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Corporate Democracy and the Military Industrial Complex

I urge the City of Burlington to vote against hosting the world’s most expensive war machine.  The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a nuclear-capable fighter-bomber.  The Pentagon, with the [unqualified]  support of Vermont’s Corporate Democrats, has spent more than a decade trying to base the F-35 in South Burlington, Vermont.

 On March 6 there is a town meeting vote in Burlington asking the city to seek to cancel this basing plan.  I support that resolution. The F-35 has been in development since 1992, costing more than $400 billion and it is still unfit to deploy.  The Pentagon’s 2017 review of the F-35 notes that the F-35 has more than 200 deficiencies, one of them being an inability to shoot straight.  The F-35 may be the greatest military-industrial boondoggle in American history -- good for only one mission, funneling more than $400 billion of public funds into private corporate hands.

To put this in perspective, $400 billion is  enough to fund CHIP, children's health insurance for 400 years. $400 billion is enough to fund LIHEAP or universal Head Start for 100 years.  We spend less than a billion dollars a year to treat addiction to opioids: most of which goes to funding more pharmaceuticals.  This is just a bad deal for the taxpayer.  Imagine, if the federal government spent $120 million - the cost of just one of the 18 planes scheduled for Vermont -- on public housing for South Burlington? I urge the City of Burlington to vote against hosting the world’s most expensive war machine.  

Furthermore, the F-35 has destroyed more than 200 units of affordable housing in South Burlington -- the F-35’s noise level makes that housing unlivable -- and will destroy hundreds more. Neither the Pentagon nor the City of Burlington have any plans to replace the destroyed housing.

 Burlington owns the airport, so South Burlington has no control over its own town. Burlington has been trying to force the F-35 base on South Burlington for years.  This is not neighborly, and it is not democratic, more like municipal imperialism. This is Corporate Democracy: corporations finance the levers of democracy and pocket $400 billion. I urge the City of Burlington to vote against hosting the world’s most expensive war machine.

The F-35 is socially unacceptable, it is culturally unacceptable, it is economically unacceptable, and it is militarily undeployable – on March 6, Burlington voters have the opportunity to make the F-35 politically unacceptable, as well.  The F-35 is a “First Strike” offensive weapon.  A “strike fighter” is an attack weapon, by definition.  I urge the City of Burlington to vote against hosting the world’s most expensive war machine in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  

SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/48225-focus-democrats-and-progressives-push-us-war-machine-in-vermont


Committee to Elect Ben Mitchell
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