Trent Lott Needs an Atomic Wedgie
Captain Ed summarizes it well:
The projects that got past Senate pork hawks like Tom Coburn were a $200 million bailout of Northrup Grumman for indemnifyng the defense contractor against losses that its insurers refuse to cover. Coburn faced stiff opposition from Trent Lott, the man who apparently wants to make a career out of defying voters on earmarks, and Thad Cochran. Both Republicans insisted that the government needed to replace the loss, even though Northrup made a 7.1% operating margin in 2005, up from 6.7% in 2004 and 5.6% in 2003. That represent $2.4 billion in profit, an increase from $2.3B in 2004 and $1.9B in 2003.
Why does a corporation that made $2.4 billion in profit need another $200 million from American taxpayers to cover a loss they've absorbed in that same year?
Rather than focus resources on the truly needy and on real emergencies, Lott and Cochran have manipulated the relief bill to stick money into Northrup's pockets. Perhaps folks from Lott's home state of Mississippi should ask themselves why Lott seems more concerned about the travails of a corporation that had its best year ever than those who had their entire lives wiped out by Katrina.
There are a lot of rumors that when Frist leaves to campaign for President, Lott wants his leadership seat back. He's also been taking every opportunity he can to snipe at those who deposed him after his ridiculous canonizing of Strom Thurmond. He's also said he's "damn tired" of people who are trying to eliminate pork in spending bils. And this sort of thing, a blatant corporate payoff, is what he has to offer? This isn't policy or law, it's plain old-fashioned robbery. When a government contractor performs a government contract, they do so at a certain amount of risk. It is that risk that justifies their profit when they succeed. But to hand them hundreds of millions when they are already operating at a profit, as if they need some sort of "bailout"- which is a despicable act of socialist statism anyway, is outrageous. That Lott uses the federal budget this way is the ultimate sort of abuse, and if he did ever manage to get his leadership post back it would be a horrible thing for this country.
But it would be a great thing for the Republicrat Statist Party. Captain Ed also notes the irony of Congress calling a 10% profit by Exxon Mobil a "windfall" and yet passes legislation to give Northrop, with its 7% profit, a bailout.