What follows is not an argument for reducing government.
It is evidence that we need . . .
The following is hardly an exhaustive list. But let me just offer some examples and some numbers on vast, incomprehensible, mind-numbing, breathtaking, destructive, possibly suicidal waste by government misadventures and boondoggles over the past few decades.
I am focusing on profligate defense spending and pursuit of unnecessary war.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, pictured at the top of this article, has been judged by many knowledgeable military analysts as the largest boondoggle in the history of the world. It is plagued with design flaws and technical problems. So far it has cost nearly $400 billion and total outlays to bring it into full production and implementation are projected to exceed $1.5 trillion.
Department of Defense spent $40 billion between 2001 and 2014 on a
missile defense program called Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. It
has been a complete flop.
Another missile defense fiasco called X-Band Radar, a floating sea-based system, wasted $10 billion of taxpayer money. This was a project of the Missile Defense Agency, which still gets funded $8-10 billion annually, despite producing practically nothing of value.
At the end of 2014, Congress allocated funds for programs the Pentagon didn't even want:
- $1.46 billion for fifteen EA-18G Growler electronic warfare planes
- $1 billion to begin work on an additional San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship
- $479 million for four additional F-35 fighter jets (bringing the total number funded to 38)
- $341 million to modernize twelve Apache helicopters and nine Black Hawk helicopters
- $200 million for an additional Joint High Speed Vessel ship
- $155 million for twelve additional MQ-9 Reaper drones
- $154 million for an additional P-8A Poseidon Navy surveillance aircraft
- $120 million for M1 Abrams tank upgrades
- $150 million for medium and heavy tactical vehicles
Let's up the ante a bit. Look at this chart.