Documents Prove “New Air Force One” Overpriced – Trump Was Right … Again

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Dec 10 2016
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Trump makes comment. Mainstream media goes bonkers. Later, Trump is to be proven right. And the cycle repeats. That happened during Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House. Now that President-elect Trump has won the presidency, he has proven to be right again. Chances are, after he gets sworn as the 45th POTUS, he will continue to be right.


Trump is perhaps the only president-elect in the history of American presidency who has ever complained about over-priced Air Force One and calls for its cancellation. No other U.S. president-elect or president has ever bitched, whined and complained about the most luxurious perk that comes with the job – travelling free on board Air Force One.



President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday called for the government to cancel a deal with aircraft manufacturer Boeing for development of the next generation of Air Force One, citing concerns about cost overruns. He tweeted – “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!


Shortly after his tweet, he told reporters at Trump Tower – “The plane is totally out of control. It’s going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program and I think it’s ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”


Hours before Trump’s tweet, the Chicago Tribune posted a story in which Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg called on Trump team and Congress to back off his anti-trade rhetoric, fearing a trade war, especially with China, that could undermine Boeing’s extensive business exporting planes from the U.S. It’s unknown if Trump’s tweet was in retaliation to Muilenburg’s lecture.


Looking at US$96 billion in annual sales, it’s not hard to understand why Boeing isn’t impressed with Trump’s eagerness for a China confrontation. One in every 3 of 495 Boeing 737s sold last year were bound for China and about a quarter (25%) of all Boeing airplane deliveries were bound for Chinese customers.


Boeing plans to replace the two aging 747-200 aircraft that serve as Air Force One with two latest-generation, modified 747-8 planes. The Air Force signed deals with Boeing in January and July to design certain aspects of the new presidential aircraft, including its interior, electrical and power system, and maintenance systems.


Of course, Trump can afford to criticise Boeing because the billionaire owns a “bigger 757-200”, metaphorically speaking. It would be a “downgrade” for Trump to use Air Force One, not to mention there isn’t a 24-carat gold-plated sink. The walls of Trump’s bedroom are lined with gold-coloured silk so obviously Air Force One is less lavish than his Trump Force One.



It didn’t take long after Trump’s tweet to see an immediate attack by almost the entire liberal mainstream media, saying there was no basis for the cost claims. As an experienced businessman, Trump’s tweet was simply a negotiating tool to pressure Boeing and other contractors supplying hardware and software to lower the price of the new Air Force One.


But the media didn’t care because all they care are to ridicule whatever comes out of Donald Trump’s active mouth. Did Trump open his big mouth without any data to justify them? CNN, often mocked as Hillary News Network during Clinton’s campaign, has quoted a Boeing source as saying not even the company can estimate the cost of the program.


Obama White House spokesman Josh Earnest joined the attacks on Trump – “The statistics that have been cited by Trump, shall we say, don’t appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense,” CNN also claimed that the Air Force has budgeted only US$2.9 billion through 2021 for the two new Air Force Ones.


The Air Force has yet to place a formal order for the new planes, although it has chosen the latest version of Boeing’s jumbo jet, the 747-8, as the platform for the new Air Force One planes. The list price for a basic 747-8 is about US$378.5 million. The 747-8 is a slightly longer and more spacious version of the current version, with an extra 1,000 miles range.


Turns out, the federal budget and procurement documents show that the program to replace the pair of aging “Air Force One” comes to US$4.265 billion. The Defense Department budget documents reveal a total of US$2.872 billion in existing and planned spending on the main Boeing project between 2015 and 2021, all for Research, Development, Test & Evaluation.


Then, there’s another US$330.7 million in “other” costs, described as “facilities” for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program. That’s not all as a separate US$1.062 billion “procurement” request, believed to be the actual purchase of a pair of the plane, and has to be added to the total billing. Therefore, when added together, the total comes to US$4.265 billion.


Donald Trump has once again proven that he isn’t as stupid as the so-called liberal mainstream media make him to be. He might talk as if he sensationalizes everything but in reality, he talks with fact. He is sending a message to Boeing that the company should not make cut-throat profits out of its own country’s president because there’re lots of lucrative defence contracts.


The President-elect is also sending a message to the Air Force that while the next generation of Air Force One should contain the best defence system, it should not be overkill that the cost is allowed to soar uncontrollable even to the extent of more expensive than the planes themselves. There’s also a message to the Pentagon – stop wasting unnecessary money.


More importantly, Trump is telling defence contractors that the time where they can overcharge the government whenever they like is over. There’s a new sheriff in town. And the Congress should feel more confident about authorizing increased military expenditures when Trump administration asks for it – because Trump knows how to get the best deal.


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