Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Time To Come Clean With Canadians

Yesterday, the F-35 debate was taken outside the domestic arena, in a way that once and for all renders the Conservative numbers as pure BUNK. It is now time for a frank discussion, before Canada is saddled with possibly the biggest boondoggle in our history.

Mike Sullivan, director of acquisition management at the US General Accountability Office, was on CBC yesterday discussing the F-35. In response to the Conservative figures they use for the cost of the aircraft Sullivan offered an almost comical response:
"That's not a number that I am familiar with at all," he said in an interview Tuesday with CBC's Power & Politics

Think about that for a second, this third party expert can't even fathom the Conservative 9 billion number, it isn't even a rational presentation. Maybe that's because Sullivan lives in the present and isn't trying to pull the wool over people eye's with TEN YEAR OLD figures PROVIDED BY THE VENDER. Sullivan comes in with costs far above the Conservative line, in such a way that any reasonable commentator should drop the 9 billion price tag from any story on the subject- it is pure FICTION, pure propaganda, bearing NO relation to reality. Canadians deserve an honest discussion, the Conservatives are essentially misleading, bordering on outright lying at this stage.

Laurie Hawn had an incredibly hard time on CBC yesterday, hollow retort a kind characterization. His lone assertion left, no no, these "audits" are wrong because they don't account for the sweetheart deal Canada is getting for these planes, due to when we purchase the planes. Again Sullivan:
Sullivan said that while the last planes off the production line cost less than the first ones, Canada's jets are set to be delivered in 2016, which he viewed as early in the production run.

"That tells me I don't think that's going to be the least expensive buy," he said.

Another blatant distortion, that has no support outside of Conservative spin. This debate is actually SAD, it does a disservice to what will be the biggest military purchase in our history.

The Conservatives are trying to pull a fast one on the Canadian people, this isn't a difference of opinion, this is a question of coming clean. The discrepancy is so vast, the dollars essentially undercut the entire Conservative fiscal plan, as WELL as supposed future commitments they are selling as we speak. None of the numbers, pledges have any credibility until the Conservatives update their dinosaur expenditures, that NOBODY can even entertain at this point, nevermind debate. It is insulting, Hawn and company, men who love to wrap themselves in the flag and troops, are misleading Canadians in a fundamental way. Already obscene costs, are set to worsen, these planes are something we simply can't afford, and we certainly can't afford to get lost in the nonsensical back and forth the Conservatives use to muddy an otherwise crystal clear picture. BOONDOGGLE.


Jerry Prager said...

The planes could cost a billion dollars each and conservative supporters wouldn't care. It's the consequence of an economy in which corporations "can't sign affidavits in court because they have conscience to bind them", the entire society becomes riven with the conscienceless pursuit of profit, which in political terms, translates into the conscienceless pursuit of power. The cons want power, they don't care about truth or ethics anymore, and neither do most Canadians who operate inside the corporatist paradigm.

Steve V said...

It's becoming a vote for Harper is a willing vote for an ALBATROSS.

Jerry Prager said...

guess it's better than killing an albatross

Frunger said...

Isn't the VERSION of the F35 that the Americans are buying different from the Canadian version?

It wouldn't shock me that they would have a better one than we would order.

I don't know all the details about the two numbers but we have to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.

Sort of like being careful about comparting the Cons 20 year cost projections to Kevin Page's 30 year cost projections.

Apple to apples.

Frunger said...

er, "comparing"

Tof KW said...

Frunger there are 3 major variations, and in fact many different sub-versions of the F-35, depending on which branch of the US military they are planned for, or other NATO partners for that matter. Remember this model was supposed to replace F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons, F-18 Hornets (except the current production F/A-18 Super-Hornets which are version 4.5 fighters) and even the Brit's Harrier jets.

BTW - I've been arguing that we should be buying Super-Hornets for so long and so often now, that people may think I own stock in Boeing or something. And no I do not!

WhigWag said...

yes, Frunger, everybody following the issue closely IS comparing the right numbers, here: on the F-35- 'A,' conventional take-off & landing model, which, acc. to the latest US audit, will cost an AVERAGE of $110-15-M US to produce, over the lifetime of its production (not incl. the more expensive prototypes), not $75, as they were originally projected to; and what's worse, they'll actually cost much MORE than $115-M each at the BEGINNING of their mass production, when WE'RE buying them, than at the end, when they've ironed out the bugs & found more efficient ways of doing things. (And that doesn't include all the related costs like munitions & pilot training & more, which is at least about $60-M per plane, and this is all just for the procurement, not the ongoing maintenance).

As for the apples to apples thing on the PBO, well, it was the DND playing with the numbers there, in only providing a 20 year projection instead of the more standard 30, which is more relevant, being as that's how long we intend to use them & why they're insisting we therefore have to buy the most advanced tech. we can now, then.

But even if we make the adjustment and compare just the 20 year costs, then, the gov't's numbers are way off.

As I noted here a couple weeks ago, re: those maintenance costs,

The PBO puts the "ongoing sustainment costs" at $19.6-B US for 30 years. So, two-thirds of that is: $13.B.

Which is almost 90% higher than the $7-B the gov't said last summer.

There ya go: apples and road apples.

Kirk said...

This didn`t make it onto either the CBC or CTV national news casts so nobody will know. Pity.

Steve V said...

Anecdotal, but these F-35 posts don't draw great traffic, relative to others.

WhigWag said...

Well, in light of the whole Bruce Carson thing, maybe you should spice up the title and graphics using a Fighter Escort theme.

Tof KW said...

Steve has a point. Overpriced fighter jets can't compete with busty hooker stories. Sad because the former will profoundly affect us for the next two generations, while the later is forgotten in weeks.

Steve V said...

F-35 26 35 maybe?