In US budget deficit wars, there seems to be only one consensus: it’s time to kill or cut back the F-35 and V-22.
Our review of eight budget reduction proposals by a hodge-podge of centrist, leftist and libertarian think tanks reveals a startling insight: All of them agree that two military aircraft programmes should be terminated or scaled back, and all of them agree those two programmes should be the BellBoeing V-22 and the Lockheed Martin F-35. Among these various policy proposal, only the bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force suggests delaying also the KC-46 procurement. Otherwise, their recommendations are clear and unanimous. If only all Washington budget debates these days could be so clear-cut.
There remain some — such as the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and House budget committee chairman Rep Paul Ryan — who oppose any significant budget cutbacks beyond those already identified in former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ “efficiencies initiative”, which actually did scale back the F-35 in the short-term but left the V-22 untouched.
|Fiscal Commission co-chairs||Cut 170 aircaft||Cut F-35A/C by 1/2, terminate F-35B|
|Debt Reduction Task Force plan||Defer or terminate||Defer or terminate|
|Galston-MacGuineas Plan||Terminate||Reduce purchases and slow production|
|Center for American Progress||Cut by $1.9 billion||No change|
|Cato Institute||Terminate||Build fewer F-35As|
|Economic Policy Institute||Not mentioned||Cut by $47.9 billion|
|Sustainable Defense Task Force||Terminate||Terminate|