It’s not cheap to maintain an imperial presidency on the air. The cost of maintaining an imperial presidency in the air is increasing.
Boeing on Thursday announced that its two Air Force One replacement aircraft will continue to be delayed and overbudget. First published by the Wall Street JournalAccording to the report, the company is likely to suffer additional losses of $766 millions on presidential shuttles. These new launches are also several years late. The company now has a loss of $2 billion on this project.
Boeing listed a number of factors that caused delays and cost overruns. These included the bankruptcy of one of its suppliers, COVID-caused supply chains issues and difficulties finding employees with security clearances.
Although the Air Force One contract has a fixed price, taxpayers won’t be responsible for any cost overruns. However, Boeing indicated that it may ask for additional money. This is the Journal It will cost more money for the government to keep the Air Force One Shuttles, which are now 30 years old.
It is quite shocking that Boeing has to pay $3.9 billion from taxpayers in order to construct two planes. Due to their size, as well as the high cost of security and communication equipment that they require and large commercial airlines’ sizes, this partially explains the expense. This is all to ensure that the president remains in secure communication with the government at ground level. It also allows for enough space to allow journalists and foreign leaders to travel with him.
All of it quickly feels monarchical. This is because America has, despite all its historical best efforts, ended up with an imperial President who sits at the top of a huge federal government, which spends trillions per year on different interventions and interferences in private citizen’s lives. He is the commander of the world’s largest military, with forces constantly involved in conflict and military operations abroad.
For anyone who would prefer a far smaller federal government—and one less dependent on the whims of the executive branch in particular—the tremendous price tag of Air Force One is a reminder of how far away we are from that reality.
In an ideal world, the president would not be required to spend his time worrying about drone strikes and dishwasher regulations while he travels to another summit on climate change. He wouldn’t need to be, but we would all feel a bit more free, richer and safer if he didn’t. A less hectic work schedule would be a boon for the president. Because he has fewer obligations, it would be possible for him to travel on his own.
It’s not our world. A flying White House worth $3.9 billion is undoubtedly a requirement for modern presidents. It would be better if they could travel in business class to do their jobs.