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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obama, McCaine: More F22s Unneeded (Cuts to Thousands of Jobs in California)

Say Goodbye, L.A., to a Big Jobs Program...and a Really Bad-Ass Airplane

Sorry, I guess even a gay leftie still has an inner ten-year-old who loves cool jet fighters. Just look at it! I want one. Well, between the Air Force and the Navy, the U.S. military is getting 187 of them anyway. Truth be told, many experts believe the F-22 Raptor is a weapon in search of a mission, as it was designed to combat a never-built, advanced Soviet fighter.

The local angle is jobs. In California, contractors--the lead of which is Lockheed-Martin--claim 19,500 jobs will be lost as a result of the recent vote to ix-nay the ane-play. About 6,500 of those are workers working directly on the contract to supply the military with the ultra-fast, ultra-stealthy war birds. Another 13,000 in supporting jobs will be lost, they say. The job losses will begin to materialize this year, as the program winds down, with the bulk of pink slips to be issued next year when it ends altogether.

Award-winning blogger and former L.A. Times columnist
Robert Scheer calls Obama and McCaine brave for not supporting the military-industrial complex's biggest pet project, noting that while some in congress were ready to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the F-22 Raptor contract flying, there was no one on earth who could find $50 million to keep L.A.'s summer school sessions alive.

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