The July 17 news article “Pentagon defends F-35 jet” made me wonder about our nation’s priorities.
The American Friends Service Committee calls this weapon system the “plane that ate the budget” and puts the lifetime cost at $1.5 trillion. John McCain said “The (F-35) Joint Strike Fighter program has been both a scandal and a tragedy. It has been an incredible waste of the taxpayers’ dollar – the path we are on is neither affordable nor sustainable.” We would be more secure if we ditched this “scandal” and put the money in our nation’s infrastructure.
The National Priorities Project says the money spent for just one plane, roughly $610 million, could pay for 8,000 university scholarships, 1,300 elementary school teachers for a year, 1,100 police jobs for a year, 14,000 Head Start slots, 18,000 Pell Grants and 12,000 health care slots for veterans.
Even better, the total cost of the program could instead be invested to create a job paying $50,000 per year for every unemployed person in the United States for four years.
When will our Congress, so interested in reducing our national debt, allow the cuts to come from Pentagon waste rather than on the backs of struggling families?