President Barack Obama has set out on the warpath against America’s expensive defence contractors.
He says he is looking for as much as a 40 billion euro saving from a government spending system he says is “broken”. The US military has spent one point seven trillion dollar on weapons this decade, but over half of that, nearly 920 billion dollars, has been cost overruns on late projects. “In some cases, contracts are awarded without competition, in others contractors actually oversee other contractors. We are spending money on things that we don’t need and we are paying more than we need to pay. And that is completely unacceptable,” said Obama. Obama wants funding to be cut automatically if costs rise by more than 50 percent from their original quote, stricter oversight of projects, and much less waste. The other big economic news from the US is the February unemployment figures – at nearly 700 000 job losses they are much worse than forecast, by nearly 100 000, and the data suggests the trend is quickening as companies lay off workers everywhere.