President Obama has slammed high-flying executives traveling in cushy jets at a time of economic turmoil. But soon he will have to decide whether to proceed with some of the priciest aircraft in the world — a new fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters that will each cost more than the last Air Force One.
The choice confronting Mr. Obama encapsulates the tension between two imperatives of his nascent presidency, the need to meet the continuing threats of an age of terrorism and the demand for austerity in a period of economic hardship.Equipped to deflect missile attacks and capable of waging war from the air, the new VH-71 helicopters would fly farther, faster and more safely than the current decades-old craft. But each improvement pushes up the cost. The program’s original $6.1 billion contract has ballooned to $11.2 billion, and the Pentagon notified Congress last month that it was so far over budget that the law required a review. The Obama administration now must determine if the project is essential to national security and if there are alternatives that would cost less.
Let the taxpayers eat cake while go zoom zoom zoom, zooma, zoom zoom zoom!!