Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fiscal Responsibility

Doesn't seem to be present here, one more lesson we seem to have forgotten. - Corps pays $100K for retooled jeep
That's seven times what a deluxe commercial version of the vehicle costs. It's also three times what U.S. Export-Import Bank records show the Dominican Republic paid four years ago for a military version of the vehicle, called the Growler, a recycled version of the M151 jeep.

The Marines and the contractor, General Dynamics, say the vehicle has been thoroughly revised with modern automotive parts and adapted to fit on the V-22.

"Yes, it did start off with jeep technology, and it does look like a jeep in a lot of ways," says John Garner, the Marines project manager. But he says it's now "state of the art."

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a non-profit group that monitors Pentagon contracts, says taxpayers are getting a deal that "stinks" on an unarmored vehicle that makes no sense for today's missions, where troops face ambushes and roadside bombs.

"In a time of war, we should not be wasting money on a junker which will not protect our troops," Brian says. Under current military safety rules, the Growler would be barred from service in Iraq except as a utility vehicle that doesn't leave the security of a base.

The Marines have budgeted to buy more than 400 Growlers, along with a French mortar and ammunition that it would tow, under a contract that could total $296 million.

The Growler beat two other vehicles for the contract, Garner says.

Built by Ocala, Fla.-based American Growler, the original Growler is made partly from salvaged M151 jeep parts and is available in several versions for as little as $7,500 in kit form. At the high end, there's a $14,500 upgraded "tactical dune buggy" with a "bikini top."

The Marines' version has considerable upgrades from the commercial and Dominican Republic models, the Corps and contractor say, including a turbo-diesel engine, disc brakes and other systems adapted from modern vehicles.

"It's not your grandfather's jeep," says Kendell Pease, a General Dynamics spokesman.

Obviously. But they must think we are senile if this is their version of balancing the budget and strenghtening the military...industrial complex.

They aren't even trying to hide their contempt for the working American. I'm pretty sure they would prefer that their taxes went to improving their neighborhoods or protecting their National Guard and Army Reserve troops.

No comments:

Post a Comment