• Federal Gov’t at Work: F-35 Program is Over-Budget, Too Expensive, Full of Problems

    Surge Summary: The U.S. Government’s current F-35 fighter program is adding up to be stunningly over budget — one of the most expensive in history – and for a final product shot through with controversial shortcomings. Ought Washington really be spending so much money on such a dubious project at this time?

    By Steve Sherman

    Some government contracts are just too expensive to make any sense. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is one of those money pits. The program budget, that the New York Times calls the “Dysfunctional Trillion-Dollar Fighter-Jet Program,” falls into that category. To make matters worse the fighter jet does not even work very well and it is unnecessary to commit over $1 trillion for one fighter jet.

    This program is bleeding the taxpayer dry. A recent report from Bloomberg News reports that over the next 10 years, the F-35 program is expected to come in $10 billion over budget. Right now, resources are being used to respond to the coronavirus pandemic that has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans, yet Congress is struggling to find the resources for another pandemic bill. They are looking at a bill between $1 trillion and $2 trillion to provide stimulus for the economy, cash to find a coronavirus vaccine, and aid for struggling Americans.  The amount the U.S. government is scheduled to spend on the F-35 is about the same as the next coronavirus relief program will cost. Most Americans would be horrified to know that money that could be used to help respond to the virus is being spent on a fighter jet that does not work as advertised.

    Some in think tank land excuse the expense to the taxpayer because they are dazzled with the promise of a fighter jet that can do everything. The Heritage Foundation put out a misleading study that falsely claimed that the F-35 is a “cost-effective fighter” and that the “Air Force needs to accelerate its acquisition now.” The only thing that will accelerate if the Air Force increases spending on the program is the date the federal government will go bankrupt.

    The numerous reports on the program indicate this fighter jet has a troubled past. Bloomberg reported on September 11, 2020, that the “F-35’s $10 Billion Funding Gap Hints at a Jet Too Costly to Fly.” There is a massive $10 billion gap in the funding budgeted versus requested and they reported “the Defense Department’s blueprint for the next five fiscal years calls for requesting $78 billion for research and development, jet procurement, operations and maintenance and military construction dedicated to the F-35 built by Lockheed Martin Corp. But the cost analysis unit estimates $88 billion will be needed.” If I brought my car into get fixed and showed up with them saying, “yeah, you are going to owe another $1,000 to get this fixed.”  I would never go back to that same car repair shop because they ripped me off, yet the federal government does not blink an eye when they are stuck with an extra $10 billion in costs.

    It also is a problem when you are promised a shiny new car and when you drive it, the car breaks down and has trouble operating in the rain. That would send me into a rage, yet our federal government excuses the fact that the F-35 has some severe limitations. According to Defense News, “the F-35 Lighting II can’t fly in lighting once again.” The contractor made a big mistake in calling one version of the F-35 the “Lightning II,” because, as of June 24, 2020, it was “unable to fly in thunderstorms after the discovery of damage to one of the systems it uses to protect itself from lightning, its prime contractor Lockheed Martin said Wednesday.”

    The F-35 jet also has some limitations on the speed it can hit. Popular Mechanics reported on May 29, 2020, “the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive U.S. defense program in history, and the aircraft itself has had more than its share of controversy. One recent revelation: The Department of Defense places strict limits on the amount of time a pilot can spend at supersonic speeds, in order to avoid damaging the aircraft.” Basically, some F-35s can’t fly in lighting and some can’t fly at supersonic speeds for a long period of time. If you purchased a car and the dealer told you after your purchase, “By the way, you might want to not drive that car in a thunderstorm and don’t drive it too fast,” you would likely have some choice words for that salesman.

    The bottom line is that the troubled F-35 is too expensive for the taxpayers.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/; Robert Sullivan; https://www.flickr.com/photos/my_public_domain_photos/45846363484; 

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

    Trending Now on Daily Surge

    Send this to a friend