Posted by StreetWise in Magazine Articles
The Diamond formation of four US Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcons over Lake Michigan for Chicago’s Air & Water Show is a casualty of the federal budget sequester.
The March 1 implementation of across-the-board spending cuts led to the cancellation of more than 25 Thunderbirds performances across the nation and overseas as well as a comparable number for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The Blue Angels alternate yearly performances at Chicago’s Air & Water Show with the Thunderbirds.
The sequester is an automatic cut of $1 trillion in spending as a result of bipartisan congressional failure to cut the federal deficit by $4 trillion on top of $2.5 trillion in earlier cuts.
“The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth,” President Obama said on the White House website.
Failure to reach a compromise led to the April 1 cancellation of both the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels schedules. According to their website, the Thunderbirds are “part of a comprehensive marketing effort to engage the public with the ongoing technological efforts and innovations helmed by the Air Force;” the team accounts for $28 million annually in the federal budget.