Couldn’t the government just give cash to the workers in Lima, Ohio?

Published July 7, 2012

So the Army says it doesn’t want any more M1A1 Abrams tanks — “We’ve got a very fit and complete fleet that we’ll have at this time,” said Gen. Robert Lennox, the Army’s deputy chief of staff. But Congress wants to find a way to give money to voters, so it’s effectively demanding that the Army order more from the plant in Lima, Ohio.

As ABC News explained, “[A] bipartisan group of lawmakers, under pressure from the tank’s producer, General Dynamics Land Systems, says the military has it all wrong.”

The argument? Cutting production would “dangerously harm the country’s ‘industrial base’.” In other words, if the workers don’t work, the workers don’t work.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply pay these worker’s salaries until they’re needed again? You would give them free money (which is the goal), but save on the actual materials, utilities, and other costs of the tanks. That way the Army doesn’t have to take equipment it doesn’t want, but the workers can still suckle off the Federal teat. 

Oh, and in case it matters — the push to keep producing the tanks is being led by a Republican, but has Democratic support … at least in Ohio.



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