Saturday, May 3, 2008

Tiahrt's Tanker Spin

Tiahrt feels like he's on a roll. He finally thinks he's appealing to the working people of Kansas, fighting for their jobs by opposing a tanker deal that favors Senator McCain's lobbyists/campaign managers.

Embolden to the military industrial complex Tiahrt had been pushing for a multi-billion dollar deal to provide corporate welfare to Boeing to build refueling tankers for the Air Force. It's Tiahrt's way of saying thank-you for ditching Wichita and selling much of their manufacturing to Canadian company Spirit Aerosystems.

McCain, on the other hand, had joined with Republican senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts to pass legislation allowing foreign companies to be granted military construction contracts. McCain has no love affair for the Air Force but does have a love affair with Airbus and employs some of their lobbyists on his campaign staff. So it's no surprise McCain worked hard to secure a big contract for Airbus over Boeing.

Well Tiahrt is just plain outraged. Boeing donates a lot to the Tiahrt campaign and expects results. So now Tiahrt is playing to populist and claiming to fight for jobs in Wichita. But does he really feel that way?

Back in 2005 Tiahrt opposed trade tariffs which are in place to protect American jobs. By implementing a tariff on something, say like, aircraft, building an airplane in somewhere like France would be more expensive because of the tariff. Therefore American and foreign companies would be motivated to build the planes in America thereby avoiding the tariff. But Tiahrt had this to say about tariffs:

"As we reduce barriers, American small businesses will prosper and workers will benefit with higher-quality, higher-paying jobs."

Good job Tiahrt, always thinking ahead.

Well Tiahrt goes further on his blog and argues that it's cheaper to build the planes in America. One thing he cites is that if the planes are built elsewhere then we lose corporate tax revenue. Well, that's true. As mentioned in Senator Byron Dorgan's book, Take This Job and Ship It, corporations pay a lower tax rate for profit made overseas. Tax breaks like these were supported by, you guessed it, Todd Tiahrt. The same Tiahrt who supported Bush's tax plan which lowered corporate income taxes (and I'm assuming he supports McCain's plan to lower them even further).

So it doesn't appear that losing corporate tax revenue is a big concern for Tiahrt. As mentioned in a previous story about removing tax breaks for oil companies, Tiahrt views corporate taxes as merely creating higher prices for the consumer. If it was up to Tiahrt corporations wouldn't be taxed.

Perhaps Tiahrt is admitting his conservative Republican fiscal policies are hurting us. Somehow I doubt he can put two and two together.

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