Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
by Chris Isidore | December 6, 2016: 9:56 AM ET
Donald Trump wants to cancel a government order for a new Air Force One.
The president-elect said in a tweet early Tuesday that the new Boeing (BA) 747 jet that’s being built to carry “future presidents” already costs more than $4 billion, and that he wants to cancel the order.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”
Asked by reporters Tuesday morning about the tweet, he responded, “We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.”
There’s a bit more at the original.
The incoming President — and I absolutely despise the title ‘President-elect,’ and refuse to use it — is demonstrating a new form of political pressure with his tweets: with 138 spaces, leaving him two to spare, he just put government contractors on notice that excessive costs and cost overruns will be more closely monitored under the Trump Administration than has been the case in the past. His pressure on Carrier was sort of small potatoes, and the media are already trying to minimize the political impact of the deal, but it put Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, on notice that government contractors will be scrutinized for their actions; UTC receives about $5.6 billion, or 10% of its annual revenue, from federal government contracts.
Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), an early supporter of Mr Trump’s candidacy, referred to the Carrier deal as “crony capitalism,” and it has all of the earmarks of that. Plenty of other critics have said that the incoming President can’t possibly do as many Carrier deals as are needed to keep American jobs from being outsourced. But, in that, they are missing the big picture: businessman Donald Trump is going to be concentrating on American businesses, and will use the power of government contracts for the benefit of American workers¹ and American taxpayers. How effective he will wind up being in this remains to be seen, but at least he’s off to a good start.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
¹ – In this I assume that the Boeing threat will not result in the next Air Force Ones being cancelled, but in cost savings being made.