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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Is This Outrageous or What?

$618,000,000 F-35 fighter
 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (RSV)

According to the last issue of TIME magazine, the Pentagon’s newest F-35 jet fighter is still not fully operational after frequent production delays and a multitude of technical problems. All of which have nearly doubled the original estimated cost of the program, now projected to reach a grand total of $396 billion.

That’s billion, at a time when politicians are bemoaning how devastating our deficits are and how drastically we must cut federal spending for health care and other life supporting programs currently under the gun.

I find this obscene. And just how many of these fighters are we committed to paying for?

It turns out that it’s a total of 2,457, according to the TIMES piece, making this the costliest weapons program in the entire history of humankind. And remember this project is being initiated by a country that, with less than 6% of the world’s population, is already responsible for 45% of the world’s total military expenditures. And in the article, Frank Kendall III, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, is quoted as saying, “Putting the F-35 into production years before the first test flight was acquisition malpractice. It should not have been done.” In other words, it has a lot of serious problems that still need to be ironed out.

Can we afford to keep on borrowing for, and investing in, these kinds of high tech, high cost killing machines? Our personal calculators can’t even handle the numbers of wasted dollars involved, and this is only one line item in one part of our nation’s massive military budget. But the ultimate cost to us, our children and our grandchildren for the F-35 program alone, is staggering, with the total life cycle expense for the entire American fleet estimated to be $1.51 trillion over its 50-year life, or $618 million per plane.

May God have mercy on us all.

See also "Welfare Waste Versus Warfare Waste"
And here's a link to a 90-second video on projected Pentagon "cuts"
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