4/11/09

Another porkfest begins

This one has to do with defense contracts.

Defense cuts may add to unemployment

For example, defense secretary Bob Gates wants to cut the F-22 Raptor program. Actually, Obama wants to cut the program, bringing it to a stop after the 187th aircraft is built, sometime in 2011. They want to focus on a budget that puts more money on equipment and other efforts more suited to allowing the military to fight terrorists in several locations at the same time. I didn't think we had any more terrorists, and certainly the Global War on Terror is passe. AP has apparently not gotten the word on this from Homeland Defense or "Giggles" Gibbs. In any event, this is going to cost some jobs:

Lockheed — the lead F-22 contractor — has said shutting down production in Marietta and Fort Worth, Texas, could cost 25,000 jobs at the company and its major suppliers. Chicago-based Boeing Co. manufactures the wings and other parts in Seattle. The fighter's supersonic engines are supplied by Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Conn.

Middletown, Connecticut.

Guess who is a senator from The Constitution State?

Yah, you betcha (wink). Chris Dodd. Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the fellow who has figured so prominently in Porcus Americanus, the Generational Theft Act of 2009. Who figured so prominently in the AIG bailouts and subsequent bonus hysteria.

Now, one would presume that before announcing this kind of a cut, to a major weapons system, Gates would have consulted with the generals. The generals might not be happy with the F22 cut, especially the Air Force, but we haven't seen a mass resignation-fest of high-ranking blue-suiters. Perhaps they will be getting some other really cool toys as a trade-off. Makes no never mind to me so long as the troops have what they need to do what they need.

So let's presume for the moment that Obama and Gates are not engaged in some plot and conspiracy to dump the F22 in favor of flying carpets from King Abullah's rug factory outside of Mecca. Let's presume for the moment, after taking a hit of Hopium from our Obama Chia Pet bobblehead, that this really is in the best interests of national defense.

You would think the senators would go along with it, right? After all, as we have recently seen, they have the best interests of us all at heart.

Chris Dodd is siding with the unions on this one:

Dodd caught in crossfire

Look at this excerpt:

"One of our greatest national assets is our highly-skilled and innovative workforce, personified by the thousands of working men and women in Connecticut that maintain America's continued superiority in aerospace," the letter added.

The letter echoed a union argument, claiming Gates' simultaneous proposal to drastically increase production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would take too long -- and many jobs would disappear in the period it takes for the F-35 to reach the level of F-22 production.

"These kind of skills are not as easy to bring back once you lose them," Larkin said.


Larkin is a spokesperson for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

You know what? He really should get with ol' Ron Gettlefinger of the United Auto Workers. The UAW had this really neat program going. They called it a "Job Bank". If you, as UAW member, were in the job bank, you could draw up to 90% of your regular Big Three salary without even working, or by 'training' in some 'non-traditional' job, whatever that is. You can bet it isn't flipping burgers. Larking needs to talk to Gettlefinger about that, as Gettlefinger's reasoning for maintaining the Job Bank is based on that 'skills retention' thing. I am not sure how you retain your job skills while playing golf and sunning yourself at the pool, at the UAW's posh resort for members, but I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

Who paid for the Job Bank?

Why, who do you think?

Unraveling the job bank

Job banks

Any wagers as to whether or not we see something like this emerge from the wheeling and dealing?