The award for coolest senator name goes to: Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (R). Chambliss has argued that if Robert Gates kills the F-22 program, 95,000 Americans will lose their jobs.
My question is this: It takes 95,000 people to build an airplane? Really?
Probably, Saxby was including businesses like restaurants that support the workers on the F-22 assembly line.
However, here's a thought. The JSF (F-35) costs a paltry $83 million, as compared to the F-22's $140 million. So for each JSF built, the U.S. saves $57 million dollars. That would pay a lot of unemployment benefits. Meanwhile we're still getting deadly airplanes in our Air Force.
Fast fighters are cool, faster fighter jets are cooler, but in the current international and economic situation, I think the cheaper jet is the right pick here, so I agree with Gates' decision.