Large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the biggest warships in history, and they have a price-tag to match. Perhaps that is why the United States is the only nation that maintains a fleet of these unique warfighting assets. However, carrier construction and operations make only a modest claim on the federal budget, which expends over $11 billion per day. In a typical year, carrier construction costs about $2 billion; on average, Americans buy $70 billion in lottery tickets annually, and $80 billion in cigarettes. If you compare the most widely cited estimate of what it costs to operate carrier strike groups with how much Washington spends on other items, it turns out carriers only represent about one-fourth of one-percent of the federal budget. And carriers are probably a better investment than lottery tickets. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: