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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Seaman Natasha R. Chalk via Wikimedia Commons

Trump says Lockheed Martin will cut $600 million off about 90 planes in negotiations for a deal expected to close by the end of the month. He attributed the price quote to CEO Marillyn Hewson, according to CNBC. This will mark the 10th batch of F-35 aircrafts in the acquisition and will likely be delivered in 2018, and for the first time the F-35s will boast a price per plane less than $100 million, closer to $85 million. According to Hewson, this is a price drop of 60% compared to the ninth batch, per a Defense News report.

Taking credit: Trump pointed out that he stepped in last month to push the negotiations forward and that these costs will likely continue to drop as production ramps up. "We will be savings billions and billions and billions of dollars on contracts," he said.

Yes, but: Production was accelerating anyways, and a basic lesson in economics would spell it out for anyone to see that as production increases, costs fall. And Lockheed Martin vowed to dip below that $100 million marker before Trump came into the picture due to economies of scale, per a Defense News report from September 2016.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.