The Engine No One Wants — Except Congress
The Government Is Spending $100 Million In Tax Dollars On A Jet Engine Deemed Unnecessary By The Military
The supersonic F-35 Lightning II is the military's next-generation strike fighter. It flies so fast that the speed is classified.
Pratt & Whitney has the government contract to make the jet's high-performance engine. But your tax dollars are also paying for GE to develop a spare engine — and it has cost you $1.6 billion so far.
The idea is that if GE and Pratt & Whitney compete, they'll build better engines that cost less and end up saving money. But here's where it really gets interesting: The military doesn't want the alternate engine. The Air Force and two independent panels have concluded it's "not necessary and not affordable" and that the supposed savings from competition "will never be achieved."
So why did Sen. Ted Kennedy personally earmark $100 million tax dollars for the project this year alone? He wouldn't agree to an interview, but part of the answer has to do with where it could be built: at GE's Massachusetts plant in Kennedy's home state — where it would bring jobs.
Kennedy is not the only one who wants to spend your tax money on the project. So does Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.
Read more at CBS News