1.5 trillion.2

Think about this — the sequester, which cut $1.2 trillion from the budget, is actually less money than the entire F-35 program. Instead of cutting vital programs like Medicare, education, Head Start and unemployment insurance, we could end the F-35 program and invest in jobs and crucial services in our communities.

This is all part of our continuing campaign to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. Over 100,000 supporters around the country signed our petition to pull the pork from the Pentagon, which was delivered to Senators and Representatives in key states. A diverse coalition of 120 national progressive organizations representing millions of Americans have already signed on to a letter to Congress calling for just that. And just last month, we hosted a Pull the Pork from the Pentagon National Day of Action with more than 30 events in 25 states including one in DC featuring a giant 20′ inflatable pig outside the offices of Lockheed Martin.

And we know that public pressure works. Back in 2009, we led a successful campaign to defeat the F-22, another plane we couldn’t afford and didn’t need. Now we’re back again to defeat the F-35. But we’ll only be successful if we show Congress where the American people stand. Sign the petition so we can stop funding the F-35 now.

SOURCES:

1 - “F-35′s ability to evade budget cuts illustrates challenge of paring defense spending,” The Washington Post, March 9, 2013

2 - “The most expensive fighter jet ever built by the numbers,” ProPublica, March 14, 2013