Some Thanksgiving Trump/Defense Fact Checking

Donald Trump celebrated Thanksgiving by handing out turkey sandwiches and potato chips to the Coast Guard while regaling them with stories of the F-35:

Donald Trump returned to a favourite subject on Thursday, telling a US coast guard audience the air force was ordering a new plane that was “almost like an invisible fighter”….Trump first startled reporters with talk of an invisible plane in October, when he discussed the F-35 at a military briefing in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico….“That’s an expensive plane you can’t see. As you heard, we cut the price very substantially. Something that other administrations would never have done — that I can tell you.

….Trump also told coast guard members of his pride in having increased military spending. “We’re ordering tremendous amounts of new equipment — we’re at $700bn for the military. And, you know, they were cutting back for years. They just kept cutting, cutting, cutting the military. And you got lean, to put it nicely. It was depleted, was the word. And now it’s changing.”

In case you’re interested, here’s the order history of the F-35 so far:

As you can see, Trump had no impact on either the price of the F-35 or the order book. The unit price declined steadily for years under both Bush and Obama, and the order quantities have been going up.

As for defense spending, it’s naturally decreased since the drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. What we’re more interested in is base defense spending excluding war costs. Here it is:

I dunno. Unless you consider the 2008-10 spike to be the new normal forever, base defense spending is about the same as it was midway through the Bush administration and about 50 percent higher than it was before 9/11. I’m not sure I’d call that “depleted,” but I guess your mileage may vary.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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