Your Tax Dollars: $79K a Year for Grounded Plane

TV Marti plane for Cuba in sequester 'limbo': Washington Post
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2013 2:47 PM CDT
Your Tax Dollars: $79K a Year for Grounded Plane
File photo   (Shutterstock)

The Washington Post today has one of those logic-defying stories about government-spending, this one involving a plane that's not allowed to fly. The government is paying a Georgia contractor $6,600 every month to house the plane, originally intended to fly over Cuba and broadcast anti-Castro programming. The problem is that the money for fuel and pilots got cut in the sequester, putting the plane in a "kind of federal limbo," writes David A. Fahrenthold. "It has too little funding to function but too much to die."

The story of the TV Marti plane goes beyond sequester trouble. Even before those cuts kicked in, the idea behind it never really worked. The plane did indeed make flights over Cuba, but the Cuban government figured out how to jam the signals. And yet the program has endured. Given all that, "it’s hard to state how ridiculous it is” that the government is paying about $79,000 a year to keep its non-flying plane, says the head of the Cuba Research Center. (Read more federal spending stories.)

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