Among the other items Bush shoved onto Obama's overcrowded plate is the F22 Raptor fighter program. The Raptor is a fighter plane, designed in the 80's to fight the Soviet Union. To no one's surprise, the program has had a series of schedule slippages and Cost overruns .
The F-22 Raptor fighter jet has become a poster child for budget and deadline problems.
Between 2003 and 2007, the cost per plane rose 189 percent — from $125 million to $361 million — including research and development, while development time increased by more than two years, according to the GAO.
The original plans for purchasing 750 planes has been scaled back to 181 planes.
Many, including Secretary of Defense Gates, have suggesting stopping the program now.
There is a complication though, stopping the program will put tens of thousands of workers on the street, as notes the Preserve Raptor Jobs Now site.
Production of this aircraft is in jeopardy—and with it more than 95,000 American jobs, over $12 billion in national economic activity, and the superiority of America’s Air Force.
Well, to preserve the jobs, we could convert the production line to wind turbines. The problem is the mismatch between the machinery and skills need for a high tech plane, and those needed for windmills. We have plenty of idle auto production capability which could be converted much more easily.
I suggest that we continue producing the Raptor, but call it a stimulus, not a defense program. That way we would force the Pentagon to admit what everyone knows, most weapon systems are jobs boondoggles, not defense projects. No one really cares if the weapons work. That is why we sent soldiers into Iraq with inadequate armor.
It would be fun to watch all the hawk types squirm at this designation.
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