Saving taxpayers half a billion dollars isn’t that simple. Defying the threat of a presidential veto, the House of Representatives voted Thursday to authorize a alternative engine program for the F-35 fighter jet. The backup plan is projected to cost $485 million next year. The Senate Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, gave this program a thumbs down on the same day. That means it won’t be included in the Senate’s version of the defense spending bill. Read Chris Hellman’s recent op-ed, which notes that increases in military spending affect the rest of the federal budget. “While domestic spending increased by approximately 24 percent from FY 2001 to FY 2010, military spending (including war costs) surged 71 percent,” he said.

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