President-elect Trump asserted that the $4 billion dollar price tag for the next two Air Force One Boeing 747s is too high. Trump tweeted, “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!”
Trump addressed this matter despite the fact that the aircraft would not be delivered to the Air Force until after he is out of office, assuming he serves a second term as president. The question is, why is Trump focused on this seemingly benign issue at this point in time?
As easy as it might be for some to forget, Donald Trump, now President-elect Trump, still and will always possess the mind and perspective of a businessman, of a corporate leader, who is ever concerned about return on investment; and a central factor in this financial management element is costs control. Trump will manage the nation’s financial and economic affairs from a management perspective – not a political one.
Recall during the primary election that Trump spent far less on his campaign than was typical and presumed necessary by the political establishment. In the general election he spent less than his opponent, Secretary Clinton, yet won the election with a huge electoral vote victory margin of 306 to 232 electoral votes for Clinton.
So what is Trump doing in relation to Boeing? Trump is simply exerting the business principle of costs control, by signaling that he will always guard taxpayer money like a hawk, and strive to ensure that all government contracts are priced in the best interests of US taxpayers. He will demand that every penny of taxpayer money is spent wisely, and will insist on strict financial accountability. Expect audits of government contract dollars expended to increase.
Trump, by raising this particular Boeing Air Force One contract program, is changing the culture within, not only the Defense Department, but by virtue of this message, all Federal agencies. The new financial paradigm surrounding government contracts will reflect Trump’s business and management attitude as a real estate developer, namely, “Under budget, and ahead of schedule.”
By Allen Sutton