WASHINGTON D.C. Burried in a recently passed $419 Billion defense authorization bill, analysts have found an outlay for $1 billion for a HandyTools household hammer. The hammer, which is needed to pound in some nails, in the oilfields of Iraq, is slated to be purchased from Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, who will procure it from Bechtel Corporation for $23 million. Bechtel will obtain the hammer, with a slight mark-up, from Northrup Grumman Corporation, for $125,000. Northrup is scheduled to buy the hammer from Honeywell Corporation for $2,000. Honeywell's procurement department has located the item at a Wal-Mart store in Akron, Ohio for $1.25. The HandyTools H-6 hammer is manufactured in Shanghai, China for a total cost of 16 cents.
The $1 billion allocation went unnoticed, after the Senate was held in session until 3:00 in the morning, last Tuesday, until the defense authorization bill was passed. The bill had more than 700 amendments, as Senators scurried to add lucrative funding for their favorite home district military contractors. The final bill was 695 pages long, so it was more than 5 days before anyone had time to read the final bill, and discover the allotment of $1 billion for the household hammer.
"Whenever there is a defense bill, everyone wants to get in the act to bring home the pork for their district," said Harvard politcal scientist Barnie Hampton. "You know…anyone who challenges it is considered unpatriotic, and weak on terrorism….so anything goes. They all grab as many billions of dollars as they can for whatever reason they can think of. It's the biggest pork feast in Washington."
"All this money that is supposed to help us fight terrorism? Can you imagine how $10.2 billion for a ballistic missile defense program will help deter suicide bombers? Terrorists lurk in subways and abandoned buildings. And how are billions of dollars for development of new fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers supposed to help fight these lurking terrorists?" Hampton added.
"$1 million...$1 billion...$1 trillion…these numbers don't really mean anything," suggested Defense Department analyst Richard "Moneybags" Jones. "The country is already $8 trillion in debt. We know that we will never pay that off, so a few more $ billions here and there is nothing we should be concerned about when it comes shoring up our national defense against terrorism. If suicide bombers know we are willing to spend billions on missiles, aircraft and ships, maybe they will be so scared that they will be afraid to blow themselves up."