Call to end government plane leases

June 20, 2003 at 10:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Citizens Against Government Waste Friday called for an end to leasing of planes by the Pentagon.

The group "expressed outrage" over the announcement by the Boeing Corp. that it will pursue more lease deals similar to the one recently approved by the Pentagon for 100,767 tankers at a cost of $21 billion.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said: "The possibility that the Pentagon might become more involved in leasing will lead to tens of billions of dollars in hidden costs. In the Boeing tanker lease deal, taxpayers will pay more than $17 billion extra for planes that the government will never own. Lease deals do not 'count' against the Pentagon's annual procurement budget but the spending is real. Additional leases are an irresponsible approach to procurement."

The General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office have stressed leasing incurs more costs than direct purchasing of tanker aircrafts, but several members of Congress are apparently supporting the Boeing deal.

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