You, Me, and B-3

(Rendering courtesy Northrop-Grumman)

(Rendering courtesy Northrop-Grumman)

Cost overruns already plague the Air Force’s top secret follow-on to the B-2 Spirit stealth heavy bomber:

The problem began last year, when the service told Congress the yet-to-be-built Long-Range Strike Bomber would cost $33.1 billion between 2015 and 2025. It recently updated the estimate (from 2016 to 2026) to $58.4 billion—a hike of $25.3 billion, or 76%.

That works out to a swing of $169 for each of the roughly 150 million Americans who file federal tax returns. But, the Air Force acknowledged last week, the latest cost estimate to develop and buy the aircraft over the coming decade is pegged at $41.7 billion. Apparently, the fledgling stealth bomber can elude fiscal reckoning as well as enemy radar.

An extra $169 over ten years to fund the latest and greatest and invisiblest bomber ever?

Can I just write a check right now?

Compared to most of the places my tax dollars go, this one’s a bargain.