No corporate welfare for BIW
General Dynamics is a large and successful enterprise whose operations include the shipyard at Bath Iron Works. They have supported the U.S. Navy by building some of the best ships in the world. They have submitted a request to both Bath and the state for $60 million in tax breaks over the next 20 years to help finance these ships.
But do they really need this funding?
Over the past few years, General Dynamics has bought back billions of dollars of its own stock. This is only possible if their cash flow is very positive. Their bids on new ship construction include the costs of material, labor, benefits, a return on their investments, profits and a return to their shareholders. When they win a contract, their costs have been accounted for. They certainly don’t need any help from me.
Rep. Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath, and Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, are working on a bill that will have hearings on Jan. 22 in the Taxation Committee in Augusta. That bill will have input from General Dynamics’ lawyers and lobbyists to enable them to seek millions of dollars from a cash-strapped Maine.
The new tax bill will cut their corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 21 percent. The billions they will reap from that should be more than enough to keep them financially healthy for years to come.
I hope our elected representatives will be able to study and understand this request and see it for what it is — more corporate welfare.
EPA reverses on fuel efficiency standard
The last time the transportation sector was the biggest contributor to climate change was 40 years ago. Until today. It is the leading contributor yet again.
Despite that, President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt are rolling back crucial standards that would protect our health and our economy from this dangerous pollution.
The overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars. When our vehicles go farther on one tank of gas, drivers save money. Because of our current fuel economy standards, which Trump and Pruitt are trying to roll back, consumers can save an average of $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck over the lifetime of a vehicle. These saving can only occur if these standards remain in place.
Not only would rolling back these standards cost us money, it threatens our health. Twenty-five million Americans suffer from asthma, and almost a quarter of them are children. We have these safeguards to protect them. We shouldn’t be reversing them to cause harm to our most vulnerable.
The EPA has already received hundreds of thousands of comments from Americans urging them to keep strong clean car standards because they protect our health and climate from dangerous pollution, saves billions of gallons of fuel and saves us money at the pump.
What possible reason would they have for removing these standards?
Collins must speak out on Trump
My wish for 2018 is that Sen. Susan Collins will not continue to be complicit with President Donald Trump’s dangerous and demented destruction of democracy. I’m sure she knows honor is to be earned and not bought.
I hope she would remember what her mentor, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, said: “I do not wish to see the Republican Party ride to victory on the Four Horsemen of party calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”
“Those who shout the loudest about Americanism, are all too frequently those who ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism — the right to criticize, the right to hold unpopular beliefs, the right to protest, and the right of independent thought.”
“Greatness is not manifested by unlimited pragmatism , which places such a high premium on the end justifying any means and any methods.”
Silence is complicity. Tweets are presidential statements. Where is Collins’ courage to speak out? The emperor has no clothes.