The F-35 is a Bad Deal for America

clee February 12, 2014 17

We’ve been fighting to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending for years and the F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in history, with a total cost of $1.5 trillion. Plagued by cost overruns and delays, it’s been grounded twice, and even has been criticized by those within the Pentagon.

The $1.5 trillion that will be spent on this wasteful Pentagon program is an enormous sum. Just think about the investments we could make in education, infrastructure, job training and vital safety net programs like SNAP and Medicaid.

Check out the great video below by our friends at Brave New Films:




  1. Nathaniel Downes February 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    For both of the 5th Generation fighter programs (the ATF which resulted in the F-22 and the JSF which resulted in the F-35) the DoD selected the losing design due to politics. Both the YF-23 and X-32 proposals beat the “winning” designs in the key criteria, but because Lockheed is better connected politically, Lockheed was selected. The real irony is that the criteria cited for the F-22 directly contradicts the F-35’s selection. The criteria for the F-22 was that the military could not select the F-23 due to Northrop also producing the B-2, and they had to select the F-22 in order to prevent single-source contracts. Then the F-35 is produced by the same company as the F-22, which means the first criteria is rubbish.

    Both cases the design which used more off-the-shelf parts, with a more proven approach to the issues, was not selected. I swear the DoD wants to destroy our military, by picking the most expensive, not the better, solution.

    • LG March 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply


    • rennie March 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      F 35 is just giving the company a way to make money putting together a junker! It is not a quick Fighter. Go to the desert and look at our stock pile of trashed aircraft we have paid for and not used. That B1 bomber……………The B52 can do more damage and keep flying forever. We do not need anymore fighters with human pilots. Damn drones are cheaper and can pinpoint and do better. Yes, I was AF during VN. Jets were my expertise. We could waste as much as the next outfit! That war and every war since then has been fought for GREEDY war machine builders.

  2. Jeremy Shirland February 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Partially correct. When these planes are made, the primary contractor gets a majority of the work, but they do not make every piece. Even though Northrop did not win the design, they still make a portion of the airplane systems (Avionics, stealth panels…etc.). Northrop, among other companies may be manufacturing 40% of the F35, while Lockeed designs, and manufactures the majority.

    The Pentagon does not want one single manufacturer designing ALL our planes…so there will always be “winners” and “losers” here, if you can call it that.

  3. hangemall123 March 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Just think what else we could spend this money on. I have an idea. Let’s not spend it but use it to pay off our national debt. Why do we always try to cut spending and follow up suggesting spending it elsewhere. Cut spending. End the F-35. Slash the budget for the Pentagon and our 16 “intelligence agencies.” Then go after congressional perks, farm subsidies, and corporate welfare. Raise the cap on social security. Let’s balance the budget already.

    • Bertrand Giasson March 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm - Reply


    • GraceAdams830 March 13, 2014 at 7:26 am - Reply

      It is impossible to cut spending. Our MIC firms have enough political clout to defeat anything that threatens to gore their ox. Also, strangely enough, a sovereign nation has a better chance of eventually balancing its budget by engaging in contra-cyclical spending–engaging in deficit spending whenever unemployment hurts worse than the combination of high interest rates and inflation and engaging in paying down the national debt only when the combination of high interest rates and inflation hurts worse than high unemployment does.

      • cedonn March 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm - Reply

        How about almost zero interest and too little inflation, which we have, while subsidizing corporations and hedge funds and big farms, and cutting food stamps ?

      • Carl Brady April 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

        You are 100% correct!

  4. Verneuker March 12, 2014 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Jeez…and Republicans had us thinking that the ObamaCare website going down for a few days was an OUTRAGE!!!!!!

  5. xzimppledink March 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I realize this will sound trite but the truth is these weapons do not win wars. We had vastly superior weapons in Vietnam but were chased out by peasants with pitch forks. Wars are won by foot solders defending their homes, period. If we should use this funding in ways the world could appreciate like Kennedy’s moon landing, the world would see us in a different light. Instead the money is being used to advance corporate power in foreign lands, absolutely hated by the indigenous populations. Brute force went out when man became civilized but there are those who just havent advanced with the rest of us.

    • GraceAdams830 March 13, 2014 at 7:33 am - Reply

      You are right–even our military leaders realize that we would get further waging peace with foreign aid for economic development WITH CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY instead of dirty fossil fuel of which there is only a finite supply. ONLY tie MIC firms with contracts at stake really want all this spending on weapons. Of course, we would have to make up to our too big to fail fossil fuel firms by buying their obsolete fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights at a high price.

  6. Ted March 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    The only good thing about it is that it’s a VTOL ( Vertical Take Off and Landing ) aircraft. Otherwise,it’s a piece of shit if you really want my opinion about it. How good would it really do against an enemy fighter jet ? I did my time in the military back in the 1980’s and back then we thought we had the best fighters until we came across the mig-22.Even if the same persons piloting both this one and a mig-22 have the same flight experience,how do we know the TRUE capability of this plane unless it’s in an ACTUAL combat situation ? Then you got to think of the cost for just 1 plane if it gets shot down,is it really worth it ? I don’t think so especially if the person flying it doesn’t have that much flight experience at all. That’s the one thing nobody ever thinks about. I say – Stick to what aircraft we currently have and quit WASTING money on something that probably won’t work that well in a TRUE combat situation.

    • wilywascal March 13, 2014 at 3:27 am - Reply

      There are three different versions of the F-35. F35-A is the Air Force version. The one you are referring to with STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) would be the F-35B and is the Marines version. F-35C is the Navy version. F35-B and F35-C are more costly because they are more complex. The F35-B will also require significant additional spending to upgrade ships, flight-decks and landing areas because of the tremendous thrust and heat generated by its engines. Significant amounts of spending will also be needed for the typical upgrades these types of aircraft undergo in the near term.

      I’m opposed to the F-35 program because of the cost (which has been trending substantially higher than forecast), and because there seems little need for them now and in the near future. Although taking longer than projected to reach operational status, I can’t deny the capabilities of the F-35 will be quite impressive once the bugs get worked out. Nevertheless, I feel it is overall largely a waste of our taxpayer dollars.

  7. GraceAdams830 March 13, 2014 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I agree with you but am so low income I get Medicaid as my medi-gap insurance, so I can NOT afford to support anything. I strongly suspect you would stand a better chance of getting the F-35 away from its MIC firm contractor if you could get the government to give it a slightly more valuable to it contract to make something much more constructive instead–like equipment to harness renewable energy, which are own military leaders have said they would rather have than much of the military pork they have ended up stuck with. Our military leaders care enough about the troops they lead and have enough smarts that they would much rather help lead efforts to promote world peace through clean economic development than fight other nations as leaders of a movement to be the world’s biggest bully trying to grab other nation’s natural resources–mostly petroleum.

  8. day2knight April 8, 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Why do the marines need a separate version of the F-35? They are a branch of the Navy. They should be able to make do with the Navy version.

    During WWII the US generally had inferior weapons to the Germans. The German Panzer IV, V, and VI were far superior to the Sherman, but the Sherman was cheaper, mechanically reliable, easily manufactured, and we outproduced all German tanks by more than 5-to-1.

    The way procurement is done by the military. The amount of waste and the expense of our weaponry is, literally, insane. It is highly unlikely that we will EVER engage in a conventional war with foes who can counter our current weapon systems. Why do we need to keep spending trillions on new, ever more complex and difficult to maintain systems? Because the defense contractors want the dollars. To hell with what’s actually best for the country!

  9. Concerned123 April 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Boeing outsourced part of the F-35 production to CHINA. Is that even legal to do since CHINA could be a military adversary? Haven’t we prosecuted people in the past for leaking plans to our enemies? Isn’t this like leaking our national treasury to our enemies?

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