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?
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.
Maybe we can park them along our side of the Rio Grande.
Hmmm...you may be onto something . I also read american crocodiles are making a comeback. We should finance several hatcheries along the length of the Rio Grande.
Obviously, your personal knowledge of the Rio Grande is infinitismally small. I canoe the Rio Grande several times a year between Presidio and Langtry, and I know that river like the back of my hand. Unless these are a special breed of crocs they would quickly starve to death on that river because there is nothing down there for them to eat. What food they would possible be able to find would probably be eaten by mountain lions and black bears long before it got into crocland.
Further, the river between El Paso and Presidio is usually bone dry, and crocs could not survive in the heat and sun without water and shade. The term "wetback" only applies to those who wade or swim across the border. These days, most just walk across the bone dry river bed. And, most of them enter in New Mexico, Arizona or California, and there ain't no Rio Grande there!
Would you care to offer any other half-baked ideas?
I guess nobody told congress that the cold war is over so is world war II. What we need now to fight terrorists are not tanks but drones. This is how they waste public taxpayer money.
Last I heard, Lima was in western Ohio. They must have moved the town! Opps!
Those tanks will be needed when the Cartels and alien riffraff take over US cities in the not too distant future.
We can handle that sort of riff-raff with our AR-15s, surely.
If we converted service industries to making planes and tanks during WWII, why can't we convert them back now that they are no longer necessary?
Whatever our factories make China can make cheaper.
They could if there was a buyer. The Detroit tank plant was sold to the city of Warren for $1, but had an environmental cleanup bill of $5M. The Stratford Army engine plant was closed in 1998 and the Army still can't get rid of it.
looks like tanks are becoming obsolete- in modern day warfare. They are sitting duck targets- to all the new heat seekig, and smart weaponry. Let the military tell us what they need- they know what they are doing.
This article doesn't surprise me at all. If we don't need the tank why buy them why don't we invest in something that we do need like education.
You probably don't realize it but government spending, at all levels, on education is actually higher then military spending.
I know it's an inconvenient truth but such is life.
And Mitt contests when Obama says he will give same or more level of battle preparedness with less cost. He contest when Obama says Cong. is trying to push more than what Pentagon is asking for. And this has been the story of GOP with respect to defence industry. Shame on GOP and Mitt !!!
So obviously you totally missed that dems are also involved in this? Although from your comment it's safe to assume you'll excuse thier actions.
Republicans decry government money going to hire civilians to build roads and bridges, but they will cheer using government money to hire soldiers and contract to build bombs and tanks.
To me, if you want to stimulate the economy, at least do so in a way that we get something useful over the long haul.
No big deal. It's just the same old government jobs program, Republican-style. But instead of roads and bridges and infrastructure, we just useless piles of metals instead.
And yet another person with selective reading abilities which are able to filter out the fact that democrats are involved in supporting this as well, although the only person sited is a republican.
So how does a "freemarket" economy suppossed to work when you have a congress that is forcing products on to a gov't agency that says outright that it doesn't need them? Somebody has obviously missed the opportunity for some "out-of-the-box" thinking here. How bout tank auctions, tank shows where the thing gets destroyed at the end (think monstertruck), tank wars, melting them down in masse and using the refined metal to build something else? There's got to be a market here for turning somebody else's useless junk into something that's worth money to someone.
Might as well build more mini space shuttles, since we have the money to employ the same number of people.
The military is the ultimate jobs program.
$3 billion? How about a tax rebate!!
If romney is president we would have to start all over again all he wants to do just because he dont like obama he want to throw away 4 years of work im not ready for a change plus i our country going the right way where i live i see new jobs coming up like crazy all my friends including me have jobs in 2008 there was barely anyhting.
Really.... Your linguistics reflect a certain lack of education that means the 'jobs' are not really economy/revenue building relationships that drive an international economy. I do not favor creating jobs for those that rebuked their chance at an education with lack of effort, drugs or other choices that decreased their job abilities. This is what is wrong with America~
Gee, you surely do seem to assume quite a lot about people you don't even know! Using your logic, where does that leave George W. Bush who, inarguably, was the stupidest person to ever enter the White House, and yet he managed to get the top job. It's called the "Peter Principle."
But that begs the questions, were those jobs created because of Obama or in spite of him?
I know lots will disagree with this but it is hard to argue with the potential for losing 16,000 jobs. Until a new product comes along to fill that manufacturing roll I say keep building the tanks and sell them to allies...............including the 2000 sitting in the desert.
Yes I work for a major defense contractor in case anybody was questioning my motives. Not General Dynamics though, I build aircraft.
Why don't we build something with that money that benefits the people and does not destroy other people. If the Army doesn't want or need killing machines the last think we should do is build them. Green Energy, Roads, Bridges, Sewers, Water Mains, ect... List could go on and on of other priorties that have been ignored in the name of so called National Defense. Rombo is a lop just like "W" pandering to the war hawks.
Oh just give them to some of those enraged citizens who would like revenge on their governments who are stupidly allowing US Corporations to buy their votes.........
Rather than this decision by Congress to continue building war weapons, tanks, to be a sound one based on needs of the U.S., it is based on keeping jobs. This shows the localized self-centeredness of the Representatives and Senators rather than what is beneficial for the US. If an individual were to manage and spend his money like the US government, he would be put behind bars and the key would be thrown away.
Rather than the United States be called as such, it is more accurate to be addressed as the Disunited States. There are fractures, divisions, and cracks throughout the US governmental "house" that is causing it sway badly, with its foundation sinking.
The Bible spoke of this fracturing and cracking foundation at Daniel 2, whereby it says of the combination "kingdom" of Britian/America (the "seventh king", Rev 17:10) as "the feet and the toes (of the immense image that Nebuchadnezzar saw) to be partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom itself will prove to be divided, but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as you beheld the iron mixed with moist clay. And as for the toes of the feet being partly of iron and partly of molded clay, the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile. Whereas you beheld iron mixed with moist clay, they will come to be mixed with the offspring of mankind; but they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay."(Dan 2:41-43)
Just as clay does not stick to iron, so the US government of the Anglo-American dual world power has deep fractures, proving to be divided, with one political group not willing to agree with another, but each pushing their personal agenda though not beneficial for the nation as a whole but only for their region. This being divided will only grow worse until "the end" when all human governments, including the US, will be removed forever from the earth.(Dan 2:44; Rev 19:19-21)
So, now we're basing our future predictions of the demise of America based upon a book of fairy tales? I don't think so!
Tanks? we no need no stinkin' tanks!
BLATANT Military-Industrial Complex WELFARE ! ! ! - Taxpayer Money (from the 94-%) is NOT real Money !
A principal cornerstone of the GoP "concept" of "Fiscal Conservativeness" ! ! . (Giggle ^ 200)
WHY-O-WHY are these Klowns STILL around ? ? ?
Let's DITCH 'EM Big Time ! ! !
It is definitely corporate welfare. I am struggling with my position on this because my livelyhood depends on the defense industry. I guess even I can be bought.
Have to keep the war machine producing to pay back all the contributions to their campaigns. Clean house in Nov.
Not to mention the tens of thousands of people employed in the industry.
Let them go out into the real world and get real jobs producing products and services that are beneficial to mankind rather than living off corporate welfare at taxpayer expense!
The reason these politicians Romney and the like because they get kickbacks from the contractors, so you must buy even when you don't need or want, or they don't get the palm greased
One point that seems to not have been brought up...If we stop manufacturing tanks, and the companies that build them and their parts, etc. go out of business...what do we do if we do find ourselves in another World War, and have eliminated our armor manufacturing base?
they already have more than enough tanks to survive 3 world wars!
Then those companies had better adapt to the business environment and transform – in fact, they need to be like the military they're supporting: flexible, agile, and adaptable.
naw , they just need to build something else.
Right ! And we should also start building sailing warships in case we run out of diesel (or Jet A). Those were the days !
what war is going to be won with tanks anymore? or did you miss the huge line of them between kuwait and bagdhad.
Well, the chances that another major world war will be fought with tanks and not missiles, drones, or end in a M.A.D. scenario is pretty slim, imo. Besides, if the Pentagon is suggesting we stop production, then I'm sure they've made sure we have enough for most worst-case scenarios involving tank warfare. Finally... its not like they're going to destroy the plans on how to make them.
yes! lets buy tanks the army doesnt want and cancel sesame street. that makes sense.
Repurpose them to build something useful. You guys are starting to sound like soviets. But I guess that's a sound strategy, stock up on tanks, then sell them on the black market after your guns over butter economy crashes.
To the Republicans there's no such thing as spending too much on the military. What? The military doesn't want the extra money/vehicles/weapons/armor? Who cares? Let's slash spending on worthless things like education, the arts, and social programs so we can force the military to take the extra stuff even if it gathers dust! Better to spend money on weapons than Americans, right Republicans? I understand the education cuts. Like Santorum said not too long ago, have a more educated populace isn't in the best future interests of the GOP.
Last year, the US spent 700 billion on the military. That's 7x as much as the second biggest spender, China. And this was under a Democrat as president. If Romney gets elected, be prepared for massive cuts across the board as well as a middle-class tax hike to pay for the extra military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Well, if Romney wins and he spins us back up into full war mode in Asia and the middle east, we will need those tanks.
I'm sure Russia would love to have the tanks.
They would not be able to repair them either
I love that congress are legalized arms dealers.
The outlook for selling Abrams tanks to other nations appears "stronger than prior years," the letter said
Hey congress, go phuck yourselves.
shame on Lima Ohio, love that government waste, it's all about THEMSELVES not their country. shame shame.
yes, fire teacher and build tanks .. well, this is how the soviet union fell apart .. very smart Congress . the reality is simple, the congressmen are corrupt by the money of the military industry and so .. keep borrowing money.
Hey, wanna screw the US .. do it, it's your country, just do not complain when the foreign creditor will foreclose capitol hill
wrong soviet union fell because they couldnt maintain a stable government not because of fireing teachers and people were corrupted in there government
Since General Dynamic is the only repair/refurb center for tanks. They are donating millions to our lawmakers to keep the program going. The Defense Dept says no, But the congress is overriding their votes. Lobbyists are paying our congress big bucks to waste Defense dollars. Money does count, even if it means a higher debt allowing our Congress to add more millions to their bank account. Of course politicians are on the job to become millionaires, not to help the people, or resolve national issues. This was reported on TV this evening. Politicians are wasting our money to bank their saving accounts.
So maybe the pentagon could help the tank factories retool to build something that someone needs.
I guess we should be grateful something like this is even reported these days. Now take it one step further and name names!
What do we need these tanks for?
They are kind of overkill for fighting the occupational war we are in now. Versus modern militaries such as our own they are more or less prey for combat choppers and aircraft. Against less capable nations or groups they are vulnerable to IEDs. Above all else if the military is saying they don't need more than they don't need more. Stop wasting our money. General Dynamics should be smart and make something else when they can't build tanks... Like cars and trucks.
This does indeed strike me as vote buying.
Tanks are well known Death Boxes. We need lots of Toyota Pickups with 50 cal and recoilless rifles in the back. That is what all the "active" Armies of the World are using, and managing to kill thousands. How about a couple hundred P-51s and/or P-47s ?
A moving foxhole attracts the eye.
Can't we just start calling corporate campaign contributions what they really are? Bribes.
our military shouldnt ever be reduced or its budget
Your checks in the mail to PAY for those extra tanks....Right?
yea but its not only paying for those tanks its paying for our heros across seas to protect us here soon they will use them.
This is bribery! We dont need these tanks we need better roads and bridges!
The Soviet Union had this same problem, most glaringly with their outdated Foxtrot submarines. Since unemployment was illegal, the kept making them, to just sit there and rust.
The numbers speak for themselves. The commanders of the army say they can save 3 billion on equipment they don't need. Congress says it will cost 16 thousand jobs. Those 16 thousand (private sector) jobs would then be worth 1.88 million each. I'd work 50 years to make that and more than 95 percent would go back into the economy. If you take the advice of the people who are in the best position to understand and predict the needs of their troupes in the field then you could use that money to create jobs for the next 25 years for 30 thousand people like me.
This is only the latest example of this, and it's not even remotely close to being the worst.
Look no further then the V-22 Osprey to see Congress larding up the defense budget. None of the services wanted it and yet despite their protests Congress spent over $55 billion of the defense buget on it's development and procurement.
Some reps must owe contributions back to defense contractors. It happens all the time. Stingers were stockpiled so high they had trouble storing them before they stopped production.
Considering that the only attack on our country in the last half century was by Saudi Arabians and we aren't in any rush to go steamroll their country, then I'm not sure what use we have for more tanks. Stop wasting my tax dollars building hunks of junk we don't need/shouldn't be using in countries we don't belong in.
You never know about this world and we learned once we melt them down somthing else will come up and we will make more
All for the price of 6 PBS funds.
Pubic Broadcasting System, a.k.a. Pravda, can fund itself and quit suck off of our tax dollars.
Really, you'd rather see another field of unused, unwanted tanks than the survival of one of the last bastions of advertiser-free, independent mass media and education? When largely everything that claims to be educational has become reality TV and fluff (ie Discovery, TLC, History), how is PBS not a valuable and appropriate spending of tax payer money? How much do we need to cut education, science, and the arts, before both the very hugest and very lowest are satisfied? Hopefully the channel is around long enough to inspire your unfortunate children in the hundred different ways that you plainly cannot
And singing your first name. Goodness.
Our lawmakers confuse Welfare with Warfare, don't they?
Besides cutting Big Bird, i.e. PBS and NPR, from the budget Mitt Romney wants to eliminate AMTRAK. These cuts are made purportedly to reduce or even eliminate borrowing sums from China. He should start with the DoD.
Romney apparently cares nothing about amounts needed for our defense. In fact, we can reduce the bloated DoD budget without jeopardizing or even influencing our capacity to protect our nation and people. It is time for him to face reality, and stop pandering for votes. In fact, if he was really interested in protecting the country, he would cease pandering to the pro Israeli lobby by turning a blind eye to Israel's excesses in the M. E.
I am a combat veteran and I deplore the wretched and unnecessary expenditures in the name of "defense". Ike, who knew infinitely more about warfare and national expense than Mitt Romney, cautioned us about the "Military Industrial Complex."
Thank you! You are 100% correct and why are there so many fools out there that don't see this too? Are they walking around with horse blinders? With a 16 trillion deficit, why are we sending millions to Isreal, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan ect ect? What they really mean when they talk about spreading democracy around the world is a cover word for big business. And who makes the greatest sacrifice in the name of big buisness? The soldier! Who benefits the most once a country is (democrasized)? The Generals who became CEOs of the contractors they help to get contracts for. Ofcourse our soldiers who pay the ultimate sacrifice are not mercenaries so they don't benefit from big business but they made the biggest sacrifice!
Why not have the contractors build something useful like public mass transit systems or infrastructure items instead?
Contractors, like most of us, are looking for pay checks. When the populace responds to idiots saying things like "be afraid, be very afraid", we vote with our emotions rather than our intelligence. The only influence those of us rational, non millionaires have is our vote. So, we must vote with our intelligence. We need to be informed about who we are voting for and what they or who they are supporting. The same goes for human rights verses oppressions, or any other topic. Contractors will create what is profitable for them, and that is influenced by US.
Vote intelligently! Get the facts and know those for whom you are voting!
This waste is ridiculous. Here we are with a bloated military budget that needs to be cut, and here is the military not wanting more tanks. I say congress has been bought and paid for by the military war profiteers who instead of producing something the country doesn't want and doesn't need wants...I say it is time to quit making more tanks.
After WWII Eisenhower warned us to not become a military industrial complex...kick those builders off the government dole and tell them to convert their factories, and build something everyone could use....besides they are antiquated obsolete sitting dodos for the way current wars are fought...Just more wasted medal to sit in the desert and rot.
are you stupid? the army itself cut tanks to lower its budget, these tanks are not for the army, they are for the congress. The military is really good at cutting fat its the congress that cant seem to get it. Listen to the generals!!!!!
i totally hear republican based ads on the radio saying obama is trying to close the tank plant.
I live only 20 miles away.
I'm also from Ohio...but waste is waste....we sure could used that money to spent on sustainable green energy innovation. These Rethugliklan congressmen must have their head up some military contractor's tucoux so far they can't see reason.
At first i agreed with cutting the spending if the military doesnt need them. But there is another angle for this and it was mentioned. The workers that have the skills they need to build them. Im sure you have read about how the US doesnt have skilled labor like it used to. The kinds of skills it takes to build things like we used to are a dying breed, im one of them. So they want to keep the capability there in case they need them at some point.
Dont want to get in a situation where we need these people and no one knows how to operate a metal lathe or weld. Talk about a disaster!
Far-fetched. Our wars are going to be drones and missiles from now on, not tanks.
Anyone with the know how skills of building things never loses that skill...give these people with skilled labor know how credit they are innovative and adaptable...give them something we need to build. For crying out loud...building something we don't need is an absolute waste of our money, and of their talent.
This is exactly what President Eisenhower warned us about: the "military industrial complex".....
And the same Republicans pushing Army to buy these very expensive tanks are accusing Obama for wasteful spending!
Go back and reread the article. The dumbocraps are just as guilty. I'll bet that components for the M1 are made in each and every alcoholic pedophile/philanderer's (congress creeps) districts that are whining about this. They, alcoholic pedophile/philanderers, are ALL hypocrites.
All that the people in congress are worried about is getting re-elected so they can keep there cushy job, pay and benefits. along with the retire benefits and freebies they get. So instead of making the right decisions they make the ones that will make sure they get reelected. That is why we are in Debt and keep on steal from Peter to pay Paul.
Military should just stop recruiting troops all together and use drones exclusively for all their missions. At least when a drone gets shot down, no one becomes a fatherless (or motherless) child.
I wonder how many schools could have been built for the money it took to build the tanks that the Army doesn't want. We spend more money on killing people than educating them. And we re-elect the same idiots that vote for this over and over again.
Military Industrial Complex! Go America!
Oh wait... that deficit... it might roll us over.
I"ll take one, if it helps.
I say if they don't want them, WHY??? If there are already over 2,000 sitting unused WHY???????
Article implies they are broken , to varying degrees , but don't fix 'em just build a new one. btw , wonder how many are sitting on the bottom of the gulf of tonkin?
Did you not read the article?
This is one story there are hundreds of stories where congress and including the Senate insist on protecting their turf for election reasons and to he** with the tax payer. We elect these people to basically rob us legally. Obama is the worst of all of them.
Did you know that a large group of Baboons is called a Congress? Makes perfect sense to me!
Sell them. Anyone?
"The tanks create 16,000 jobs and involve 882 suppliers, says Kendell Pease, the company's vice-president of government relations and communications."
I thought government didn't create jobs?
What a great creation of jobs this is!
It's ok for the government to create jobs as long as labor from those jobs benefits a wealthy campaign contributor.
Follow the money!
The army doesn't want them? Says who? If there is one person who doesn't want new hardware in the Army there are a 1000 others who do. This article is laughably false. Romney will be the next president, get used to it.
What? You do realize that the military is not a democracy. All the soldiers don't vote on what they buy and use. The guys in charge don't want them, they don't need them. Grow a brain.
and this bipartisan pork parade has what exactly to do with the presidential election? Oh! i see, your boy Romney wants to start wars all over the world, so we'll need more tanks i guess.
dream on....besides tanks are about as relevant to modern warfare as building a catapult. As I suspected neither you or Robme care about the deficit you are screaming about...just more of the Bush era waste and deficit on useless war.
So the GOP, the party of cutting spending and reducing our debt, has many members voting to produce tanks the army doesn't want. It's like Gingrich, while having an affair, running on moral values. Hypocrites, destroying our nation!
Try reading the article. Both parties are guilty.
Buck McKeon is the typical repuke RET@RD who simply doesn't have a clue. Only a moron puts things so black and white.
Less tanks , more drones. Why send people to do a robots job....lol
Some "lawmakers" are going to lose a huge kickback if they stop production of the tanks.
Lets do the math, as this is supposedly for "16,000 jobs"
1 M-1 cost ~9 mill according to wiki and they want to make 2,000
2k*9m = 18 bill
for that amount of money those 16k people can work for 12 years making 100k a year or 180k people can be employed for a year making the same amount for that year while doing something product like rebuilding the nations crumbling infrastructure.
Why not take that money and invest it in job creation congress?
The kind of weapons that Iran and NK can fire at these beasts can make them as vulnerable as a soda can. Even the US has a weapon in development that kills the people inside just by pointing it a group of tanks. They literally melt inside. Maybe we need to have them for basic defensive purposes but for a large ground based acquisition war, there is not much of a chance we can put that many units on the ground to make a difference.
Military industrial complex at its best. The congressmen pushing these tanks should be ashamed. Listen to the military and provide the equipment/munitions they request instead.
i wonder how many of these supporting congressmen are the same ones who drug their feet in providing adequate body armor and vehicle improvements in Iraq. Forget equipping our soldiers with the gear they need to stay alive, we need to keep General Dynamics in business!
As if it is the first time this year alone that congress pulls this fat one...
This is very clear. Our dear slimeball representatives obviously have a stake in it. Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.
Tanks are NOT the safest land vehicles against IEDs tanks and strikers get destroyed by them. MRAPS are the safest vehicle against IEDs... unfortunately they are not the best fighting vehicle and so the military must balance between the weapons that we would need in one kind of war... and the weapons we actually use in war today. they are not the same.
As it is today we have more tanks than we have tank crews able to field them in battle. building more tanks is meaningless. our problem is that everything we do is so specialized we do not have the ability to quickly retool to build what is needed... so we keep building what is NOT needed.
Here they go again, wasting money on military hardware to protect jobs in their district. We'd better stop this crap or we'll all go broke. We cannot continue to pay for military hardware jobs programs. Obama needs to step in and say no to congress.
Then conservatards would argue he doesn't support a strong defense , you ought to know by now the spin doctors would jump all over it.
Why does everyone (that is, the American people, the media, etc. etc) refuse to take this one step further and call it like it is: Bribery. Yes, this is modern American political bribery. This congressman, Rep. Mckeon, from California couldn't even articulate a proper, logical, response to defend the $56K in contributions. The article should close with "Mckeon has been indicted (or cited?) for political bribery (slightly less criminal that plain old bribery), and has been suspended (without pay!) from Congress. That is what the American people (as a whole – not individual vendors) deserve.
– I'm sick of the tricks
So congress wants to waste 3 billion, and then cry about PBS's yearly 450m a year. That's 6 more years of PBS or 300 years of sesame street... Meanwhile romney has said he would give the military 2 trillion in money they haven't requested... I guess we will be building many many more tanks...
I just crunched the numbers we can build 233,000+ more tanks for 2 trillion! Romney 2012! Jobs for everyone!
It's ironic how that is essentially the platform of Darth Vader
2 Trillion to the Military would mean a lot of investing in the technology R&D to have the strongest military in the world. 2nd best military is not good enough for the American people. We should do our best to prevent a real war from breaking out, I'm talking hundreds of thousands if not millions dieing. We should do our best to not let that happen, but we sure as hell need to be prepared and ready to act and win if they situation arises. You do NOT want another country coming to the United States to "redistribute" things. You can trust our military to do the right thing. Do you trust some of the eastern countries to do the same.. think about it for a minute before you answer that.. thing long and hard about troops taking what and whomever they want. I would like to think this could never actually happen, but with how fast warfare can move these days, if you blink it could all be over. Don't settle for the 2nd best military in the world, I'm not sure there's an award for 2nd place in war.
I dont give a crap about PBS that was the only thing romney can bring up and its so huge come on im worried about our country and romney worried about PBS get over it. all romney can say is i have a plan. well explain i dont care about what obama did in the past because he was president and we lived his terms we know what happened i wanna know what you have planned yea obama didnt fight back because he was more about what he was going to do i dont want a president who can sit there and stab a non since. Obama had the right mind. i dont get how romney won that debate if all he has to say is I HAVE A PLAN IM VERY WORRIED FOR THIS COUNTRY AND O PBS IS JUST A BIG DEAL COME ON PEOPLE
He didn't win , he just didn't lose.
This is everything wrong with America. Some people may make a living from producing tanks, but that does not justify $3 billion dollars in unwarranted and unneeded spending by the US Government. It would be cheaper to just pay all of the employees their base salary over the down time between major production cycles and even that, as any reasonable person would agree, is insane.
Cut the costs, listen to the Generals, save **OUR** money.
Tanks are as obsolete as the battleship. You can't effectively do battle against a guerrilla force and they are sitting ducks against a modern army with guided artillery munitions and missiles.
you apparently dont know the capability of our tanks. And they are ALOT cheaper at the moment than using guided missiles.
Don't worry. Obama put them to use. IF Obama wins the draft will be back by 2013. You guys don't need to get smarter in college anyway, right?
Military industrial complex, Corruption run rampant.
You got that just bass akwards skippy.....
"IF Obama wins the draft will be back by 2013"
I hate Obama and that might be the dumbest comment I have read in a long time on CNN. COngrats
I think you have it backwards. Romney is the one that wants to increase the size of the armed forces, Obama wants to cut the size. Do we really need over 1300 foreign military bases in over 100 foreign countries that the US taxpayer pays for?
we dont pay for it at all, china does.. wake up people. .. blame Obama all you want but do you think Twitt Robme will do away with any of this good ol boy congress BS?? he is right in the pockets of em all just like the gangsters in congress...
If the Army says it has enough tanks, then why would anybody argue otherwise. It has never been like the military to ask for less than what they think they need. The military supply chain understands what it needs and how fast it needs it in order to maintain unit proficiency. Leave it to greedy lawmakers to spend taxpayer money needlessly while using the argument that they are doing it for the sake of the economy. THIS is why we are on the verge of bankruptcy.
agree. time to get your act to gether and set aside your petty fights and disagreements. GET TO WORK STOP RUNNING YOUR MOUTH AND TAKE ACTION CONGRESS
congress need to make up there minds. As they're waiting money on the dept is going up.
I would buy one if i could get a loan for it.
Right there with you Charles..... I wonder if I can get one in red? lol
If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say.
Why didn't they think of this when trade agreements were passed?
It's pretty nice to say they are worried about the jobs, but lets be real here. Congress doesn't really care about such a small industry. They are willing to risk taking bribes because they convinced they are doing the right thing anyways. It's about keeping a company in business that provides state of the art warfighting tools. If we let them close a plant, would they be ready when we need them? Would letting them shut down and shrink affect their R&D for future systems?
Think about it like a car manufacturer. If you allowed Ford to close after releasing 2013 models by somehow preventing anyone from buying their cars (humor me), do you think there would be any real improvements to the 2014 models if given money to reopen? I will not sit here and tell you this money is really being well spent, but we could certainly fund this company by selling some of the outdated tanks seen here in this video. Sell them to an ally for dirt cheap and you'd still make a profit.
The components for these tanks must be produced in the home districts of these 173 alcoholic pedophile/philanderers, errrr congress creeps (same thing)
LMAO at safest vehicles against IEDs. There is MAYBE 1 tank for every 1000 vehicles that transport troops. Never once has a tank been considered because of IED threats on a road. Tanks are in battle groups and thats it. Marines dont take them down to the local bazaar for shopping.
Wait until we start building those 15 monthly submarines Mr. Romney has been talking about! LOL!!!!
Gotta love this, we need to cut spending, the military is the largest budget, we dont need anymore tanks and yet congress keeps spending money... i want to say that again CONGRESS is doing the spending, not the president.
Yeah Republicans and the fools who vote for them. Cut taxes, raise military spending, more wars–I said more wars, cut taxes and really cut them for rich people, more military spending, more wars-vote romney and let's bury the good ole USA
Obama continued every single Bush war and bombed about 5 extra countries. There is no difference between the parties when it comes to the military. Liberals just lie about it to sheep like you
Every one, eh?
Congress controls the purse strings. The President cannot spend ANY money – he can only approve Congressional expenditures. Without Congressional actions to spend money the President is powerless to start or continue wars. CONservatives just lie to sheep like you.
Dave – nice exageration too bad he has been slowly ending all those wars and only bombed 1 other country.
note the news articles states CONGRESS not the president, or as you probably refer to him the black guy.
Don't worry. Romney would put them to use. IF Romney wins the draft will be back by 2013. You guys don't need to get smarter in college anyway, right?
When I lived in Ohio, Lima was not a tiny town in the eastern part of the state. So much for fact checkers.
Yeah tiny town my ass.
38,000 people and 38 times my own town.
i should point out that it's in western ohio, too. personally, i wouldn't call it a small town at 40K people.
The military industrial complex will not be stopped! Sadly.
I believe it is the military industrial congressional complex...and it MUST BE DISSOLVED!
I am so sick and tired of all these absolute idiots. Build tanks to employ 16,000 workers? Build a Bullet train across the USA. and F the tanks...
That's what i'm talking about. Why stop there-why do I need a car to get from point a-b. Why should I have to drive in traffic at all? Why can't I walk in any direction, anywhere in Calif, (within a mile or so), and be able to catch a train and not have to buy $5.00 gal gas?
One of the few things we actually make in America
Support US Producers, baby!
Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever needed an argument pro-eugenics, I believe the above will suffice.
If the army dosen't want them I will take one. Ideal for home defense. Actually I think we should sell them to a third world country then go over and blow them up in the next war, at least that is what usually happens.
Lima is actually in northwest Ohio, but hey, don't let that detail get in the way of the story.
Keep those tanks coming, and those dollars flowing.
The Army has a job to do.
General Dynamics has a job to do, to keep manufacturing the tanks.
American public has a job to do, to keep paying taxes to make all these happen.
Lawmakers have a job to do. Not trying to make stupid things like this pass to the benefit of their lobbyists
What a bunch of hypocrits Congress is. It's funny that they want to cut the deficit, but not in their special interests. Would the loss of production hurt the economy? Well, here's a solution. Use that money to fund the infrastructure of the US. Why throw away money in an area that the Army personel themselves say isn't needed? Why not use it to not only produce jobs, but to improve our infrastructure? It's ok, Congress, you can do it. It's too late in the election season to be seen as giving Obama a win.
The Army is also making 19K tankers to reclass into another jobs in the Army because there is no need for tankers. This will change if Mitt wins because you are going to need tanks when he invades Syria, Libya and Iran and Russia.
If one were to look at a map, he/she would find Lima, OH to be very much in the western part of Ohio.
Oh, but no, it's Big Bird that causes the deficit! Not tax cuts, not tanks that even the Army doesn't want...More proof that we have the best government money can buy.
I tend to agree that the tanks should not be cut. War can break out at any time, and tanks are the safest land vehicles against IEDs. If we do not refurbish then there could be a mad dash if something terrible happens. That would leave military personnel vulnerable.
Right, keep thousands of tanks ready in the California desert. Never know, we might have to take over Mexico at a moments notice.
No. No. No.
The Mexicans are taking over US..........their occupation force is already13 million. They do not use tank. They just use infantry men and women, without even carrying small arms.
Israel is waiting the donation of tanks from US.
Also please put stronger air conditioning system in these tanks. It's hot out here.
Tanks are an obsolete weapon. We just make them, so General Dynamics doesn't go bankrupt.
Not if you're trying to invade a country with relatively flat terrains.
When did you last see we sent out tanks because of IED?
Well, if you mean that war can break out in a region that has virtually nothing to do with the US, I suppose you might be right.
Then again, this article states that the army already feels that it has enough tanks for the next three years – including depletions at the rates of the last decade of war. And there are still 2000 extra.
Basically, these factories build metal things out of metal. Their suppliers supply parts for metal things made out of metal. Why not give these industries something to do in renewable energy? They can make solar panels, batteries, wind turbines and the infrastructure needed to turn that raw power into a legitimate utility. They can use the tank assembly lines to build maglev trains. Perhaps, when we become less dependent on middle eastern oil, we won't have to worry so much about wars springing up.
Hey, hey... I believe you dropped the Green energy bomb here. Watch it...
Just so you know...those 2,000 tanks are actually awaiting refurbishing. They are broken.
They are sitting in the desert because we have nowhere else to put them. If we ordered more tanks, they would require more maintenance, more fuel, more space, etc. All of this adds to more money over time that needs to be spent. Its not just the 3 billion the tanks will cost; it is the massive amounts of time, money, and resources it will take to maintain them. Vote these crooks (translation: all of them) out of office come election day please and keep voting them out until they get the hint.
yea those californians may start a war at any moment...
Amen! This is one of the RARE times I actually find myself siding with the parasites....er, politicians (though for a different reason). I challenge the military brass' assertion that we have enough armor, as quite the opposite is actually true. Sure, in "soft"/counter-insurgency conflicts tanks are obviously not the most effective weapon of choice. Unfortunately, at some point down the road we might just be confronted with a conventional conflict again (ie think, China), when heavy armor will truly be in high demand. It's near-sighted to believe every war will be like the one in which we're currently engaged, and we'd be wise to prepare for worst case scenarios....
Thanks, Alan. I trust the 4-star Army Chief of Staff over an ignoramus on the internet purporting to know more that career military officials do any day of the week.
It's not hard to crank tank production up when needed, we've done it every war since WWII. More like you stock pile tanks for a war that never happened and take money out of the bugdet that could help fix the things in this country that make it worth defending with tanks to begin with.
Alan, so should we build more tanks, planes and ships then we have people to man them and just keep a huge stockpile around, and of course we would then be required to constantly update them as well?
As for Poltergiest, you overlook the fact that production today is far different then it was during WW2. Firstly assembly lines have become very specialized, as have the components and even the skills needed to build them.
It's worth pointing out that in 1942 & 1943 the US produced over 52k tanks, mainly M4 shermans. And the Sherman is a perfect example of how different times are, for example it was built with at least 5 different engines, 3 or 4 of which were common commercially available engines as opposed to the custom turbine engine the M1 requires.
1. We're currently at war. 2. Tanks are not the safest vehicles against IEDs. 3. The crux of the article is over whether or not to buy more, not whether or not to refurbish the thousands that we already have.
So the 4 star general knows less than you about war and the dangers we face today? You would trust the politicians receiving campaign contributions that they don't know anything about? I anonymously donate 50,000 dollars but don't expect anything for it either. I also can lie about my intentions and motives. VOTE ME INTO CONGRESS NOW!
u obviously have no idea what u r talking about.