Your Democracy in Action

On NPR this morning I was listening to some Congressmen bloviating about the terrible injustice inherent in the Air Force's decision to give a contract to build re-fueling tankers to EADS, a French company the Air Force says promises the most high-quality aircraft. The level of caterwauling over the Air Force not abusing the contracting system and choosing what it judges to be the best use of its massive allotment of taxpayer money nakedly reveals the normal corruption of the system. The Congressmen barely bothered to dredge up some quasi-patriotic America-first tropes to conceal their plain assumption that the function of military spending is to redistribute taxpayer money to their districts. The idea that the Air Force would want the best planes with which to serve the  military functions of the Air Force: outrageous! Because transfers of tax money to politically-connected arms manufacturers and their highly-compensated employees is what wars are for. Obviously. Get with the program, Air Force.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center