The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
is reporting on the $87 million corporate welfare handout Arkansas just gave defense giant Lockheed Martin
to improve its bid for a military vehicle
contract that could be fulfilled at an Arkansas plant. The paper is interested because the local Oshkosh Corp
. is also seeking the contract.
The money quote from Lockheed spokesman John Kent (emphasis supplied):
The defense contractor planned to build the trucks in Camden whether or not it received the $87 million, according to Kent.
"The bond package passed by the state of Arkansas Legislature adds to our competitive posture ... If Lockheed Martin is selected for the JLTV contract, we will use the funds to augment our Camden factory for full-rate production, and implement training programs," he said.
"Adds to our competitive posture" means Lockheed can shave the price a bit and still reap the profits they require thanks to Arkansas taxpayers. But .... they also have the wherewithall to go it alone.
In other words: "Thanks, suckers."
Wisconsin officials wouldn't say if they have any handouts in the works for Oshkosh.
The article also included this:
Still, it would be an unusual fit to build the military trucks in Arkansas, said Jim Hasik with the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs think tank in Washington, D.C.
"There's no large body of truck production people in Arkansas, but there are a lot of unemployed, or underemployed, production line workers (in other states) who know how to build trucks," Hasik said.
Thanks to David Ray, my political soulmate (at least on this one issue) over at the Koch's Americans for Prosperity, for calling this reporting to my attention.