Meet The Air Force’s $1200 Cup Of Coffee


Meet the Air Force’s $1200 cup of coffee — or more precisely the $1220 coffee cup which keeps breaking, after which the military simply buys more and more cups.  

Some outlets which have reported on the insanely pricey self reheating coffee mug commonly used aboard aerial refueling tankers have presented it as merely a human interest and innovative tech story as the US military is considering cheaper designs using 3-D printers.

If it sounds too absurd to be true a new Air Force Times report begins as follows:

When a mobility airman drops a cup of coffee aboard an aircraft, the Air Force can be out $1,220.

Since 2016, the replacement cost for some of the service’s coffee mugs, which can reheat coffee and tea on air refueling tankers, has gone up more than $500 per cup, forcing the service to dish out $32,000 this year for just 25 cups, recently reported.

The 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force Base recently revealed that it has spent nearly $56,000 to replace broken hot cups over the past three years. The culprit, they say, is a faulty plastic handle known to break on impact. Each time a handle breaks, the Air Force is forced to order a whole new cup, as replacement parts are no longer made. – READ MORE


In 2018, an estimated $1.7 billion more in benefits will paid to eligible beneficiaries than is collected in revenue via the payroll tax, interest earned on its asset reserves, and the taxation of benefits. Though this net cash outflow will lessen modestly in 2019, it will reaccelerate in a big way in 2020 and beyond, according to the intermediate-cost model, as shown (all figures are estimated):

  • 2018: $1.7 billion net cash outflow
  • 2019: $0.2 billion net cash outflow
  • 2020: $16.7 billion net cash outflow
  • 2021: $32.9 billion net cash outflow
  • 2022: $51.9 billion net cash outflow
  • 2023: $73.8 billion net cash outflow
  • 2024: $96.3 billion net cash outflow
  • 2025: $122.4 billion net cash outflow
  • 2026: $137.5 billion net cash outflow
  • 2027: $169 billion net cash outflow

Adding this net cash outflow up works out to an outflow of $702.4 billion over the next decade. In the process, the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust’s asset reserves will drop from just north of $2.89 trillion to $2.19 trillion by the end of 2027.

Why’s this happening, you ask? It’s due to a combination of factorsOpens a New Window. that includes the ongoing retirement of baby boomers, the lengthening of life expectancies over many decades, and growing income inequality, to name a few.

Of course, based on the projections of the Trustees, $700 billion disappearing from Social Security’s coffers is peanuts compared to what’s expected to happen between 2028 and 2034. According to the intermediate-cost model, the remaining $2.19 trillion will disappear, leaving the program with no excess cash by 2034. – READ MORE

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