Washington D.C. — In a stunning discovery earlier this week, Department of Defense officials have learned from their chief negotiators in military contractor agreements that the DOD can in-fact, counteroffer the contractors’s original price demands. This revelation could potentially save U.S. taxpayers 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years. For years, the public has been vexed by why a 3 dollar hammer cost the government 100 dollars and why everyday routine soldier items like CamelBak’s military hydration system cost over 100 dollars when the free market price is no more than 15 — we have our answer and the DOD is thrilled.
The celebrations in Washington and at military bases across the planet, have only been tempered by the realization of contractors that the long and sacred government contractor gravy train has ended. “We were consistently but pleasantly surprised all of these years that DOD negotiators took our initial offer, which we knew of course, was highway robbery. However, in a negotiation you always want to start from a position of asking for more than what you want. We assumed that was basic knowledge and that we would bargain down. This was not the case”, explained Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson. Lockheed Martin’s famous boondoggle F-35 contract with the U.S. Government, which is three years behind schedule and some 200 billion over its initial budget, is perhaps the most striking example of this negotiation naiveté. The F-35, has cost U.S. taxpayers nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in total now and is the most expensive weapons program in history, it also has never flown in combat. For comparison sake, the Apollo program cost just 110 billion in today’s money. Hewson added, “once we realized they were automatically going to accept our initial offer, we just kept jacking up the price to see what we could get away with. As our stockholders can attest to, the results and profits have been staggering. All good things must come to an end though. We expected this gravy train to end in 2007 or so, it’s now 2016. This is highway robbery that any CEO should be immensely proud of.”
DOD negotiators were informed of this knowledge by an unnamed and unpaid intern, informally referred to as David, the unofficial official name of all DOD interns. This particular David had learned of the counteroffer from his time when he summered in Morocco and frequently bartered with shopkeepers and food stand operators. We could not locate this particular David, but we imagine his comments would go something like this: “I frequently bartered down on the price of bananas, watches, etc. It’s almost as if all of these negotiators have been in a bubble of unaccountability most of their lives. Meanwhile, I look forward to being called a lazy and entitled young person next week at work after my discovery is forgotten. They don’t even know my real name, they just call me intern David. I hate this job.”
This new discovery not only should help the Defense Department cut its budget without adversely effecting troop strength and national security, but it should really help soldiers that just cannot keep track of their shit. PFC Carroll of the 534th Maintenance Team for instance, loses every conceivable government issued item you can imagine. His Supply Sergeant was lenient the first few times, but he has had it up to here with PFC Carroll’s incompetence. “I just could not keep bailing him out, when you put on this uniform to represent and protect the American people, when you wear this flag, you need to conduct yourself with professionalism and integrity…keeping track of your shit is part of that. From top to bottom, we expect the best.”
Yes. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Note: While this was primarily a satirical piece, I’d like to point out that the facts and figures used are all real. This nation really has spent 1.5 trillion on a defense system that does not fly in combat as of now. This is a good example of the phrase coined by colleague Carson Starkey: #SatireIsPointless It does not matter if it’s an Onion article or a CNN article relaying information that Trump has been nominated. In 2016, it is the editorial staff at Agreeing Loudly’s opinion that the difference between reality and satire is negligible. Therefore, we’d like to coin a second phrase, that you may all use at your leisure: #Surreality