• F-35s have another impact
    June 08,2013

    F-35s have another impact

    A typical Vermont town has local employees who get paid by local businesses and then they spend their money in those local businesses. The same amount of money just circulates around and around — except the government frequently reaches in and takes some of that money. Without any outside income there is seldom any extra money for public projects and it is really hard for anyone to get ahead.

    Now consider if you add 1,000 employees to this local economy and all 1,000 of them receive all their income from outside of the local economy but they spend that money entirely within the local economy. For instance, if they all received their paychecks from the federal government.

    At typical salaries that will average about $40,000 per year, this would inject $40 million into that local economy per year. Typically that will include about $6.5 million or more contributed to annual state and sales taxes. About $28 million to $32 million per year will be spent in local businesses. Those local businesses will then have that much more to expand and pay their employees. As described above, this money continues to circulate throughout the local economy.

    This is one of the potential impacts of basing the Air Force’s F-35 aircraft in Burlington. We are told that another impact is that there will be jet engine noise for about six minutes per day. That is actually probably an underestimate of the noise duration. It could be as much as 100 percent more — or 12 minutes per day. That is about 0.8 percent of the day, and except in emergencies it will be during the daylight hours.

    These are two serious impacts of having the F-35 based in Vermont, and we should carefully consider whether it is worth it.

    Tom Watkins


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