Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Aaaand.....BOOM goes Marine One spending!
How many choppers does one man need? Is the answer 1? 2? 28?! Apparently that was the order that President Bush put in for a new fleet of Marine One helicopters before he left office. Now that President Obama has inherited that order, he's decided to cancel it- or at least put it on hold.
In President Obama's "fiscal responsibility summit" over the weekend John McCain all but called Obama out on wasteful spending on the project, which has ballooned from $6.1bil to $11.2bil.
But why 28 choppers? I realize that one will always fly as a decoy, but 28 seems a bit excessive to me. What I'd really like to know is what makes these aircraft so doggone expensive. Divided out, that puts the approximate price of each at around $400 million. (The Brits recently bought similar choppers for a paltry $57mil each) As Senator McCain points out, that's rivaling the cost of Air Force One.
Does President Obama really need a kitchen for the long, arduous, 10-minute haul from the White House lawn to Andrews AFB? Who's to say? But the war of words between the White House and Lockheed Martin as to why the program has run over budget is fierce.