If you want to understand why voters quickly lose faith in politicians elected to reform the political process, check out what Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has discovered about plans to develop a new presidential helicopter. Hinchey’s district was hit hard when the Obama Administration decided to cancel a new executive helicopter after Senator John McCain (R-AZ) complained it cost too much. Hinchey laid his hands on internal Pentagon documents indicating the likely alternative will cost three times as much, take seven additional years to deliver, and add no capabilities to the helicopter that was canceled.
In other words, the “fix” proposed by the administration will make everything worse, not just for President Obama but for his successors. The president, his family and his advisors will continue being flown around in cold-war helicopters that lack many features necessary for adequate protection and communications in the age of terrorism. So will the president who follows him, and so will the president who follows his successor. Christopher Drew of The New York Times has laid out in considerable detail the questionable premises of the White House plan, but apparently Obama cares more about appearances than budgetary and operational consequences.
There’s only one helicopter in the world that can meet White House payload and range requirements while still landing on the White House lawn, so starting over just delays the day when that helicopter gets delivered. Is it any wonder people think Washington can’t be fixed?
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