The fate of the alternate engine once again rests in the balance. According to an article in Cincinnati.com, “Despite assurances from the Obama administration before Christmas that funding for GE Aviation’s alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter would continue through March 4, the Evendale-based engine maker said Wednesday it’s still waiting for the government’s check. . . . Rick Kennedy, GE Aviation spokesman, said funding for the alternative engine under joint development with Rolls Royce, expires Friday. He said GE anticipates continued funding will be released by then, but the company hasn’t been notified by the defense program office.”
The alternate engine has been criticized as wasteful and unnecessary by taxpayers, the Bush and Obama Administrations, and numerous top military officials. On May 20, 2010, Secretary Gates made it clear that he will recommend that the President veto any legislation that includes funding for the alternate engine, a pledge that has been reiterated by the White House. Additionally, in a January 6, 2011 speech about military budgeting, Secretary Gates said that spending limited resources on the alternate engine constitutes excessive overhead and is an unneeded program.
The alternate engine has been a $3 billion boondoggle and taxpayers should not sink one more dime of limited resources into this failed project. This program has become the epitome of senseless government waste, diverting resources away from other important military projects and expenditures that keep the nation and our troops safe and secure. Citizens Against Government Waste made the full case against the alternate engine in a May 2010 Issue Brief.