U.S. Military Wasted $136 Million on Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR
1 year ago
Here's where some of the budget has been going.
By now most of us have heard horror stories about U.S. troops being sent into battle with faulty equipment because of budget cuts. We've also heard the tales about war veterans not being able to find jobs to make money when they return home from duty. However, there has been one American who has been afforded with the best equipment and all of the money one can ask for, and he drives something faster (and safer) than a tank.
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The popular motor sports athlete has been paid $136 million over the past five years to endorse the National Guard on his car.
The military hoped sponsoring Earnhardt, who was voted the seventh most influential athlete in the world by Forbes, would lead to more recruits walking through their doors. It didn't.
Business Insider reports:
In FY2009, the National Guard spent $27.35 million sponsoring Earnhardt alone, but only added 343 guardsmen, according to USA Today—a cost of near $80,000 per new hire, just for recruiting. (According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers the average cost per hire for new college graduates in 2009 was $5,708.).
Things aren't looking better in 2012...there is not a single new guardsman who listed NASCAR as their reason for joining in FY2012, despite more than $26 million spent on Earnhardt's car, one of three drivers sponsored by the military.
There was a staggering amount of interest—24,800 prospects—but only 20 were listed as "qualified candidates." The larger funding bill heads to the floor of the House, where it failed 281-148 last year with almost no Republican support. This time, the vote is expected to be at least closer, if not different.
Adding insult to history, Earnhardt hasn't won a race in four years. In fact, most most if not all of his career he has rested on the reputation of his deceased father, Earl Sr. So, in essence the military has thrown money at a guy who is not a winner, hoping to recruit winners into the service. Where does that make any sense?
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) who calls Earnhardt "the highest paid military contractor in professional sports" has been fighting to reduce military sponsorship of sports and she might have gotten her wish.
The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment banning military sponsorships of professional sports.
You may not be a fan of NASCAR, but it sure is nice to know what your government is spending millions on.