The $4 Billion Tweet: Donald Trump’s War On Government Waste

Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 12 December, 2016
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

We have never seen a president-elect have more impact on the government BEFORE taking the reins of that government.

President-elect Donald Trump’s Monday morning tweet attack on aerospace maker Lockheed Martin, has, so far, cost the company more than $4 billion in stock value.


The F-35 program, as highlighted in numerous reports, has had severe issues. The Business Insider wrote a detailed report of all the problems the fighter jet has encountered. And in another scathing report, Joseph Trevithick wrote, “The Pentagon asked Congress to shell out for more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Despite delays, cost overruns, and a litany of other issues, both the program's officials and manufacturer Lockheed Martin insist everything is moving along smoothly.”

Indeed, just a week before Trump won the election, the Pentagon and Lockheed agreed on their ninth contract for F-35 fighter jets after 14 months of negotiation on the deal of more than $6.1 billion.

Responding to Trump’s criticism, Lockheed Martin said it had invested heavily into pushing down the price of F-35s. Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program leader said, “Since the beginning, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the price of the airplane by about 70 percent since its original costing, and we project it to be about $85 million in the 2019 or 2020 time frame."

It does beg the question though, is the fox guarding the hen house? And why hasn’t the previous administration aggressively protected taxpayers from huge defense cost overruns?

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, the president-elect said there should be a “lifetime restriction” on top defense officials going to work for defense contractors.

In 2008, the Government Accountability Office reported that 52 of the largest defense contractors employed 2,435 former generals, senior executives and acquisition officers. Of those, 422 worked on defense contracts directly related to their former agencies.

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Lockheed isn't the only contractor Trump has targeted on Twitter. Last week, the president-elect went after Boeing and its “out of control costs” for Air Force One:


So where does all of this go?

Are we going to have weekly tweets about contractor cost abuses? And if so, is it good for the country and taxpayers?

What do you think? We’d like to hear from you in the IVN poll above.

Photo Credit: Michael Fitzsimmons / Shutterstock.com

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