With all the talk of bailouts and stimulus packages necessary to preserve jobs, you’d think that when an opportunity arises for the Magic Obama to save some 90,000 jobs– without going the bailout/stimulus route– he would jump all over it. Indeed, the funds are already approved, simply awaiting the President’s approval. Perhaps if they were so-called "green" jobs, or maybe in the abortion field it would already be a done deal, but instead, they are within the (gasp!) vital US national defense industry. From the website PreserveRaptorJobs.com:
Production of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor, is in jeopardy. Your help is needed to urge the Obama Administration to save more than 95,000 American jobs and more than $12 billion in national economic activity. Keeping the production line of this model aerospace program open is not another bailout; rather, it simply requires that the new administration release funds already authorized by Congress to continue a successful program. By law, President-elect Obama must decide whether to continue the Raptor program during his first weeks in office.
The website, set up to petition President Obama includes a letter to him that states
In your inaugural address, you stated that if a government program works, we should move forward. The F-22 program fits this bill. It is on budget and ahead of schedule, and we are now reaping the tremendous benefits of our nation’s investment in design and development.
And of course, we must not lose sight of the fact that all of this is necessary thanks to the fact that the world is still a very dangerous place… and getting more so with each passing day. Caleb Howe, writing at AOL’s Political Machine blog notes this, and further opines that, in addition to saving jobs, approving the production of the F22 sends a strong message on the part of the new president:
In a global environment which is seeing increasingly brazen saber-rattling from what looks more like old Russia than new, as well as the continuing prosecution of US military action around the globe and in two wars, Obama would be well-served to start his administration off on a strong footing. Continuing the production of one of the most advanced military aircraft in the world would be a signal of commitment to our military and to our national interests abroad.
In the current environment of doling out billions and billions of dollars in bailout funding, most of it unnacounted for, the F22 Raptor program seems, in contrast, money well spent… for many reasons.