I admit I was hopeful that the candidate Barack Obama was going to change Washington. At the100-day mark, well, I am not so sure.
Take the buzzing of New York City by Air Force One. It costs $68,000 per hour to fly Air Force One.
Add to that, $25,000 per hour for each of the fighters. (The military rents fighters for movies, hence the hourly cost). According to the Air Force, the incident cost about $300,000 — not a lot in federal budget terms, under either Republican or Democratic administrations. New Yorkers will buzz and flap about this for days if not weeks or months. I am fairly sure one or more plays are being written about it and possibly even a TV mini-series, even as I pen these words.
What bothers me is the failure to consider alternatives to taking these jets out for a spin over the Manhattan skyline. For $700, they could have bought a copy of Photoshop software, used images of the sky over Manhattan, the Statute of Liberty and Air Force One, and then create whatever images they wanted — and not have to wait for sunny weather.
The possibilities are endless. They could have President Obama and his wife Michelle flying along side Air Force One as Superman and Super Woman. Or they could create an image of $3.5 trillion, without having the mint print all of it.
The government that Obama set out to change is deeply unimaginative. We shouldn’t just ask “Why?” but “Why that way?” of all our elected officials.
Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington. His column regularly appears on Fridays.