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Obama Kills F-22, Thousands Of Jobs

From those economic mavens at the New York Times:

Obama Wins Crucial Senate Vote on F-22


July 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — With some of his political capital on the line, President Obama won a crucial victory on Tuesday when the Senate voted to strip out $1.75 billion in financing for seven more F-22 jet fighters from a military authorization bill.

The president had repeatedly threatened to veto the $679.8 billion bill if it included any money for the planes. The 58-to-40 vote clearly gives the Obama administration more leeway to overhaul military spending.

The F-22, the world’s most advanced fighter, has been a flashpoint in a battle over the administration’s push to shift more of the Pentagon’s resources away from conventional warfare projects, like the F-22, to provide more money for fighting insurgencies.

Senate aides said that some Democrats who otherwise might have voted for more planes sided with the president out of concern that a loss could have hurt him in the fight for health care reform.

The president really needed to win this vote,” Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan who led the fight to cut financing for the plane, said after the vote.

Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F-22, has estimated that work on the plane provides 25,000 jobs and indirectly supports about 70,000 others. But Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary, has said that the Pentagon needs to accelerate a new plane, the F-35, and that doing so would offset the job losses.

About 1,000 suppliers in 44 states provide the jobs, which will gradually be phased out as some of the 187 F-22s that have been ordered are completed.

About two-thirds of the jobs are in California, Texas, Georgia, Washington and Connecticut. Several large unions who supported Mr. Obama in his campaign for the presidency, back building more planes.

All four senators from California and Washington are Democrats, and they all voted in favor of preserving the money for more planes.

The senators from Connecticut — Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Democrat, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, a former Democrat who is now an independent — also voted to keep the money in the budget, as did the four Republican senators from Georgia and Texas.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, had long supported the plane, partly because of jobs in Massachusetts, but he voted on Tuesday to strip out the money

Immediately after the vote, Mr. Obama praised the Senate’s decision, saying that any money spent on the fighter was an “inexcusable waste” — and that by following his lead the Senate had demonstrated a commitment to changing Washington’s ingrained habits…

Mr. McCain told reporters after the vote that the result was “definitely attributable” to the strong push by the president and Mr. Gates…

Mr. Levin said that Mr. Gates and the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, made phone calls to influential senators to rally support

Why are the most low-level skilled jobs, like painting signs, being preserved by the “stimulus” bill, while yet high-tech, high value jobs are being cut?

Jobs are also important to our national security?

These are rhetorical questions, of course.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Obama Kills F-22, Thousands Of Jobs”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    With multiple shoot down capability, the F22 is a 5 to 1 bargain.

  2. Colonel1961 says:

    Gates was pushing it (rightfully) – funny how it’s always Obama…

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This is an issue going back, in modern form to the Reagan presidency when the Graham-Rudman-Hollings bill was signed. Base closures, RIF’s and all that …..

    Perhaps it was inevitable.

    The F-22 is very costly and it could be argued that it has not a single counter in the world. This should not mean that the quest for best technology should stop. But any time we, the US enjoy a pinnacle of technology militarily, the “other people”, that is to say, liberals, argue that it’s so unnecessary . However, I want to go back to 1939. A B-17 cost about $200,000 and the USAAC were authorized ten of them. Based mostly on cost.

    When the US entered WWII, never before had such an industrialization of a nation occurred. But it took two and a half years. We had people aplenty but until about mid 1943, training them in the hardware they would use to fight was almost impossible. Once the industrial complex got into full swing, the enemy could not keep up in either personnel or materiel.

    Coming back to 2009, it is doubtful to me that should we ever have to engage in a major military operation, that we could industrialize at all, let alone in 2.5 years. But with that in mind, we need to keep developing new technology while simultaneously train to fight terrorist activity.

    The problem with fighting terrorist activity is that it is very reasonable to assume that killing the last radical muslim will not stop it because of the ability of the human to change their mind and change their views based on no more than a small issue or something someone said.

    F-22’s will not get rid of terrorists. But by the same token, having all the troops possible will not necessarily eliminate an enemy who DOES have high tech hardware. The US has to be ambidextrous and work both types of readiness simultaneously.

  4. Petronius says:

    SG: “Why are the most low-level skilled jobs, like painting signs, being preserved by the “stimulus” bill, while yet high-tech, high value jobs are being cut?”

    Defense spending is like mainlining. It’s well known around Washington that defense contracts are the surest, fastest method of economic stimulus. Yet the $800B “stimulus” bill spent nothing––zero––on defense. And now 25,000 skilled jobs at Lockheed Martin will disappear, plus 70,000 support jobs for Lockheed’s subcontractors. But thank goodness we saved the San Francisco swamp mouse.

    “the Senate voted to strip out $1.75 billion in financing for seven more F-22 jet fighters” ––– yet they are proposing to spend $1.75 TRILLION (or more!) to nationalize the medical industry.

    Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23: 24.)

  5. proreason says:

    but of course.

    Rule 1: If it weakens the United States, it will be done.

  6. pdsand says:

    “But Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary, has said that the Pentagon needs to accelerate a new plane, the F-35, and that doing so would offset the job losses.”

    The Joint Strike Fighter is not new, any more than the F-15 is new. And it is slower and has less capabilities all around. And since these projects have both been bandied about for at least a decade that I can recall, you can bet that there is a reason that the Bush administration and defense department decided to order hundreds of the F-22 and put the joint strike fighter back in for redesign and more testing.

    From Wikipedia about the F-22:
    “The opportunity for export is currently non-existent because the export sale of the F-22 is barred by American federal law.[20] Most current customers for U.S. fighters are either acquiring earlier designs like the F-15 or F-16, or else are waiting to acquire the F-35 Lightning II (the Joint Strike Fighter), which contains technology from the F-22 but is designed to be cheaper, more flexible, and available for export from the start.”

    So perhaps now we realize why it’s so important that we forge ahead on the joint strike fighter, is because once we develop this plane we are poised to sell it all over the world. So this won’t be a “terrible waste” that only makes America strong.

    And any claims that the F-22 is only for conventional warfare should refer to the fact that it has been alternately designated while in development as the FA-22 because it is both a fighter jet and a ground attack plane, as well as a number of other capabilities. So it is in fact useful in combating our ground-based enemies.

  7. canary says:

    pg 307) ” But, our most complex military challenge will not be staying ahead of China (just as our biggest challenge with China may well be economic rather than military). More likely, that challenge will involve PUTTING BOOTS ON THE GROUND in the ungoverned or hostile regions where terrorists thrive. That requires a smarter balance between what we spend on FANCY HARDWARE and what we spend on our men and women in uniform. That should mean growing scheduals, keeping our troops properly equipped, and training peacekeeping skills they’ll need to succeed in increasingly complex and difficult missions.” barack obama: the audacity of hope

    Well, first thing Obama did, was allow Afganistan to revert to full blown terrorism. Then dropped massive foot soldiers with no fancy hardware, into the belly of the beast. Orders them to aid our enemy in reconstruction and poverty. Recent reversing Bush order to burn poppy fields which goes to financially support terrorists that don’t drink. Orders for our men and women to slave in terrorists poppy fields and plant vegetables, with the DEA policing this operation. And the Obama’s recent announcement on shortage of troops, because their body’s and minds are cracked, and now U.S. soldiers are to give the two finger peace sign until they learn to speak the language. Could it be why Obama has increased unemployment as John Kerry told him, more will join the military. So, that he can hold off on the draft, as ACORN is busy enough getting ready to run the census yet alone run the draft. Shame on Obama and his supporters.

  8. MinnesotaRush says:

    “With some of his political capital on the line, President Obama won a crucial victory” … for some, it’s always about o-blah-blah, isn’t it?

    A new bumper sticker: “obama wins – America loses!”

  9. joeblough says:

    Not mentioned in the article, but actually sweeping in both its political and military implications is the fact that both Japan and Israel have been begging for the F-22 and need it desperately, in both cases for very obvious reasons.

    So this will be cutting the legs out from under two of our allies at a stroke.

    As a consequence, both Japan and Israel will have to look elsewhere to get anything with capabilities comparable to the F-22.

    Will they build their own? Will they try to get something from France? Elsewhere? Who knows. But it’s a sure thing that we won’t get the money, and probably not even full disclosure of what the Japanese and Israeli capabilities actually end up being, because they will be plenty pissed, and with good reason.

    And if you’re not thinking that both countries are looking at this and wondering about the general implications with respect to their defense positions and international alignments, well … you better think again. Because they are, they have to.

    I refer my gentle fellow posters to:
    American Thinker: F-22 to Japan and Israel: A debt of Honor
    Defense Industry Daily: F-22 Raptors to Japan?

    So this has been an unusually economical move for the customarily spend-thrift Red Hussein.

    In one single stroke he has not only destroyed American jobs and deprived American companies of much needed income, but he has also injured the American air superiority capability while betraying TWO important American allies at a time when air superiority is a critically important, perhaps mortally important matter for both of them.

    Talk about killing two birds with one stone … he got a whole flock of them with this one!

    Way to go Red!

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