Fri, May 08, 2009
$17 Billion Cut... But Trillions More Spent Elsewhere
The Obama Administration, in the process of spending trillions
of dollars for all manner of programs and projects, is trumpeted
the 17 Billion dollars it is trying to cut from the Federal
Rather than try to digest them all en masse, we'll look at each
of them one at a time and allow you to make up YOUR mind as to the
rationale and wisdom for the decisions included below.
Herewith; another of the programs on the chopping block that
has an aviation or aerospace connotation.
From the 'Terminations, Reductions, and Savings' document
published this week by the OMB, as part of the FY 2010 US
Proposal: The Administration proposes to
terminate production of the C-17 airlift aircraft and fund an
orderly shutdown of the production line because the number of C-17s
now ordered will be sufficient to meet the Department of Defense's
(DOD's) airlift needs. The C-17 is designed to carry heavy military
cargoes over long distances.
Justification: A total of 205 C-17s have been
ordered with budgetary resources provided prior to 2009. The
Congress authorized six aircraft in 2009 but provided no funding.
Continuing C-17 production would cost about $3 billion per year in
2010 and subsequent years. The Government Accountability Office has
urged a careful balancing of costs and requirements in determining
how DOD should meet its airlift needs, and DOD has conducted
such assessments.1 For example, in the Quadrennial Defense Review
in 2006, and in other internal reviews, DOD examined the strategic
implications of various airlift force levels.2 DOD concluded that
for long-range airlift 205 C-17s, together with the existing fleet
of C-5 aircraft, would be sufficient to meet DOD's mobility needs,
even under the most stressing scenarios. Thus, no more C-17s need
be ordered, and production will cease when the 205th aircraft has
been produced. The 2010 request includes $91 million for an orderly
shutdown of the production line.
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