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F-35 jet program budget exceeds $406 billion, yet universal healthcare too costly

Members of Congress say the U.S. is "too broke" to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare, but $27 billion more could go to F-35 jet program.

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While the F-35 jet program’s cost jumps to $406 billion from the original price tag of $379 billion, members of Congress continue to insist that the U.S. is “too broke” to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare within the country.

In an updated draft, which will be submitted to Congress this week, Lockheed Martin is asking for an additional $27 billion for the F-35 jet program budget, which is almost a 7 percent increase, according to BloomsMag.

After Donald Trump raved about his ability to form “better deals” with weapons manufacturers, the F-35 jet program is still the U.S.’ most expensive weapons program to date, according to BloombergPolitics.

“We’re going to do some big things on the F-35 program and perhaps the F-18 program,” Trump said in a press conference last January. “And we’re going to get those costs way down, and we’re going to get the plane to be even better, and we’re going to have some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing. So we’ve been very very much involved.”

But the estimated increase was “largely driven” due to the longer production schedule. According to a statement by the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, the increase in cost was in “then-year” dollars and reflected the cover research, development, procurement and military construction.

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“The F-35 program remains within all cost, schedule and performance thresholds and continues to make steady progress,” Vice Admiral Mat Winter, the program’s manager, said in a statement, according to BloomsbergPolitics. “The F-35 office is committed to the delivery of cost-effective war fighting capability across all areas of the program and is aggressively pursuing affordability opportunities within our three lines of effort—Development, Production, Sustainment.”

Many are concerned that throughout the lifetime of the aircraft, tax payers will spend more than a trillion dollars on the program. As this figure continues to increase, many question why universal healthcare is unattainable in so many lawmakers’ minds.

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