This past election, American voters concerned with wasteful government spending were excited at the prospect of having a businessman in the Oval Office, and therefore at the forefront of several negotiations for our country.
During the 2016 Republican Presidential primary election, Trump’s business experience complemented his promises to avoid more of the same political mistakes being made on either side of the aisle in the nation’s capital, helping him to stand out in a large field of contenders for the nomination.
As promised, wasteful spending is being curbed somewhat by cutting the budgets of wasteful programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts, and notoriously inefficient agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency – but now we are also starting to see increased focus on smarter bargaining and price negotiations, thanks to President Trump.
While on the campaign trail, Trump bashed one national defense expense in particular as an exorbitant expense.
He called out the F-35 aircraft program for having “out of control” costs.
Now, he is addressing that specific program, lowering the price on the Pentagon’s most recent F-35 purchase by $5 billion.
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) March 3, 2017
Defense giant Lockheed Martin’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson recently shared her thoughts on the experience, and spoke admirably about President Trump’s involvement in the deal.
The Hill reports:
“We were in discussions … and he helped accelerate that along, and I think he put a sharper focus on price and how we would drive the price down,” Hewson told reporters at a Lockheed media event in Arlington, Va. “So he absolutely did contribute to us getting to closure on that.”
Hewson credits Trump for his “perfectly appropriate” role in negotiations by which the Pentagon purchased 90 aircraft in February.
These negotiations brought the price for an F-35A model plane below $100-million for the very first time.
While some analysts argue that costs for this aircraft tend to go down as the years go by, Hewson insists that Trump had a key role in driving the price this low.
The Hill reports:
“Since his election, President Trump has made clear that he and his administration will be focusing on ensuring that the government is a smart buyer, getting the most for the taxpayer’s dollar,” Hewson said. “In our positive and constructive dialogues over the last few months we were able to communicate how Lockheed Martin is fully aligned with these efforts.”
It seems almost like an oxymoron at times for government to be a “smart buyer,” but at least companies like Lockheed Martin can now expect thoughtful negotiations from the executive branch where tax-payer dollars are concerned.
If the government is going to spend the American peoples’ money, they have an obligation to do so as wisely as possible.
And where the president is concerned, Americans continue to be surprised, shocked even, that an elected official is setting out to actually fulfill his campaign promises.
Hopefully this trend will catch on and become more common on Capitol Hill.