Plan to Cut Weapons Programs Disputed
Defense Supporters Say 100,000 Jobs Are in Jeopardy
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Some of the nation’s largest defense contractors, labor unions and trade groups are banding together to argue that the Obama administration is putting 100,000 or more jobs at risk by proposing deep cuts in weapons programs.
The defense industry and its supporters argue that the proposals by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will increase unemployment during a historic economic crisis. Why, they ask, would President Obama push hundreds of billions in stimulus spending to create jobs only to propose weapons cuts that would eliminate tens of thousands of them?
“It doesn’t make sense that our government is looking at trying to save or create jobs at the same time it’s talking about cutting something like this,” said Jeff Goen, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers chapter in Marietta, Ga., where Lockheed Martin does final assembly on the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, which is slated to be cut.
I dunno, Jeff. There are no machinist jobs in manufacturing, most likely because we’ve sent industrial production packing off to other lands. You weaponry guys have survived only because of the perceived security issues in off-shoring weaponry.
- You didn’t speak up when Motorola and Zenith headed out . . .
- You didn’t say a word when the steel mills took off for Japan . . .
- You were silent as toasters and washing machines, little red wagons and bicycles left the country . . .
Now, there’s only the sad whimper of jobs to justify pouring more and more weaponry into a world flooded with weaponry. Aside from the emptiness of your too-late-to-the-party concern, when bullet-trains get made instead of bullets, there’s actually something useful at the end of the production line.