Today’s Links: May 3, 2012


WINSLOW WHEELER: “The Jet That Ate the Pentagon
“Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity. This month, we learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million — just the latest in a long string of cost increases — and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defense programs[.]”

SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL: “Mayor Should Lead the Way on Pension Reform
“To close most of a projected $15.7 million deficit in the general fund, City Manager John Shirey is recommending that police officers, firefighters and other city workers pay their full employee share into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.The focus is on public safety because now, the city pays both its employer share and the full employee contribution.”

CARRIE LUKAS: “Is America Up to Solving the Coming Financial Crisis
“In 2011, Social Security needed $148 billion on top of payroll tax revenue to pay full benefits.  That increased our annual deficit, the national debt, and meant less was available for other programs.  To put that in perspective, total discretionary spending in 2011 was $1.35 trillion. So Social Security needed the equivalent of more than ten percent of all discretionary spending—in addition to all Social Security payroll tax revenue—to cover benefits.  Social Security’s demand on the general budget will only increase in the future, making it difficult for Congress to fund core functions.”


SPAIN – Spanish Youth Urged to Seek Work Abroad
“The abrupt end of Spain’s construction boom left thousands of young labourers without work. Joblessness has since spread to the country’s most educated youth, cementing fears of a ‘lost generation’ blighted for decades to come.”

EMISSIONS – China Must Act Urgently to Curb City Emissions: World Bank
China must act urgently on multiple fronts if it is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its rapidly expanding cities and hit government targets for curbing carbon intensity, a new report from the World Bank said on Thursday.”

GUNS – Florida Governor Rejects Gun Ban for Republican Convention
“Florida Governor Rick Scott has shot down a request by Tampa’s mayor to allow local authorities to ban guns from the city’s downtown during the Republican National Convention in August.”