12 February 2007

Ben & Jerry's Defense Budget

What qualifies folksy businessman Ben Cohen, the man who gave the world Wavy Gravy ice cream, to critique the $2.9 trillion federal budget unveiled on Monday?

My answer, is not much. He's in the company of Ted Turner, Paul Newman and Lawrence Korb. You remember Korb from the 'Alternative QDR' of last year by the Center for American Progress (wonderful patriotic name, that).

"We won the Cold War. The world changed. But we're still spending ourselves into oblivion" on obsolete weapons.

Well, this is where business differs from the military. Unless you're in transports, you don't have to recapitalize as often as the military does. For example, the F-22 is the first fighter that the Air Force has bought in ~30 years. According to the Air Force Deputy, the average age of their aircraft is 24 years.

Similarly for the Navy; ships last 30-45 years and we curtailed a lot of our spending during the 'peace dividend' years. Remember, those were the in Clinton's first term. We thought the Cold War was the last war. That error has been made in the past (e.g. WWI). Gentlemen, your opinion is noted - and disregarded.

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