July 10, 2009 1:41PM

More Bad News for the F-22

This won’t make the “Buy the Planes that the Pentagon Doesn’t Want” Caucus happy. (There’s a similar “caucus” in the Senate, too; and 12 governors.)

The Washington Post reports that the F-22 requires

more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000, a far higher figure than for the warplane it replaces.

How might this bad news be twisted into a good news story by the F-22’s advocates in industry and on Capitol Hill? Look for the same line of reasoning that has been used up to this point. If we’re building the F-22 in order to give jobs to workers who might otherwise have to seek out other opportunities, then maybe the plane’s high operating costs can be justified on the grounds that it employs more maintenance workers?

J.M. Keynes must be smiling down on us.