The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the perfect example of waste and abuse in the military budget. After ten years and billions of taxpayers’ dollars, we have little to show for the Pentagon’s most expensive program in history except money down the drain.
The F-35 came with the promise of affordability, but current estimates place the lifetime operational cost at $1.5 trillion, more than three times the initial estimate of $420 billion.1 That’s $18,439.33 per taxpayer! And don’t expect that number to go anywhere but up.
Even Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have soured on the plane, with Gates calling the F-35 an “unnecessary and extravagant expense.”2
Cutting the F-35 is a no-brainer and could save up to $600 billion over the next decade without undermining our national security.3 But Republicans in Congress are fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent any cuts to the military budget whatsoever.
We know that public pressure works. Back in 2009, we led a successful campaign to defeat the F-22, another plane we couldn’t afford and didn’t need.
Now we’re back again to defeat the F-35. But we’ll only be successful if we show Congress where the American people stand. Will you tell Congress to stop funding the F-35 now?
1 – http://defense.aol.com/2012/03/30/f-35-total-costs-soar-to-1-5-trillion-lockheed-defends-program/
2 – http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/06/f35_engine.html
3 – http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/01/defense_austerity.html