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William Hartung: Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington
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Who could forget it? There were the $37 screws (no need to say who was getting screwed), the $2,043 nut (McDonnell Douglas made it specially for the U.S. Navy), the $7,622 coffee pot, the $74,165 aluminum ladder, and the $640 plastic toilet seats for the Air Force. All of those examples of Pentagon waste were from ancient times, the 1970s and 1980s when such revelations still generated literally hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. These days, in the age of America’s never-ending credit-card wars and a Pentagon budget eternally going through the roof, stories of that sort are surprisingly rare. It’s as if that budget and the waste that goes with it has, by now, become such a strikingly bipartisan Washington phenomenon that the details hardly matter. Who’s going to be shocked? Who’s going to complain? Who would possibly contest anything the Pentagon did or spent for American “safety” and “security”?

So I recently felt a wave of almost Trumpian nostalgia for those long-gone days of American “greatness,” or at least well-publicized great wastefulness, when I stumbled across an obscure piece about the $10,000 toilet seats the Air Force is presently buying for its Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport planes. Admit it: even taking inflation into account, that’s impressive! That’s waste on a scale that should make any American proud! Now, imagine that, as TomDispatch regular William Hartung points out today, when it comes to government investment in the American economy and our disintegrating infrastructure, there really is nothing much left but the Pentagon and its $10,000 toilet seats. It should make your heart beat faster to know that if anything is going to lift the economy long term, it’s going to be Pentagon spending. If that isn’t MAGA, what is?

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Ahem says:

    Let me quote from the illustrious Fred Reed’s article: “I Sing of Toilet Seats” from 26 May 2008”

    The $640 toilet seat. Oh god. There it was, page 83. It rose from the page like the stench from some fetid bog…

    The airplane in question was a PC3 Orion, a Lockheed Electra modified for long flights over the ocean in search of submarines. Such a plane needs a toilet for the substantial crew operating the avionics. You don’t put a heavy porcelain toilet in an airplane, perhaps in a wooden shack with a moon on the door. Do the toilets on airliners look like the ones in your home? The “toilet seat” in question was a complex injection-molded device with the plumbing in it, constituting most of the toilet. It was not remotely what one thinks of as a toilet seat.

    Fred goes on to demolish other journalistic brain farts involving coffee makers, specialized, limited production aircraft bolts and the like.

    You’d be better off reading Fred’s 2008 article than Hartung’s poorly researched drivel.

  2. My gad. Such stupidity. You “people” actually believe that the Pentagon budget is justified!!!!?

    Newsflash, brainwashed by the MSM Unwashed.

    Pentagon ripoffs are not expensive toilet seats. Pentagon ripoffs are where they just shovel billions and trillions of dollars at trillionaires free and clear.

    Toilet seat casuistry is, to say the least, a diversion. As are most of the angels-on-head-of-the-pin “arguments” on here.

  3. Some of the cost was the specialized nature of the equipment, some of it was MIL-SPEC, and some was just a convenenient way to fund the black budget back in the days when it was really black.

  4. Wally says:

    Talk about ridiculous expenditures / robbery:

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers

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