Bye-bye, F-22

The bloated, over-budget plane that the Air Force doesn’t even want is finally getting de-funded. For a while, it looked like congress was going to build them anyway, but now even pork-meister Jack Murtha has given up the fight.

This is a huge deal. Yes, the F-22 was on its last legs, and probably needed to be killed anyway. But it was a project that had a lot of backers in Congress. Lockheed Martin wisely spread the manufacturing out over as many congressional districts as possible, making this thing very hard to kill (Barney Frank calls the money we spend building war machines “weaponized Keynesianism”).

You can read our past coverage of the F-22 here. We’re not fans, suffice it to say. This is a small victory for Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ efforts to change defense procurement. But the symbolism is huge. Put it another way, if he had failed to do even this much, then it would have been impossible to contemplate killing bigger, costlier boondoggles.