President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that he would cancel what he claimed was a $4 billion Boeing contract to build a new fleet of Air Force One planes, saying he wanted the manufacturer to “make a lot of money, but not that much money.”
Trump’s comments came just after the Washington Post published a bombshell investigation showing the Pentagon had hidden a study which uncovered $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, fearing that Congress would cut defense funding if lawmakers found out.
The Post‘s Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward reported:
“The cost-cutting study could find a receptive audience with President-elect Donald Trump,” Whitlock and Woodward write. “He has promised a major military buildup and said he would pay for it by ‘eliminating government waste and budget gimmicks.'”
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But Trump’s unpredictable temperament means it may be impossible to know if he will heed his own call. As the Guardian‘s Trevor Timm noted in an op-ed Tuesday, cutting government waste, including at the Pentagon, was Trump’s “go-to cliché whenever someone asked him how he was going to pay for something he proposed…In fact, it’s been the Republican party’s mantra for years anytime they bring up the debt or the deficit.”
“So Trump and his Republican colleagues want to get rid of ‘waste,’ there’s literally never been a more giant and obvious example. Here’s their time to act!” Timm wrote.
But, he continued, “It’s unlikely that the Republicans will hold the Pentagon accountable for its free-spending ways even as they try to nickel and dime social programs. In the Republicans’ fantasy world, the Pentagon’s enormous budget is never a problem,” adding:
“Next time you hear Republicans complaining about food stamps for poor people, or calling for a reduction of social security benefits, or proposing to privatize Medicare, make sure to throw this report back in their face,” Timm concluded. “Because whatever the waste problems in one government program or another, they pale in comparison to this.”
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