$7.4 Billion of Your Tax Dollars Are Upgrading the Never-Used F-22

The F-22, America's favorite multi-multi-multi-billion dollar gun with no trigger, is getting a new paint job! TIME's Mark Thompson reports the fleet of unused warplanes will get one hell of an upgrade. Too bad we don't need it at all.

The Pentagon's paying out $7.4 billion for "system upgrades to existing requirements, incorporate new requirements, add capability and enhance performance in the F-22 Weapon System." Keep in mind, as Thompson points out along with us, that the F-22 is not only defective, but has never fired a single shot in aggression. Not a single combat mission. It's flown, but never moved a centimeter in the defense of the US. Or to attack an enemy. Or to do much of anything, really, except be grounded repeatedly and fly out of the way of hurricanes.

This money could have launched the Space Shuttle 16 more times. This money could have more than doubled the budget the government spends trying to cure cancer. This money could buy 74 iMacs for every single public school in the entire country. [TIME, Thanks, Nicko!]