You hear the catch phrase “Freedom is not free” often. Do you ever really think about the truth of the statement? Do you ever see examples personally?
So while reading a NY Times online article about the F22 the picture showed two F22’s flying majestically over a scenic, ocean view. Being a pilot myself, my first thoughts were “man, those are beautiful birds. Isn’t it amazing how smart some humans are to be able to build that!”
So, then my inquisitive mind kicked in and I started reading the article. The price for these “freedom keepers” are 180 million dollars a piece. But when you add program development and research costs into the figure each of the planned 183 F-22’s will cost about 330 million dollars — OMG (oh my god).
Now you realize that the price for freedom isn’t so free. For you see, in order to pay 330 million dollars a piece it requires hard working, tax-paying Americans to work 40 or so hours a week, year in and year out so that our Government can use the tax dollars to purchase these freedom tools.
Quick Math Lesson: From the 2003-04 Census Bureau report, the median household income in the U.S was $ 44,389.00 dollars. If the average household paid ten percent Federal income taxes it would take 75,000 hard working Americans to pay for one airplane ($ 330M / $4,400.00). So for the planned F-22 project (183 planes) it will take a whopping 13,725,000 (13 million) tax paying Americans to pay for all these beautiful birds. If you were liberal with your estimates and said the average household pays fifteen percent in Federal taxes, you are still talking about 9,070,291 (9 million) tax paying Americans to pay for this program.
Now, I’m not saying it isn’t worth the money. Each of these F-22’s will be protecting America’s interests for the next 25 years or so. That helps by making the program cost about 2.4 billion per year over this twenty five year period, which makes me feel a little better about the whole situation.
So, the next time you see one of these birds flying around, take pride that you are paying the price of freedom with every hour you work and every dollar of taxes you pay.