Here at the Tatler we have long followed two stories that, until recently, did not seem to be related. In one story, we’ve followed the travails of Hawker Beechcraft, the US aircraft manufacturer disqualified from competing for a contract to build light attack aircraft for the Pentagon. Hawker was never told why they were disqualified.
The other story we have followed is the Obama administration’s disparate treatment of red states from other states. Through policy and rhetoric, President Obama tends to behave as if he is not president of all the states, only the states he won or thinks he can win.
When Obama comes to red Texas, for instance, he mocks citizens’ desire to secure the state’s border with war-torn Mexico while his EPA is unleashed to create an electricity shortage in the state. He shut down offshore drilling in the gulf, a major source for Texas’ and Louisiana’s oil industry, putting thousands out of work. When he goes to swing states, though, he displays a veneer of sensitivity toward the loss of jobs. In Pennsylvania, for instance, in May the president said “I’m running to make sure the next generation of high-tech manufacturing takes root in places like Richmond and Columbus, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I want to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs and profits overseas. I want us to reward companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America. That’s the choice in this election.”
In Colorado: “I’m running to make sure that the next generation of high-tech manufacturing takes place in Denver – (applause) – and Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Charlotte. I don’t want to reward businesses that are investing – creating jobs overseas. I want to reward them for investing right here in Colorado, creating jobs right here in the United States of America. (Applause.) That’s the choice in this election.”
In Florida, back in February: “We’ve got to make sure that the next generation of manufacturing ideas take place right here in the United States of America. Not in factories in Europe or China, but in Detroit, and Pittsburgh and Cleveland. I don’t want this nation to be known just for buying and consuming things. I want us to be selling our products and making our products, inventing products, all around the world. That’s who we are. (Applause.) It’s time for us to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas. We need to reward companies that are investing and hiring right here in the United States of America.”
Iowa, back in February: “I’m running to make sure the next generation of high-tech innovation and manufacturing takes root in places like Des Moines and Newton and Waterloo. … I want to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs and profits overseas. I want to reward companies that are creating jobs and bringing jobs back here to the United States of America. … That’s the choice in this election.”
Ohio, last month: “I’m running to make sure the next generation of high-tech manufacturing takes root in places like Columbus and Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Richmond. I want to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs and profits overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.”
Dearborn, Michigan, two months ago: “I want us to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas. I want to reward companies that are investing here, creating jobs in America.”
Get the message? President Obama tells swing states that he does not favor shipping American jobs, and especially high tech manufacturing jobs, overseas. He is very consistent about saying it.
But the president seems to think nothing of endangering or destroying red state jobs, high tech or not. We have extensively covered the Obama administration’s attempt to stop Boeing from creating a Dreamliner manufacturing plant in South Carolina. Long delayed, a settlement was reached and that plant will finally open, but only after Boeing lost about a year in competition with Airbus. Returning to the Hawker Beechcraft disqualification, Hawker was never told why it was disqualified, but it is located in Kansas, a red state. The disqualification handed the contract to Brazil’s Embraer, and will cost 1,400 jobs in the United States. It has already forced Hawker to lay about 350 workers off. The US Air Force is currently investigating the disqualification, so the entire contract is in limbo, and 1,400 American manufacturing jobs are thus in limbo too. The fact that Embraer is government controlled, has been accused of international bribery and is under investigation by the SEC, and that both it and Brazil have strong ties to Iran, seems not to have daunted the Obama administration from effectively handing it a no-competition contract to build a fleet of light attack aircraft for use by our allies in Afghanistan. The question is, why? Why did the administration apparently rig the entire competition to favor a foreign manufacturer, and the summarily eliminate the American competitor?
It’s evident that President Obama only opposing shipping some American jobs overseas. While he consistently blasts private companies for shipping jobs overseas in swing states, his own government attempted to ship American defense jobs overseas, because the company involved happens to be located in a red state.