Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Super Hornet Anyone?

Boeing F-18 Super Hornet jet fighter
$325,000,000 X 18 = $5,850,000,000 +$500,000,000 = $6,350,000,000

Do these numbers look outrageously large to you? They do to me. Canada is planning to purchase 18 Super Hornet jet fighters from Boeing. Including the weaponry and spare parts, the cost for each would be around $325,000,000 Canadian if the final price tag is the same as the ones Kuwait just purchased. 18 of them would run to $5,850,000,000. Additionally, the government proposes to spend another $500,000,000 to upgrade and service the old CF-18s we now have so they can stay aloft—for now. That should hold us for ten years or more until we can replace THE ENTIRE FLEET at who-knows-what cost.

Let’s do some comparing; the numbers are just too big for unaided imagination. The total cost of the Hornets and the upgrades to the CF-18s if reapplied could build 42,333, $150,000 houses. That means it could pretty much end the housing crisis on reserves and provide at least 100,000 temporary jobs. It could build 254 hospitals at a cost of $25,000,000 each.

If applied in developing countries, this much cash could arguably achieve 3 or 4 times as much.

As if this weren’t enough, let’s keep in mind that each Hornet at $325,000,000 carries a maximum of two humans and 11 bombs. You could get that into an SUV! Furthermore, the fighter jet has only two applications: destruction of airports, homes, hospitals, factories, roads, bridges, etc—and the killing of people. It can’t operate as a rescue vehicle, as transport for people or as a freight moving vehicle. Except for it’s lethal potential, it’s a $325,000,000 pile of junk that--because we are not at war and because we have no urgent need to fear attack from anyone--will serve as little else beside the stroking of crisply uniformed, robotic, marching military types for whom lethal weaponry is a macho turn-on.

I’m not sure how many search and rescue helicopters, how many forest-fire-fighting planes and helicopters this money could buy, but given a choice, my taxes would be given up much more happily for the purchase of equipment that saves property, that protects life against fire and flood, pollution and climate change.

Most recently, our fighter jets have participated in Libya where we’re implicated now in the virtual destruction of that country as a functioning entity, and in Iraq/Syria where our participation was largely inconsequential and the strategies dubious at best.

But then, our aging fleet is an embarrassment whenever we compare them to the machinery of our allies, we're told. The Hornets will help us save face in a world that measures strength militarily.

How much face can $6,350,000,000 buy? It better be a lot.

And by the way, this interim plan by itself amounts to an expenditure of $211.00 for every man, woman and child in the country, unless you add in the cost of borrowing the money for it--which we'll likely end up doing.

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