October 9th, 2012
09:51 PM ET

Army to Congress: Thanks, but no tanks

By Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston

HERLONG, California (CNN) - If you need an example of why it is hard to cut the budget in Washington look no further than this Army depot in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada range.

CNN was allowed rare access to what amounts to a parking lot for more than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks. Here, about an hour's drive north of Reno, Nevada, the tanks have been collecting dust in the hot California desert because of a tiff between the Army and Congress.

The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation's defense needs - so there's no sense in making repairs to these now, the Army's chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress earlier this year.

If the Pentagon holds off repairing, refurbishing or making new tanks for three years until new technologies are developed, the Army says it can save taxpayers as much as $3 billion.

That may seem like a lot of money, but it's a tiny sacrifice for a Defense Department that will cut $500 billion from its budget over the next decade and may be forced to cut a further $500 billion if a deficit cutting deal is not reached by Congress.

Why is this a big deal? For one, the U.S. hasn't stopped producing tanks since before World War II, according to lawmakers.

Plus, from its point of view the Army would prefer to decide what it needs and doesn't need to keep America strong while making tough economic cuts elsewhere.

"When a relatively conservative institution like the U.S. military, which doesn't like to take risks because risks get people killed, says it has enough tanks, I think generally civilians should be inclined to believe them," said Travis Sharp a fellow at the defense think tank, New American Security.

But guess which group of civilians isn't inclined to agree with the generals on this point?

Congress.

To be exact, 173 House members - Democrats and Republicans - sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks.

That's right. Lawmakers who frequently and loudly proclaim that presidents should listen to generals when it comes to battlefield decisions are refusing to take its own advice.

If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say.

"The combat vehicle industrial base is a unique asset that consists of hundreds of public and private facilities across the United States," the letter said. The outlook for selling Abrams tanks to other nations appears "stronger than prior years," the letter said. But those sales would be "inadequate to sustain the industrial base and in some cases uncertain. In light of this, modest and continued Abrams production for the Army is necessary to protect the industrial base."

Lima, Ohio, is a long way from this dusty tank parking lot. The tiny town in the northwestern part of the Buckeye State is where defense manufacturing heavyweight General Dynamics makes these 60-plus-ton behemoths.

The tanks create 16,000 jobs and involve 882 suppliers, says Kendell Pease, the company's vice-president of government relations and communications. That job figure includes ancillary positions like gas station workers who fill up employees' cars coming and going to the plant.

Many of the suppliers for tank manufacturing are scattered around the country so the issue of stopping production or refurbishment becomes a parochial one: congressional representatives don't want to kill any jobs in their districts, especially as the economy struggles during an election year.

"General Dynamics is not the industrial base," Pease said. "It is small vendors."

But General Dynamics certainly has a stake in the battle of the tanks and is making sure its investment is protected, according to research done by The Center for Public Integrity, a journalism watchdog group.

What its reporters found was General Dynamics campaign contributions given to lawmakers at key times, such as around congressional hearings, on whether or not to build more tanks.

"We aren't saying there's vote buying" said Aaron Metha, one of the report's authors. "We are saying it's true in pretty much all aspects of politics - but especially the defense industry. It's almost impossible to separate out the money that is going into elections and the special interests. And what we found was the direct spike in the giving around certain important dates that were tied to votes."

Pease said General Dynamics is bipartisan in its giving and there is nothing suspicious in the timing of its donations to members of the House and Senate. The giving is tied to when fundraisers are held in Washington - which is also when Congress is in session, he said.

Lawmakers that CNN interviewed denied that donations influenced their decisions to keep the tanks rolling.

Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California and chairman of the House armed services committee, said he didn't know General Dynamics had given him $56,000 in campaign contributions since 2009 until CNN asked him about it.

"You know, the Army has a job to do and we have a job to do," McKeon said. "And they have tough choices because they've been having their budget cut."

McKeon said he's thinking about the long range view. "... If someone could guarantee us that we'll never need tanks in the future, that would be good. I don't see that guarantee."

Similarly, his Democratic counterpart on the committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who has received $64,000 from General Dynamics since 2001, said he is worried about the workforce if the Lima plant is closed for three years.

"Listen, we don't want to play Russian Roulette with the national security of this country," Reyes said.

Odierno explained to the committee that it would be cheaper to shut down the tank plant and then restart it in 2017. But his plea was ignored.

"Lima would cost us $2.8 billion just to keep that open and our tank fleet is in good shape and we don't need to because of the great support that we have gotten over the last two years," he told the committee.

But General Dynamics said it will cost a lot less to keep the plant open. Pease said the Army hasn't factored in the huge costs of closing the plant and the potential loss of skilled workers who will be needed come 2017 when the Army plans to remodel the Abrams tank.

"It's not whether they need those tanks, it's how much it costs to restart it," said Pease. General Dynamics, he said, will survive with or without refurbishing tanks over the next three years.

So how did Congress respond to Gen. Odeirno's request to shut down production until 2017?

The answer came in the proposed congressional budget for next year. It includes $181 million for tanks the Army doesn't want or need now. That begs another question: who will likely get the money for the 70 or so tanks covered by that contract when it goes out for bid?

"General Dynamics would probably get the contract for it anyway because they are kind of the ones that are out there leading the way on this," said McKeon.

The Army tank battle sends an unsettling message to the Defense Department, says Sharp, with the defense think tank. But it's a message that may not surprise a public weary from decades of battles and horse-trading that have defined Capitol Hill.

"The fact that the military is having such a hard time getting this relatively small amount of money to be saved, I think is an indication of the huge uphill fight that the military faces when it comes to Congress," Sharp said. "Congress is going to fight tooth and nail to protect defense investments that benefit their constituents and the people that live in their states."

Maybe the next time the generals go up to the Hill, they should take a cue from the well-protected tanks parked in California. Perhaps they might consider wearing body armor.

CNN's Sara Anwar contributed to this report.

soundoff (1,133 Responses)
  1. Jimal

    Forgetting the politics and the deficit for a moment, this is just another example of the reality that the government CAN create jobs. Now, instead of lobbying to force the Pentagon to take tanks (or any weapons system for that matter) that it doesn't want or need, why not use that money to modernize our crumbling infrastructure? A more secure and efficient power grid and safer roads that can handle modern levels of traffic can be as useful to the Union as an order of tanks or airplanes that are going to be immediately mothballed and will also put people to work.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • ChiefGunner

      Jimal ~ Your logic sounds good on paper but it fails to take into account the fact that military vehicles are specialty items. If they shut down the production line for 3 years (or so) it will be considerably more expensive (per unit) when they have to gear up to re-start production.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
  2. Aimhere

    Here's the difference between Democrats and Republicans in this matter: Democrats spend our tax dollars on everything (including some tanks). Republicans spend our money on MOAR tanks. Neither party is willing to say "enough is enough, let's stop buying tanks".

    October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am | Reply
  3. Raptor

    We need to make more Hula-Hoops. I don't care that nobody wants them anymore. They may come back in style. Many jobs depend on Hula-Hoop production and an increase would help our economy recover. We can sell our vast Hula-Hoop reserves throughout the world because they are much superior to foreign made Hula-Hoops. Hula-Hoops help win the war on terror when we put "Compliments of USA" stickers on them and Air-drop cases into villages of brown people. When a terrorist unleashes a global EMP which destroys all of your electronic toys you will thank me for insisting we keep warehouses full of Hula-Hoops against just this eventuality.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
    • Mf1Fox

      Good point!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • Bob Balderston

      as much as i enjoy your reply, i have to wonder, knowing full well hoolla hoops were invented here in america, but sadly, i am willing to bet, are made in china

      October 10, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
  4. Kanageloa

    Freeze "ALL" government spending for 10 years at the current level. Spending is their problem. No emergency increases. Let "ALL" government agencies live within their budgets. No pay raises for Congress or government workers period. Spending is the problem and they admit it but can't stop it. Can you say major long term recession in Greek?

    October 10, 2012 at 7:03 am | Reply
    • That's a joke, right?

      Freeze pay increases for government workers for ten years? What do you think the result of that would be? I'll tell you. The government workers who are skilled and intelligent (there are some) would go work for civilian government contractors. The government workers who are lazy sacks who can't get a job in the real world would stay anyway, because at least they are getting a paycheck.
      Result? The good workers would leave, the poor ones would stay, and more government money would have to go to contractors to actually get the work done.
      What an incredibly short-sighted and thoughtless proposal!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
  5. Peter Bishop

    Just another example of how congress forgets that they work for us and not the military industrial complex. Remember that Egypt is now building this same tank. Talk about a messed up world.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:59 am | Reply
  6. Jeff

    All you hear is "cut military spending" CUT MILITARY SPENDING" Well, now the military wants to cut, in an area that makes sense, and congress doesn't want to because of the manufacturers "campaign contributions". Each and every one of the congressmen that disagrees with this cut needs to be removed from office on grounds of corruption. The industrial economy will survive. They can start building other pieces of gear besides tanks that are becoming almost irrelevant on the battlefield.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
    • george smythson

      The big picture view of this is that once that capability is turned off, it will take years to rebuild. Factories and the supporting infastructure can't be turned on and off like a light switch...

      October 10, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
      • Jeff

        Understood. But they should focus more on the maintaining what we have and not building more that we don't need. Things evolve, it's inevitable. Our M-1s are still better than any other country's tank. Lets save some money.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  7. FIghtTheLastWar

    Tanks are a "wasting Asset". Their military utility against a current and future threats has greatly diminished. In an Irregular Warfare environment, they are vulnerable to home-made IEDs. Against a near-peer threat (not that I would advise a land war in Asia!), they are easy pickings for aircraft and man-portable anti-tank weapons.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Tanks are obsolete. Huge gun platfoms that are difficult to move long distances and require enormous support. An Abrams tank without refueling support won't get very far! This is why we stopped building battleships with 16" conventional guns. Abrams tanks are useless in the conflicts we face today. Tank battles are a thing of the past. Today we have highly effective drones (unmanned). One drone can do what a hundred tanks cannot do! How does an Abrams tank sneek up on a terrorist's outpost? It simply can't!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
      • There's an assumption there...

        You assume that nations will not again engage in direct warfare. That assumption is why it took US forces so long to spin up in WWII. We have a national delusion that the Americans leaped in and saved the day in one fell swoop, but the truth is our military initially did very poorly because military funding and the weapons systems we had were not adequate to maintain the readiness and equipment that would be needed to defeat the Axis powers. It is fortunate that we benefitted from a geography which gave us time to spin up, but with the world-wide reach of modern weapons and the prominence of the US in world affairs we would probably not enjoy the same advantage again.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  8. Person

    Im inclined to believe that Generals know what they are talking about, and dont need suits telling them what they do and dont need.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:37 am | Reply
  9. John Iceberg

    Ican remember quite clearly the korean war and that we had only not even 15% of what we had 5 years before in45.never we almost lost thatconlict due to Avery johnson etting rid of our eapons of war ..on the subject of military budjects chinas is larger than than usas

    October 10, 2012 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • PS

      Not even close John. 2012 Expenditures: United States: $711 Billion China: $143 Billion. In fact, you'd have to add the next 14 largest military spenders to equal our military budget.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:33 am | Reply
  10. MP

    Buck – I voted for you, but your statement in the video above is just plain stupid !! I could add more about my connections with the OSD, but I'll save that for later.
    PS -Listen to the Military not Lobbyists or your Cronies !!! (just sayin')

    October 10, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
  11. KEVIN

    The Pentagon doesn't need these tanks because our military tech. today is so advanced that we don't even need fighter jets (hint' just look at the tech. that has been released to the public with our google maps and hand held lazers)

    October 10, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  12. Mike Moran

    This is a perfect example of why Romney can NOT win Ohio . . . home of the tanks we don't need.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:56 am | Reply
    • M. S. Dickens

      ......Ohio...or anywhere else....

      Best wishes and sincerely,

      MSD

      October 10, 2012 at 5:25 am | Reply
    • zooni

      Romney can win anywhere because the US voter is mentally missing in action.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:50 am | Reply
      • mike7

        Romney is the only HOPE the USA has of saving itself from economic and moral failure. Think about your children and their children for once. They do not need to be saddled with economic death for the next 200 years. Obama has done this and it must be corrected, unless you desire your chilren to be economic slaves and never own anything in their lives. Democrats are selfish. They desire to be given a fish a day to eat, whereas, Republicans want to teach everyone how to fish. I vote to fish and be self sufficient!!!

        October 10, 2012 at 6:32 am |
      • John Smith

        Nice, what an azz.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  13. KEVIN

    If you truly think about it; It is insane that we are using any archiac type of military tech. and practice This is 2012 not 1940. We don't even need fighter jets yet alone boots on the ground. We have super, super advanced satilites that can monitor and cleanly and pricisely destroy anything and anybody on the ground. I don't get it?

    October 10, 2012 at 4:51 am | Reply
    • usmc1999

      it is precisely that type of thinking (we have satellites, therefore no longer need boots on the ground) that led to 9/11. you will always need boots on the ground.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
      • awasis

        Not too far in the future you won't. Robots and automated tanks, jets, etc, will take the place of humans on the battle field.

        October 10, 2012 at 5:43 am |
      • jp

        Exactly! He doesn't "get it" because he doesn't understand all of the dynamics fo winning a war let alone a battle. Maybe you should read history. Sad how ignorant (don't mean that ur dumb) the public is.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:35 am |
      • Aimhere

        @awasis,

        The minute robots and automation become sophisticated enough to replace human troops is the minute Skynet takes over.

        Be VERY glad war still requires human beings. If it didn't, civilian death and suffering would increase tenfold.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • jkflipflop

      That's most likely not true. A laser capable of killing a human from space would be too large for a single flight and would need human assembly once all the parts were launched. There's no man-killing laser orbiting the Earth.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
  14. Fortinbras

    Hmmm.... Jobs... This is a fine example of doing for the sake of doing rather than doing what needs to be done. And Mitt Romney wants to add 2 trilling dollars to that waste of 3 billion dollars.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
  15. Written

    Hope i ain't repeating coz haven't gone through all postings. Is it not written that there shall come a time when menkind will turn their weapons into ploughshares, and will not learn warfare. How i yearn to live in such a time.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:28 am | Reply
    • Bruning von Stauffen

      Those who turn their swords into ploughshares will soon be conquered & ruled by those who don't.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply
  16. icanread62

    This is why our democracy needs some modifications. The political corruption today is almost beyond belief. The two party system is failing America. The two political parties have damaged America far more than all traitors and enemies combined. We are $50-70 trillion in the hole. Even the F.D.I.C. money has been stolen and the social security trust fund has been replaced with I.O.U.s. When will people wake up. It's time to hang the traitors. Oh that's right, I forgot that overthrowing corrupt governments is illegal in every country on earth. The American Revolution was illegal. The Arab Spring was and still is illegal. Not loving Assad in Syria is illegal. Ok, well then, never mind.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:17 am | Reply
    • slupdawg

      50-70 trillion in the hole?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:29 am | Reply
    • usmc1999

      wow! $50 to $70 trillion in the hole! washington has been lying to us and saying it was $15 trillion. you should tell someone.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • Fernando

      Astounding numbers. How would you feel if you hanged them all and later found that your information was wrong?

      October 10, 2012 at 6:28 am | Reply
    • TheZel

      go back to playing on you Wii little boy, this is for adults.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
  17. Elena

    The most expensive welfare on the planet is paying people to make things that no one needs. In this case, you have to pay the people, pay for the facilities and the materials. I saw another post that was spot-on. We need to spend this money in our schools and on education so that our next generation is educated and can compete globally and keep our cointry strong. We do have bridges to be repaired as well and it sounds like many people needs to reassess their careers and learn some new skills to stay ahead. If people of the past had not done that we would be in the same place throughout history itself. As for the the idea that overall infrastructure should be rebuilt, that is not true of all areas. One would be staounded to see that in Tennessee on the 40 Fwy, there are tenth mile markers placed throughout the 455 mile stretch. THAT is more government waste.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
  18. Daniel

    Maybe more tanks aren't wanted becasue they want a future replacement that is way more expensive and not really needed.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
  19. slupdawg

    Here's a case where gov't dollars support an industry, one that we don't need at this tuime. Howzabout taking thos 16,000 workers and suppliers, what have you, and use them on a payroll that improves the infrastructure of this crumbling nation? We don't need tanks right now, we need bridges and roads and so many other upgrades. Use a job corps approach, get them trained, and quickly and let's do something to our own benefit rather than put more weapons out into this world that we apparently don't need?

    October 10, 2012 at 3:50 am | Reply
  20. Joe Clark

    The money the 173 congressmen want for tanks should be given to the coast guard instead to refurbish the hundreds vessels that need repairs and or need to be replaced. As for the 2000 tanks setting in the desert sell them to Israel at a bargain basement price.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
    • Just a Heads Up

      The money they (Israel) would use to buy them would come from us, not out of their own pocket.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
  21. 2muchNOTenough

    But seriously arent tanks kindv like Pringles...? You can never have too many... Have you seen how many ppl live in China?

    October 10, 2012 at 3:45 am | Reply
    • Gaunt

      No they are nothing like pringles and yes you can have too many.

      If you have far more tanks than, say, tank crews, they are a colossal waste.

      If you have more tanks than the ARMY says they need or want or can deploy, then they are a colossal waste.

      All the GOP who complain about the country becoming socialist? Well THIS is socialism. Government building useless things people dont need or want just to provide jobs for those workers.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
      • 2muchNOTenough

        not very quick in recognizing blatant sarcasm Gaunt?

        October 10, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  22. Casey Taylor

    It's called reset. All those "tanks" out in the desert are inoperative and have mostly been stripped of parts and reactive armor. The reason DoD doesn't want the money is because funding for has been cut indiscriminately; they're faced with paying out increasingly generous medical and retirement benefits or adequately resetting from 11 years of war with a smaller budget (Afghanistan is still paid for off the books, just as it was in the Bush years). DoD would LOVE to replace those tanks, they just can't do it with the present cuts, and most especially can't with the threat of sequestration. Money's tight, but we need to fix our tanks. Not replacing our battle-damaged equipment is stupid, and the Congressmen are correct in their instincts, if not in their request.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
    • tom118

      Get outta town! Man, as a VN vet, I can see that you're swallowing the government's line of bull, just as I did in 1967.
      The country's on the verge of financial collapse, and congress makes sure that all the "pork barrels" are full. And when they are, the one-percenters will fly off into the sunset and leave the rest of us here to fend for ourselves!

      October 10, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
      • ryan

        we may be left to fend for ourselves, bt atleast we will have tanks!

        October 10, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Craig

      Ah, the old Reading Comprehension question arises yet again. If you read the article, DoD says they have enough tanks...without counting these parked units. They don't want to repair them because they would become surplus AND they can wait to repair them...assuming they ever need them, so the repairs would make them current, state-of-the-art units at that time.

      Congress, on the other hand, wants to spend money because they like telling their voters about the jobs they created (or saved) while, in the next breath, they talk about how hard they try to cut spending. In short...the whole charade is pure BS! If the military says they don't need them, don't build them. If we MUST spend the money, let's buy something we really need...like infrastructure repairs or maybe teachers or firefighters.

      Next time try reading before jumping to conclusions.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:07 am | Reply
      • Bob Balderston

        thank you; finally some real reasoning here....well put my friend!

        October 10, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  23. Aaron

    Actually, Lima is in the western part of the Buckeye State 🙂
    Just so you know!

    October 10, 2012 at 3:24 am | Reply
  24. JG

    Like Smedley Butler wrote: War Is A Racket. Here it is writ large.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:24 am | Reply
  25. Greg (an Army veteran)

    I like the idea of having a lot of tanks, ready to go when we need them. BU-U-UT... When Army generals say we can pause in our tank production, I am inclined to believe them.

    What's the worst-case scenario, militarily? We slow down our tank production, then a war starts, so we start back up again. Yeah, there would be a delay, but let's remember that parking lot described in the first paragraphs of this article: We have THOUSANDS of tanks in storage, ready to go.

    Also: The contracts that the Army wants to postpone are not contracts to build new tanks; they are contracts to REFURBISH and modernize existing tanks. In an emergency, the existing tanks will still work, even if they haven't been refurbished yet. At no time would we be left "defenseless". The proposal to defer the refurbishment of a bunch of tanks would save us a lot of money, and that would be great.

    General Dynamics and their subcontractors, and the townies who pump gas for them, will manage.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:19 am | Reply
    • i'm a one-percenter

      have to agree with everything you said

      October 10, 2012 at 3:28 am | Reply
  26. Shawn L

    And Romney wants to increase the military budget by 2 trillion dollars over 10 years, money that the pentagon doesn't want or need.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  27. Eggman38

    And don't forget about the east coast missle defense system that congress is pushing, you know, in case I guess England attacks us. The pentagon doesn't want that program either.
    IT'S A SPENDING PROBLEM IN WASHINGTON...not a tax problem. When will they get it. When will WE get it and kick ALL the bums to the curb in DC.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
  28. Larry

    This is exactly the "Military Industrial Complex" President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about. Our military budget is larger than every other country on the planet combined. We increase spending on weapons and continue to get involved in wars so we can keep shoveling in more men and more machines. Meanwhile our infrastructure collapses and our education system declines. If you want to spend money military spend it to raise the soldiers pay and help the veterans and their families who paid so dearly to do our bidding. As for Congress we should heed the word of General George Patton and " Grab 'em by the nose and kick 'em in the ass"

    October 10, 2012 at 3:12 am | Reply
  29. Shawn L

    For every job created by defense spending, two jobs can be created spending the same money in education or infrastructure. Stop wasting the money on t hings we don't need and start spending it on what we do need, like new roads, bridges, better internet etc.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:12 am | Reply
  30. Max Powers

    This is why our financial situation is so dire, and why presidents can't ever make "good" decisions. If they stop wasting money on tanks they don't need, more people will be out of work and they will have to spend money to keep those people off the streets and fed. What we really need is a 4 hour work day with long vacations and full pay. That way everyone works enough to stay out of trouble and has enough time and money to spend that the economy is stimulated. As it is, there just isn't enough demand for this style of economy.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • FreeThinker

      Not questioning anything you just said Except...
      The House of Representatives holds the nations purse strings,
      ...not the President.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
  31. Epidi

    Just underlines the fact that these idi0ts we elect to represent US are too attached to corporate purse strings. Like my Marine Dad used to say – "It's a clusterf>ck and it just ain't right."

    October 10, 2012 at 3:06 am | Reply
  32. Shawn Ghallagar

    I hope CNN and others really put these representatives on the spot. They're straight liars. Leave the decisions to the professional military leaders. Same thing with health decisions. Leave them to physicians.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
  33. eastsidemoke

    If we the people in this country want a more secure country, we should do it by getting government spending under control, not by building more outdated tanks. We are building a military that is for W W 2 type land invasions. What is one of the most effective weapons used against terrorists, cheap unmanned aerial drones.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:53 am | Reply
  34. YeahISaidItSoWhat

    Every since politicians in Hawaii voted themselves a 36% raise (that's right, thirty-six percent) in 2009 via a Senate bill struck discreetly at one in the morning I've been assured most are as crooked as a winding stream.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • Epidi

      Well said!

      October 10, 2012 at 3:08 am | Reply
  35. Majesty Rider

    Vote out the congress people who are insisting on pushing this through. It's the only way.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • TheZel

      Yeah, let's balance the budget by killing most american jobs.. yeah, that's the ticket. Things will be so much better then

      October 10, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
  36. Saul

    Has anyone noticed the defense budget Mitt Romeny is proposing?? it's ridiculously huge, pretty soon we will all have a tank in every garage!

    October 10, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  37. David in Tampa

    @McKeon The only need for the tanks in the future are against US citizens

    October 10, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
    • Tom

      Another fasle flag will convince them to feed the military industrial complex!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:58 am | Reply
  38. mark

    give the tanks to the FSA they sure can use them!!!

    October 10, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
  39. Dasea

    our department of defense is a lethal, cohesive fighting force, and a laughing stock for the rest of the world. The second world war has captured the American soul. and is dragging us to hell in lock step. Our country is sealed shut in a 70 year old can of pork n beans and sinking fast.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:33 am | Reply
  40. NickyNick

    Any more proof needed to see Congress has been sold to the highest bidder. Contractors threaten to withdraw campaign donations to OUR 'representatives' if they do not convince the Pentagon to buy something they do not need. Sounds like a MANDATE to me. But that can't be it, because the GOP hates mandates– oh wait, it's them doing the mandating so it's fine.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
    • Max Powers

      It's not just about campaign contributions. If the factories are in their states, it's about keeping their voters employed. because nobody votes against you as fast as a guy you let become unemployed.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:14 am | Reply
  41. Brad76

    People should definitely trust what is coming out of the military's mouth, they are good honorable people.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
  42. QualityFactChecking

    Lima is in western Ohio. Well done.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
    • Aaron

      Thanks! At least some people know their geography!

      October 10, 2012 at 5:26 am | Reply
  43. SalemSwift

    So give me a tank! I paid for it! There's a surplus, I would love to drive a tank to work, and my son and I could bond more because of it. Look, all I'm asking is you think about it. I'd rather not have my tank that I paid for sit and gather dust, let me play with it!

    October 10, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
    • biff

      It is my 2nd Ammendment right to have a tank.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:08 am | Reply
  44. David in Tampa

    MBT's are useless. They are huge targets that kill and maim when hit with by $100 PRG with a copper plate on it's face. If the US government wants to create jobs, FORCE the US manufacturers to close, and abandon all foreign plants that manufacture ANY parts, pieces complete assemblies or products to be imported or sold here. I don't give a good G/D how much your do nothing investors suffer. Let them eat cake. Oh gee I'm a socialist you say. Well stop buying anything foreign. You have no clue how much of a nationalist this 65 YO Democrat is when it comes to US jobs. Close the border to all imports that can be made here. Close wall street, and open MAIN street.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  45. Belseth

    The problem is the government is run by contractors. Most spending has little to do with need it has far more to do with corporate profits. It's not just military spending it's across the board. It's why there are massive corn subsidies and oil companies subsidies. With the military it's a major reason why we go to war, military spending. Most people would thhink majority of the spending goes to the soldiers but the troops only amount to a little over 10% of the cost of war. The rest in one form or the other goes to contractors. It's why the soldiers are no longer allowed to peel potatoes. Why pay a soldier $5 an hour to peel potatoes when you can get a contractor to do it for $70 an hour! Government spending is like a feeding frenzy among sharks. Tax dollars are blood that drives contractors insane.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:21 am | Reply
  46. 13pix

    Thats why we need a jobs bill so workers can make trains instead of tanks, infrasructure people not more tanks we don't need...O_o

    October 10, 2012 at 2:18 am | Reply
  47. neken7

    "McKeon said he's thinking about the long range view. "... If someone could guarantee us that we'll never need tanks in the future, that would be good. I don't see that guarantee.""

    Using the same logic, you can't guarantee that we'll never need more troops in the future, so let's start up the Draft again. You also can't guarantee we won't need more Aircraft Carriers, so let's order a dozen more of those. All this is very expensive of course, but hey, you can't guarantee anything, so we might as well raise taxes. The rich trickle their wealth down, so let's leave them alone and tax the middle class and poor. The middle class can afford it, they just need to work a little harder. And the poor? Who cares about them, they're only poor cause they're lazy.

    "If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say."

    ...that sound a bit like a stimulus plan? Government pumping tax payer money into an industry to prop it up. I was feeling the Republican vibe in that last paragraph, but now I'm confused. So let me get this straight... a stimulus is a bad idea, unless it's for the military industrial complex. We should listen to our Generals, except when they tell us they don't need any more tanks built by a company that gives sizable campaign donations. We should spend Billions of dollars, in a time where we're talking about cutting funding for PBS, to build thousands of tanks our Military doesn't even want, all because "Who knows when me might need them!".

    It seems odd to think that the most some of the most corrupt, greedy, and dishonest people in this country are politicians, but there is no doubt in my mind that it's true. Democrat, Republican, I don't care... whatever party you want to pledge you allegiance to, know that your party is filled with people screwing you, and this country, over. Personally I blame us, the voters. We as a whole get so blinded by Red and Blue, Republican and Democrat labels, that we let this kind of BS slide as long as the person saying it wears your colors. It works great for them, the more divided we are the easier it is for them to screw us over without us noticing, leaving us to fight over whatever scraps are left.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:14 am | Reply
    • NukeDC

      BRAVO! I've been trying to post something similiar to this for the past hour, but something tells me I was being censored.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
    • bluegillonthefly

      You took the words right out of my mouth. There are more good Democrats than we may think, and far more bad Republicans than there ought to be. We should vote for the people who are good rather than who punched their tickets for the party. Vote Libertarian, vote Green, vote whoever is going to do good by this nation and get our bloated government out of the way and restrain it before it is too late.

      What do I mean by too late? I have lived in a communist country. My wife is a native of one. What has been going on in America these past decades looks awfully familiar. We aren't treading a path toward totalitarianism: we are rushing headlong into it, and most zero-tolerance Americans, whether GOP or Democrat, support it with their votes in each election.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:40 am | Reply
    • Tom

      I wish more people thought this way, thank you for putting it so eloquently!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  48. Polly

    How is PBS a low hanging fruit to Romney with waste like this?

    October 10, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • neken7

      Because Romney knows the money given to PBS is chump change compared to even the money spent on the military that's wasted. Despite what he's convinced Republican voters to believe, Romney is all about wealth redistribution. He's not going to cut any money out of the military, even if it's waste, because as detailed in this article he's most likely getting sizable campaign contributions for people companies that profit off of military spending. He's not going to raise taxes on the rich because, but will on the middle class, because that take money away from him and the billionaires funding his campaign. I think he is serious about getting the budget under control, but he's going to take money from everything that doesn't personally benefit him or his contributors.

      Both candidates are talking about wealth redistribution, the only difference is what's going to be taken from who. I do give the Republicans credit though. Liberals call them stupid... they're not. They've convinced millions of poor and middle class citizens that policies designed to hurt them, are in fact a good thing for them. This is actually quite an accomplishment. Mitt Romney is a chronic and pathological liar, and was constantly called that by his own party for years. It's the reason he lost in 2008 and had such a hard time in 2012. He lied constantly in his first debate, entirely contradicting what he's said the whole time during the campaign, and yet somehow those same Republicans who didn't trust him months ago, now believe every word he says.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • Randy Johnson

      Yeah – like Obama said – Romneys '(subject to an etch an sketch moment)' – if he becomes pres he will ask for more money than the military has even asked for. Go figure it out yourself – he is going to increase military spending, lower taxes on the rich but close some magical loopholes he is going to balance the budget. Maybe when pig fly????

      October 10, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply
      • William C

        At least Romney's lies about what he will accomplish are somewhat appealing unlike Obama's lies about he will accomplish.

        October 10, 2012 at 2:35 am |
      • neken7

        Oh the loophole argument is the best. We're in debt by trillions, he wants to extend massive tax cuts to a group where 1% of the population is sitting on 40% of the nation's wealth, and when asked where he's going to get the money from, he attacks programs taking less than 1% of our total budget, and then basically says "I'll get rid of tax loopholes. What loopholes, you ask? Well I don't know, but they're out there. I'll cut them, and even though I can't name a single one, I just know I'll be able to save enough money to help reduce a deficit of Trillions of dollars.".

        I've said it before and I'll say it again. Some people think Mitt Romney is stupid... he's not. He's able to convince millions of people that this is a good idea. Those are some serious manipulation skills, even by politician standards.

        October 10, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  49. brational

    republicans say that government does not create jobs....then they say we need government to create THESE jobs. They pick and choose their favorites. These jokers want obsolete equipment but don't want teachers and medical researchers They would prefer the world of mad max.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
    • Paul

      Amen

      October 10, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
  50. Mike

    This is the problem with the (remaining) US industrial base: a very large portion of it is linked to military production (shipbuilding, aircraft, tanks, missles, bombs, whatever). You cut the DOD budget, economy will suffer. I really don't see the way out w/o major recession or public debt hitting through the roof, unless there is huge inflation (the huge debt would then quickly become
    under control)

    October 10, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
    • biff

      When WWII came along, industry retooled to produce products that were needed for the war. When the war was over, industry retooled and produced products for the emerging middle class that was created largely by the funding spent on the GI Bill. The GI Bill ( education ) created upward mobility for Americans like was never before seen. Then America entered its' era of greatest prosperity with a strong middle class and a much more reasonable distribution of wealth. Republican lawmakers should admit that they love redistribution of wealth because that is what they have been doing for the last 50 years. It just sounds Socialist and to admit that they love it would be admitting that they are allowing the 1% to not only raid the cookie jar, but to steal the whole thing. Retool defense industry that is redundant or unwanted to produce steel to rebuild bridges and other infrastructures that are dangerously neglected. Invest in education that will keep the US superior in all fields. A strong middle class supplies the manpower and the income to keep the economy humming. It is great to be rich and successful– that is your right in America. It should not be your right, however, to become stinking rich at the expense of the health and future of our nation. I do not see greed as an American trait to be celebrated. This is how revolutions start. If this unchecked greed is allowed to continue, you will see a revolution in the US somewhere in our future. The love of money is the root of all evil.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
  51. jerry

    This is the most wasteful Congress in the history of America.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:01 am | Reply
    • Dinesh Sharma

      Not just wasteful. These people are criminal. I'm outraged! I will make sure I will not vote for my congressman/woman if they were part of this group..

      All you republicans here, dont complain. It was the republican supreme court that OK'd the citizens United law that declares a corporation the same as an individual as far as bribing congress goes.

      The US is not a democracy anymore. Decisions are made of by and for corporations.

      The average citizen gets shafted

      October 10, 2012 at 2:11 am | Reply
      • i'm a one-percenter

        I'm one of the hated 1%. I tend to vote Republican. I'm pretty liberal though in my social views. I too am outraged. This is ridiculous waste. While it also outrages me that the current administration would waste huge amounts of money trying to pick winners (Solyndra, GM, etc.), this is no different. Republican or Democrat, this should not be tolerated. I wish this article would have gone further and listed the names of these congressmen and how much each got paid. I could not in good conscience vote for anyone who would do this so blatantly. Unfortunately, the whole system is infiltrated with people who have to constantly focus on getting money to keep themselves in office. It's too bad. If we had a system designed to solve our nations problems and govern, we'd have conservative-minded, realistic financial policies and liberal-minded social policies on things like abortion, gay marriage, etc.

        October 10, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Mr. Correct

      America falls for the same trick over and over. The politicians who make the most outlandish promises to reduce spending are always the most outlandish spenders. The tea party has become more than a threat to our political system, they are now a threat to the stability of world civilization.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  52. Agnes Root-Canal

    Congress passes bills to cut the military then turns around and tells them within reduced budgets to keep building something they don't need. Makes perfect sense.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
  53. paulronco

    What the Pentagon needs to understand is that their wishes really don't matter. What matters is that lawmakers (and aspiring lawmakers like Romney) look tough, and that the private corporations who manufacture military items (aka the "Military Industrial Complex") gets its lucrative contracts.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  54. DEPT OF OFFENSE

    The DOD budget is out of control. It produces no goods, services or infrastructure for the nation. Just DEBT.

    It needs to be cut 1/2. Get rid of 2/3 of the Army. What we need an Army for?

    Answer: To invade other sovereign nations.

    But we should keep the Navy at its current level ; which is an awesome fighting force on its own (which incl. the Marines). Also cut the Air Force budget by 20%. The future is anyway in unmanned aircraft.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • NukeDC

      Oh this should be interesting...

      October 10, 2012 at 1:55 am | Reply
      • DEPT OF OFFENSE

        You agree?

        October 10, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • NukeDC

      Honestly, I do, but I'm a former Marine so I'm biased.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
    • Just for Info

      The AF runs and maintains unmanned missions, also the Navy has more pilots than the AF.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
    • Marine

      As a current Marine, I tend to agree. We are fighting an unconventional war with conventional forces. Spec Ops for "boots on the ground" in conjunction with unmanned aerial vehicles, along with a strong Navy sounds like a good idea. Send our guys home and let's fix our OWN problems. The war against terror will not be won with conventional forces.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:48 am | Reply
  55. Zuhair Al-Masri

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. If we spent $3,000,000,000 on education expenses and scholarships for AMERICANS instead of subsidizing jobs for unskilled laborers and building schools for people in countries we destroy beforehand we wouldn't be so dependent on assembly-line work and our workforce would be more skilled and therefore less impacted by the outsourcing of unskilled labor to human-droids in China. But logic in Washington is a waste of time and illogical. Time for a revolution of the common sensical.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:51 am | Reply
  56. Jesus DeJuan

    Romney is an idiot.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • Butthead

      hehe

      yeah, but he like knows how to score with old chicks

      hehe

      October 10, 2012 at 1:52 am | Reply
  57. Dave

    Rep. Buck McKeon you are a piece of work. Self-serving and feeding at the trough of defense lobbies. Do you really expect us to believe that you are better qualified than the military to say whether we need more tanks? Please do your job and quit being a money serving politician, the American public deserve better.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
    • Semper Cogitatus

      HE is doing his job. He is bringing pork to his district to get people to vote for him again so he can be reelected. Getting reelected is his job.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • Think before YOU VOTE

      In His Foreign Policy Speech on Monday (10-08-12) Gov. Romney Said;

      "The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin. And I will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2 percent of their GDP to security spending. Today, only 3 of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark."

      ********BUT YET THE PENTAGON have THEIR OWN BUDGET which CLEARLY SHOWS there is NO NEED for
      ADDITIONAL MILITARY SPENDING !!!!! SO WHO DO YOU BELIEVE??? *******
      ********* TIME TO REBUILD AMERICA!!!!! AMERICANS DESERVE IT, AFTER ALL IT'S OUR MONEY !!!!! ***********

      October 10, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
      • William C.

        What the hell are you going on about? The USN and USAF wants more ships, subs, and aircraft. This is just the Army saying they have enough M1 Abrams MBTs for the time being.

        October 10, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  58. kevin

    When did Lima move to the eastern Part of Ohio? it was in the northwest part of Ohio when I was there 2 weeks ago

    October 10, 2012 at 1:40 am | Reply
    • Semper Cogitatus

      Must have been pretty recently, Google hasn't updated their map yet. I'm sure having seen it reported on CNN they are working on the update right now.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
    • Butthead

      that was probably some dumb@$$ using an iPhone 5...

      hehe

      October 10, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • David in Tampa

      That typo is SOOOOOO important to you huh?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:45 am | Reply
  59. Semper Cogitatus

    Just cutting this kind of wasteful port spending out of defense would solve all our economic problems without any effect on military capabilities.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:37 am | Reply
  60. Butthead

    It's time.

    Time for us to build more drones...lots of drones. We will attack everyone, including Mexico, but not Canada.

    We will clear the Earth of these scoundrels that think they have a right of any of *our* world resources.

    They will join us, or die. Better yet, they should all die. Send the drones out 24/7 and wipe out everyone. Then it will all be ours! YES!

    October 10, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • Beavis

      hehe

      that's cool!

      You think I'm gonna finally score?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • Butthead

        Dude...you're never gonna score...hehe

        October 10, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • jim

      Why not Canada? What did they ever do for us?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
      • Butthead

        RUSH

        Now shut up dumb@$$. You're never gonna score, either.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • johnny

      Thanks for not attacking Canada, eh. We will give you beer.

      See ya, eh.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
      • Butthead

        We don't want beer, dumb@$$!

        We want chicks so I can score!

        October 10, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Tonyo

      Why not Canada?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
      • Butthead

        Shutup, dumb@$$.

        Start your own thread if you want to kill Canadians.

        I'm here to score.

        hehe

        October 10, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Butthead

      I'm so cool...hehe

      I'm gonna score...hehe

      October 10, 2012 at 1:55 am | Reply
      • no1dane

        What's the score, so far?

        October 10, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  61. jim

    Two THOUSAND surplus tanks, at a cost of how much per? So why in the Hell did they buy them in the first place?
    And the people that make these defence plans and decisions control enough thermonuclear weapons to destroy life on Earth several times over. Sometimes I think they should just do it and rid this planet of humans once and for all.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • Butthead

      Life on Earth ain't all that and a bag of polyatomic chips...

      October 10, 2012 at 1:33 am | Reply
    • Semper Cogitatus

      They bought them (they being congress, not the military) because they bring jobs to their districts, which brings votes to them. How much money is wasted, and whether or not the tanks are needed, are secondary concerns if anything. They primary concern is getting votes to get reelected.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:40 am | Reply
  62. Uthor

    When we give other countries military aid, we just give them things like these tanks. Congress spends the money designated for military aid on contracts to the American companies who make arms. We don't give other countries money.

    Through a weird kind of socialism (which has gone on for decades now) we send arms to other countries and it keeps American companies going and employs Americans. We're the biggest arms dealers in the world.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • Uthor

      This is what Eisenhower meant by the "military-industrial complex."

      It's very telling that the general who ran the biggest war effort in history would be leery of it and warn us about it.

      People just don't seem to know, but it's not some big secret.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:33 am | Reply
  63. Nigel Tuffnel

    When the aliens come to take our resources and kill us, Godzilla and these tanks will save Tokyo.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
  64. Liz1388

    Why doesnt Gen Dynamics take some profits and a temp gov't loan to retool to build something needed? Or stop production, close the plant and subsidize the retraining of the workers for needed industry. Couldn't cost that much more and would be less wasteful of materials and people. This is just slothful, short-sighted capitalism at work.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
  65. clinky

    Tanks for the memories.

    There, it's said.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Tonyo

      Bout time:-)

      October 10, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
  66. Maxx

    There is an agenda involved;
    Producing tanks is manufacturing. Congressional reps want to keep those factories alive and working in their districts and do not want to see them close regardless of budgets or deficits. If the Army says enough – I'm inclined to believe them over the agendas of members of Congress. Besides, Abram tanks are old tech. New tech needs to be given a chance to prove itself on the battlefield.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:15 am | Reply
    • clinky

      Cyber and air war is where it's at, with a dollop of special ops and medical corps to look after them. You need spies, navy, air force, no army to speak of.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • Christopher Midnight

        There will always be a need for some sort of ground contingencies. Scaled back perhaps, but nonetheless a need for one shall always endure.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  67. Twist

    No more Republican war machines. Republicans are violent, hateful, dumb, war mongering skin heads. The entire Republican party is a deep south, red-neck riviera.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • Schmedley

      Didn't do so well on those reading comprehension tests, did we?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • TimM

      Add an -ed to your name, because your logic is twisted. The article plainly states Republicans AND Democrats. People like you are helping Romney more than you know.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  68. Nunuv Yurbiz

    Yet another example of how ineffective the government is at everything it tries to do. And people want the government to take over healthcare? God help us.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  69. We

    This country is pathetic.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
    • Schmedley

      Yeah but we're far and away the wealthiest nation on earth and we have cool toys

      October 10, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
      • We

        And you are proof why it is.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  70. Tbrown

    Everyone saying tanks are obsolete and not needed anymore obviously are not military historians, or else they would see a need for them. The M1 in particular can survive damn near anything in battle, and is combat tested. It's the most survivable vehicle in the Army. The real problem with stopping production – besides the obvious loss of jobs, is quite frankly the loss of industry & expertise. The M1 is a marvel of engineering, and when war rears its ugly head, like it has consistently SINCE THE BEGINNING of TIME, today a nation cannot simply convert automobile plants to tanks overnight, even if we had auto plants these days, nor simply send someone to school to become an expert. And if indeed these tanks are taken out, we're going to need more eventually. We're not running out of hostile countries any time soon.Thus, long term it's in the best interest of the nation that we keep the plant going. As screwed up as Congress is, for once they got the right idea, even if they're probably doing it for the wrong reasons.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • Jose

      Exactly which enemies would we use M1s against? They would be nearly useless in the mountains of Iran. We couldn't transport them in bulk in time against China. No more wars in Europe. Afghanistan? Yep, mostly useless compared to most APCs.

      Respectfully, in a world full of drones with anti-tank armament (along with all the other ways of killing tanks), wars are fought in very new ways. The Army wants those new ways. Let them tell INDUSTRY what they need. Not the other way around.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
      • Paisley

        You're making way too much sense for some.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Schmedley

      Jose, I wouldn't go so far to say that the M1's are useless, but I would say that we have as many as would could use for the forseeable future. There will always be a need for main battle tanks, but perhaps just not as many as before since large-scale conventional wars are not very likely in today's world where we are all economically interdependent.

      However, if you ever read Marine's accounts in Fallujah, Iraq the M1's made a huge difference when they could be effectively brought to bear. One minute they are pinned by a company of insurgents holed up in a building. In come the M1's, *boom*, no building, no insurgents. For infantry support, anti-tank, as well as breakthrough and exploitation, you can't beat an M1.

      The main weakness of M1's (which were designed in the late 1970's) is their vulnerability to IEDs which can immobilize them relatively easily.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:33 am | Reply
      • David in Tampa

        Falluja was a long time ago and light years away as history goes.

        October 10, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • tanksforthetanks

      perhaps the tanks are needed are this continent – where drones are owned by those with the tanks?
      anyway – r. recruiting the Mexicans so they can earn US status – is for what and whom?
      do you think there is more reason for this than meets the eye?
      would not count it out.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
    • David in Tampa

      You sir are uninformed!!!!! They cannot survive a 100 dollar RPG with a copper plate attached to the face. Why do you think that you have not seen them in the news?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:41 am | Reply
      • Adam

        Have to disagree with you, Dave. I've seen RPG rounds volley-fired (5 of them) at the M1, and didn't even slow it down. It's possible to score a "mobility kill" with one if you focus on the track, and maybe even an engine shot, but the M1 shrugs off RPGs like rainwater. You may have "heard" of a lucky shot, but the norm is quite different. I'm an infantryman by trade, and I have been grateful for their presence on numerous occasions. The resons you haven't seen them on the news lately is that we're out of Iraq, and the mountains of Afghanistan provide limited territory to employ them.

        Still, when the defense procurement planners say we don't need them (and they rarely ever say we don't need something), you have to wonder how this hasn't created a bigger stir.

        October 10, 2012 at 4:24 am |
  71. War is for Losers

    Just another example of the military industrial complex.....expect this x100 with Flip Robme if he's elected Prez....his big idea is increase military spending while slashing benefits for the middle class and the elderly......a walking disaster

    October 10, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
  72. mythoughts

    If you put a stranglehold on the war industry because there is no war where tanks or other things is needed – then another war will be created – so they will be needed – simple as that.
    Maybe 'we' should give them another tax break too – just to keep the peace.
    cept r. has some nefarious plans for his next industrial surge – wonder who the targets are this time?
    us or them?

    October 10, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
  73. JLS639

    I propose a German solution to both keep those jobs, but not spend as much money: we pay the firms to allow the workers to stay on part-time until the next time contracts come in. This will cost less than tanks, and the workers will retain some income.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
  74. Casey Burns

    Keeping jobs to build weapons of war that nobody, including the Army, doesn't make logical sense. My guess is that General Dynamics would gladly fire everyone if there was money to be made. But there is more money to be made continuing to build this relic. So they convince an idiotic Congress to keep making these. What a waste. And for General Dynamics, this is a lousy, predatory business model.

    In a time of austerity and budget cuts, this is a no brainer. But then, certain Cogresspeople don't seem to have a brain in the first place. meanwhile, our infrastructure is going to hell and the country with it.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • Jose

      And.. they intentionally spread the suppliers to as many states as possible to keep it in the best interests of every representative/congressman to continue funds.

      I love our military men & women. Spending money on these tanks is not what you should do if you love them too.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  75. Debbie

    Waste of money.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
  76. mike

    Keep building them. Better safe then sorry when WW3 happens. 2000 isnt a whole lot when our enemies show up with 5000

    October 10, 2012 at 1:06 am | Reply
    • John C

      Right.....WW3 will be fought with tanks. Get a grip

      October 10, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • Nodack

      They 2000 sitting around not being used, not 2000 total tanks.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • no1dane

      Tanks for World War III? Useless! They are sitting ducks for tank-killing piloted aircraft and even unmanned drones.
      The perfect turkey shoot.
      Ever heard the report of the World War I cavalry colonel?
      He was inspecting a squadron of this new item: Fighter Aircraft.
      Apparently, he found the engine noise annoying and so did his horse.
      "Major!" he said to his adjutant, "aircraft will never have any serious role in warfare."
      "What makes you say that, Colonel?"
      "Major! Don't you see? They're scaring the Hell out the horses!"

      October 10, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
  77. Jose

    Lets quote a great general and president, Gen. Eisenhower (so prophetic)

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex."

    read his whole speech. It is EXACTLY about this.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • John C

      Too bad this beanbag made this speech on his last day in office. If he had any balls he'd have made it when he could do something about it.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
  78. Hyrum White

    That's some crazy logic, if we stop building something we don't need... we'll lose jobs. Why don't you pay people to twiddle their thumbs, it'll do the same amount of good.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
  79. rotorhead1871

    main battle tanks are a very select club....we have plenty..if anything we need more support vehicles...and a NEW main battle tank....so lets go for the M2.......get on it...sell them M1's.....

    October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
  80. Jim

    I have played Op-Forces in the NTC in Fort Irwin California and I can tell you from my experience there that tanks are mostly dead tech. With the proliferation of handheld anti-tank weapons, truck mounted anti-tank weapons, helicopter mounted anti-tank weapons, they are neither cost effective nor do they create a significant combat advantage over cheaper technologies. Either you have air superiority and the enemy has no tanks so you don't really need that many, or you don't, and you might as well not have any tanks since they will all be dead in the morning. I would rather have 3 Kiowa helicopters on my side than 20 M-1 Abrams tanks any day of the week.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
    • Jim

      An Abrams costs about $6.2 million and a Kiowa about $7.4 million.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
      • MC

        Your point being what, dimwit? He said he'd rather have 3 helicopters than 20 tanks.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Jose

      For those of you not in the know. Op Forces play the bad guy, and Jim therefore knows very well the usefulness of this piece of hardware as he's fought against it many long days in the desert.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • rotorhead1871

      kiowa???...maybe Apaches, ?? but main battle tanks kill armor, not helicopters, avengers kill helicopters, we have it all, but the mix needs to be right to win the battle...the Army knows best. fi anything we need a new main battle tank

      October 10, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
      • Jose

        heh, or instead of one MBT, 12 go-cart sized anti-personnel / anti-armor drones. Fast as hell, equivalent accuracy of average snipers. Nearly disposable. Have you guys seen the stuff DARPA is researching? MBTs are nearly as useful as Battleships in a post-Aircraft Carrier world.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Jose

      MC, did you notice that Jim was the author of both posts? Dimwit indeed.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
  81. Thomas C.

    Tanks a lot.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:01 am | Reply
  82. Laffeaux McLulz

    "Thanks but not tanks"

    AHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    ...hahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaavv

    October 10, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
  83. Shane Johns

    These Congress-Critters are bought and sold by big-business - and the makers of these tanks ARE big business. So it doesn't matter whether or not the Army actually wants or needs the tanks. They get them because the pockets have already been padded. The key to rejuvenating this economy is to put an end to this process. Things should not be produced which have no demand. We need to move the people off those military industrial complex factory lines, and put them instead into the production of items needed by the people around the world. Tanks don't improve the productivity of businesses. They don't help main street at all. They have but one purpose - to destroy other things. Instead of building equipment that destroys stuff, we need to build equipment that makes the American workers more productive.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
  84. Herby Sagues

    Why not? it's not like we are short of money or something...

    October 10, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
  85. Patricksday

    There is always money to support the bloated price tags of the War Industry, but Romney, a man who has NEVER SERVED in our Armed Forces, choosing instead to flee to Gay Paris with his rich buddies from the LDS Church. Romney stores his money in off shore bank accounts as to deny supporting America by paying his fair share of Taxes. A man of No Honor, and he wants to be President of the United States. Sorry the American Working Class are doing the hiring Mitt.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • James

      Obama NEVER served either numbnuts. Every large company stores money is offshore bank accounts too..why don't you go after them? You are the definition of a LIBTARD.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
      • Patricksday

        Romney avoided THE DRAFT like all Rich Kids did back then. He has no right to send others off to die for His Corporate Fat Cats who are paying his way into office for their own payoff if he is even named President. But he represents cares for his Wealthy Americans, not the majority of Americans who keep this country running 24/7

        October 10, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  86. Fallen Angel

    CNN is surpressing me from making any statements,just thought I would let you all know.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:54 am | Reply
  87. ISmellCorruption

    Anybody who is pushing for more tanks is corrupt. Some of the tax money spent on these tanks is getting fed back to our politicians through contributions and possibly other illegal routes. The key to rational policy and a government that represents the people is campaign finance reform. Do you hear anybody talking about it anymore? Nope! That is because the corruption is complete. It will have to come from the people. Campaigns should be limited and paid for by tax dollars. That way the politicians will be beholden to the people once more.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:54 am | Reply
  88. Richard

    I can see it now. Congress votes to end Ohio-based tank production, 27,000 put out of work in direct and ancillary jobs.
    In Ohio. In an election year. What universe was that again?

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
  89. shrinktofit

    Beware of the military industrial complex, it is upon us.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
  90. JoJo the Dancing Monkey

    This is the military industrial complex stealing more tax dollars. Why bother improving schools we need tanks!!!!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Darth Mortis

      Well, technically, the army is saying it doesn't need tanks. it was the paid off congress saying the army needs tanks.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
      • Jose

        The "Military Industrial Complex" is not the Military. Here we wee the rub between the two that Eisenhower warned us about:

        "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex."

        October 10, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • TheBob

      @Mortis – who do you think paid them off? The "industry" half of the military-industrial complex. Try to keep up.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
      • i12bphil

        @TheBob...Hey dingbat. The "military industrial complex" minus the military = the industrial complex.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  91. Jerry

    On the one hand the Democrats need to protect all those union jobs (a major source of guaranteed campaign contributions from the money the unions steal & extort from the workers,) while on the other you have the need to protect the production capacity and the knowledge & experience of the workers who'd otherwise be out of work and either collecting money for doing nothing or, possibly, working other jobs when the need for new tanks arose. If you stop production for 3-5 years and then start production of a new-tech tank with mostly new-hire union employees it'll take another 3-5 years and several billion dollars of waste on poorly made junk before the new union employees learn to get it right and another 10 years beyond that to enable GD to finally get rid of the union employees who were too stupid or lazy to EVER get it right. It will actually turn out to be more cost-effective in the long run to build a few unneeded tanks every year 'til the new ones enter production than it will be to shut things down for a few years only to have a 15 year period of junk that requires expensive repairs & redesigns and costs the lives of many soldiers out in the field.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Mike

      If it wasn't for Bush's lie regarding WMD in Iraq, the would have required to keep production going full blast. It is Reagan and both Bush's that have allowed the national debt to sky rocket due to cold war, driving Saddam out of Kuwait, the Gulf war and spending more on the military, money we must borrow, to play war games with children with sticks. Sad but 100% true. Now who is destroying this country?
      reaganbushdebt.org/

      October 10, 2012 at 1:01 am | Reply
    • Herby Sagues

      There are a myriad Solutions that are less expensive and much more productive that building targets ...er... tanks. The same personnel could be building heavy machinery, they could be building transportation vehicles, they could be building emergency diesel generators... If they have to build tanks, let's have them build tanks we can export to our allies, many of which are eager to buy some high-tech machinery.
      Or if nothing else, put them to build pyramids. They are equally useless, but in a few thousand years, unlike the tanks, they will be worth something.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
    • David in Tampa

      Don't like Unions???? then go get a MBA job at a bank making 28 grand a year sucker

      October 10, 2012 at 2:55 am | Reply
  92. Bazoing

    WW II was a long time ago. In conventional warfare tanks have a life expectancy of 4 minutes. In these pocket wars they each go through a several tank commanders sequentially. This is kamikaze stuff involving American kids. Many countries feel that simple gun carriers that can roll a big gun in place at a reasonable distance makes more sense. The Army knows its business. What is happening is bribery by implication. Congressmen who do not support enough 'bipartisan' bills that support General Dynamics do not get the donations. Please CNN, publish the list of the supporters of this travesty.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:45 am | Reply
  93. DB

    Tanks are as outdated as the sword and shield are to todays military action.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • Angela Birch

      Exactly, I 3wonder if there is a group of conhress people stuill demanding that muskets be manufactured and if armor for the horses is still being made. Tanks really have no use in the modern army. WW2 Army yes but not now.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
  94. TheBob

    How f*ked up is this?!! The PENTAGON is saying they don't need these tanks, and the corrupt Congress is saying we know better. THROW THE CORRUPT THIEVES OUT OF OFFICE THIS NOVEMBER ! ! ! ! !

    October 10, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
  95. sbul

    Tell who these lawmakers are. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of taking bribes from contractors/lobbiest and we need to know to vote them out. Only one name was mentioned why? Mitt Romney wants to spend where the army doesn't and I wouldn't be surprised if his attack dog Ryan doesn't also support plans to build a bigger badder army. I wonder what other plans of "world domination" they have in mind? Another war? Perhaps with Iran? That's tank war fare.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • DB

      "To be exact, 173 House members – Democrats and Republicans – sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks." Why not read the entire article, this is a problem from both sides. It is people like you that support an idiot running the country into the ground and turning it into a socialist government.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
      • Cogito

        The army is, in & of itself, a socialist enterprise....collecting taxes for the benefit of the nation as a whole. It's idiots like you that use terms like socialism that you don't completely understand, that are running this country into the ground.

        October 10, 2012 at 12:54 am |
      • Cogito

        Some socialist endeavors are actually good...but thanks to ideologues who have no real grasp of the meaning of words, and only adhere to labels, there can be no real dialogue in this country....

        October 10, 2012 at 12:58 am |
      • Jose

        Cogito, you are exactly correct. Most of these folks font know that a 'fascist' gov't is one run by corporations. Hmm. sound familiar?

        October 10, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Steve_PA

      No chance they get voted out. The reason they fight to keep production going is that the jobs are in their district. You don't vote somebody out of office for protecting your job.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • readandcomprehend

      First if Romney elected war with Iran in early 2013 imminent second are nation was founded as a free socialist nation by the people for the people not by the business for the company in slaved capitalists

      October 10, 2012 at 1:20 am | Reply
  96. greg

    i just figured something out. If you put Representative RP's name into the comment section, GNN censors your post and it doesn't show up on here. Its called democracy

    October 10, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
  97. Cogito

    The leader of the House science committee also thinks the Earth was created 9000 years ago, in 6 days...and people wonder why we're so F*c&ed up...

    October 10, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • 0rangeW3dge

      ...hey, it's your country, Clint said so....go do something about it

      October 10, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
      • Cogito

        Since you're probably part of the vast majority voting for Obamney, I'm probably going to be doing more than you this election....

        October 10, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  98. determinant

    We can't or won't even secure or defend our border with Mexico. This is what we get from our billions invested. Granted not a military problem but maybe a few jobs like yours building uneeded tanks could be reassigned there where it will do some good. Keep the jobs just use them to do something useful for the country. Times change and so do our needs.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • 0rangeW3dge

      what about the Canadian border?

      October 10, 2012 at 12:40 am | Reply
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