Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why Not McCain?- 5

Barack Obama had this to say in a speech yesterday to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which recently endorsed his candidacy:

Just ask your brothers and sisters at Boeing. Because while it was right for the Pentagon to cancel competition yesterday for the next generation of tankers, it was wrong for John McCain to reward two of the Washington lobbyists who worked against Boeing with jobs on his campaign.

Just ask the Machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons. Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions "disgraceful."
Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue.
So when American workers hear John McCain talk about putting country first, it’s fair to ask – which country?


Democrats.org lists other instances in which Senator McCain has expressed his contempt for American manufacturing jobs. Biased website, you say? So let's go back to Boeing, and these excerpts from an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of March 7, 2008:

The Air Force last week awarded the contract (i.e., a $35 billion contract to build new Air Force aerial refueling tankers) to a team of Airbus parent EADS and Northrop Grumman Corp., triggering a firestorm from Boeing advocates who said the victory by the European-led consortium ignored American national security interests and would cost U.S. jobs.
Boeing advocates say McCain was a major force behind the Air Force decision to ignore the issue of government subsidies to Airbus when the tanker contract was put up for competitive bidding last year.


The issue of European government subsidies for Airbus has been raised for years by Boeing supporters who claim that those financial breaks have allowed the Toulouse, France-based company to undercut Boeing's prices and thus gain market share in the global competition between the two aircraft manufacturers. (Both the U.S. and the European Union, which claims Boeing also receives subsidies, have filed cases with the World Trade Organization.)

Boeing advocates assert that those same subsidies helped European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. and Los-Angeles-based Northrop Grumman win the Air Force tanker project, with a value that could eventually top $100 billion.

Given a choice between his free-market principles (presumably suspicious of government subsidies) and awarding a lucrative contract with implications for national defense to a foreign-based consortium (and costing American jobs), the Arizona senator chose option B.

This lack of interest in the people of our country now has extended to his selection of a running mate- inexperienced, uninformed, and uncurious. Because when it comes to "Country First," John McCain just hasn't figured out which country.

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