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To: United States Congress
The F-35 is a Bad Deal for America
The F-35 is the poster child for what's wrong in Washington. At an outrageous cost of $1.5 trillion, it is the most expensive weapon program the world has ever seen. Even worse, it doesn't work as intended and funnels money away from other priorities needed to fight 21st century threats and strengthen America. Yet Lockheed Martin and an army of lobbyists are determined to protect their cash cow and record profits by pressuring Congress to keep the F-35 alive. The F-35 is a bad deal for America and it's time to stop it.
Why is this important?
With politicians across the country calling for budget cuts, American taxpayers are being asked to keep spending billions of dollars a year on one of the most wasteful programs in the history of the military. Rather than cut the F-35, some in Washington continue to insist that we cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, slash domestic investments, and balance the budget on the backs of the students, veterans, and the middle class. That is simply a bad deal for America.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapon program in history. To purchase, operate, and maintain the jets is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over the life of the program. Each jet will cost nearly $160 million just to purchase and the US is currently planning to buy 2,457 total F-35s.
Originally conceived to fight Soviet fighter jets, the F-35 is nearly useless against the security threats of the 21st century (terrorism, climate change, cyber warfare). Even worse, the F-35 doesn't work. Its development has been plagued by design flaws, technical failures, and a host of other problems that mean even under the best circumstances, the F-35 is years away from meeting minimal operational standards.
Yet Congress and the Pentagon are pushing forward with plans to keep buying more F-35s - broken planes that they know will require billions of dollars in repairs before they can ever be used in combat. The very same politicians rushing to slash social security, privatize Medicare, and defund nearly every agency of government are insisting that we continue full speed ahead on the F-35. And with an army of lobbyists at its disposal, Lockheed Martin - maker of the F-35 - is fighting hard to make sure nothing changes.
Even in the best of times, this wouldn't make sense. With millions of Americans still out of work, the middle class being crushed, and an economy in dire need of recovery, this is insanity.
Our members of congress know that the state of the social safety net will be a critical issue in upcoming elections. If enough of us speak up to our elected officials and let them know that we want them to end the F-35 program instead of gutting social security and medicare, they'll know that letting that this insane weapons program continue will prove politically costly.
Rather than throwing good money after bad, Congress should not spend another penny on the troubled F-35.