The Bush administration, the Obama administration, and a number of public-policy think tanks—including our own—have argued that the proposed alternate engine that would be built by the team of General Electric and Rolls-Royce for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a waste of money. However, its supporters, including the entirety of the Virginia delegation in the House of Representatives, argue that it should be funded because the engine enjoys broad bipartisan support in the House and would enable money-saving competitions for the military.
Several of the key congressional supporters—Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, and John Boehner, a Republican, of Ohio—are simply endorsing a program that would bring jobs to their home states. The same is true of newly minted Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who has jettisoned his campaign rhetoric about political reform to preserve a few hundred jobs at the General Electric engine plant in Lynn, and Eric Cantor of Virginia, who ignored his own claim that the Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility and discipline because Rolls-Royce just opened a new headquarters in Virginia.
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