By the Numbers

In Megan Scully’s assessment of the ultimate cost to U.S. taxpayers for the U.S. military’s assault on Libya, she hinted that the unexpected rise in cost would “require the Pentagon to request emergency funding from Congress to pay for it.”

A number of “defense” programs are already being paid for by unwitting taxpayers, and in all fairness, it would seem that the “emergency funding” needed for the Libyan event should be transferred – if only temporarily – from those programs.

As an example, Navy programs have been granted significant amounts from Congress. Here are the announced allocations for seven of those “programs”(before cost overruns, that is):

CVN …………… $ 46,545,500,000
DDG-51 ……… 62,756,300,000
DDG-1000 ….. 19,771,400,000
LCS ……………. 3,732,500,000
SSN ……………. 93,207,300,000
LPD ……………. 18,659,200,000
LHA (R&D) … 6,820,800,000

That comes to $ 251,483,000,000.00 – for just one vessel in each class. Those are all warship types, as you’ve surmised, and we’re being told that dozens of those vessels are required by the Navy in order to bring our mighty fleet back to the often quoted respectable number of “313” – in spite of the fact that a loose-lipped Naval officer has already admitted that we have 400 warships. And the U.S. taxpayer gets not one dime in return for that “investment”.

To put everything in perspective, if each one of our patented containerships cost approximately $ 60 million, let’s say, we could build about 4,200 of them with that $ 251 billion.

Or, let’s look at it this way – keeping in mind the enormous “multiplier effect” that we’d be putting into effect – with $ 250 billion, we could:

– Revitalize 100 shipyards (100 x $ 100 million/yard = $ 10 billion)
– Employ 1,500,000 shipyard workers (1,500,000 x $ 100,000/year = $ 150 billion)
– Build 1,500 patented container ships with the remaining $ 90 billion.

The multiplier effect would produce the economic miracle needed to stave off the upcoming Second Great Depression. The beneficial Jones Act would put these ships in the hands of U.S. owners and U.S. crews, and would generate millions of offsite shipbuilding jobs.

New container yards and jobs for thousands of longshoremen would be created, and even the nation’s truck drivers would finally get their money’s worth. So would American taxpayers.