Monday, November 29, 2010

Rep. Kline Pleads For....Earmarks?

Rep. John Kline (R-MN-02) sent a letter to the Labor Secretary asking they use "all appropriate resources" in assisting Lockheed Martin employees that will soon be laid off when the Eagan plant closes. As Kline points out, a lost of this magnitude (1000 jobs) will threaten the overall economic well being of Eagan.

Most of the lost jobs are higher paying engineering level positions that will have a devastating domino affect on the local community. From the lost of homes, jobs and services, Eagan will have a difficult time recovering. The closing of the Eagan Lockheed Martin plant will see millions in lost revenue for the local community.

"I am deeply concerned by the implications of closing the Eagan facility. Job loss of this magnitude not only threatens the economic well-being of the workers currently employed at the facility, it also threatens the economic well-being of the broader Eagan community and the state of Minnesota."
Given Kline's anti-earmark stance, one wonders just what Kline is asking for from the Labor Secretary? It's no secret that Kline will be chairing the House Education and Labor committee starting January, so we will have an opportunity to see first hand how Kline's 'no earmarks' and 'no government involvement in business' will play out in private businesses like the Eagan Lockheed Martin plant closing that threaten the economic health of the community. Especially if that community is in Rep. John Kline's district!

Does John Kline's letter to the Labor Secretary signal a change of values for Kline, or just so much expected lip letter service when something of this magnitude happens locally? Perhaps Kline is willing to host another job fair to address his economic concern! (laugh out loud here) In the past, Kline has presented these low paying, entry level job fairs as part of his solution to the high unemployment rate.

Will Kline be mindful of his administrations ballooning budget deficit that gives tax breaks to the wealthy, but denies unemployment benefits to millions of Americans? In the last two years John Kline has repeatedly voted to deny extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans but vows to support all of Bush's tax breaks including those for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
With Kline's strong stances against earmarks, it's hard to imagine that he would support any additional or 'special' incentives for a local community but his letter seems to imply just that by asking for immediate attention and special treatment from big brother government.

1 comment:

Minnesota Central said...

QUERY : IF you are Lockheed-Martin, would you cut employment in a Congressional District for a Congressman that refuses to request “earmarks” ?

Consider that in FY 2010, Lockheed-Martin and other defense contractors were awarded 1,758 “earmarks” for DoD worth almost $4.6 Billion. According to OMB figures, the average value of a DoD earmark in FY2010 is almost $3 million, compared to less than $1 million for all other agencies … in fact, DoD earmarks account for over 50% of all earmarks.

Consider that Lockheed-Martin will close its Eagan facility and transfer the work and offer transfers to some of its employees to other facilities in California, New York and Virginia. …. Hmmm … sorta goes against the MN-GOP argument that Minnesota’s tax structure and business environment is costing us jobs, when these jobs are moving to “tax havens with sound fiscal balance sheets” like California and New York.

Did John Kline’s “No Earmark” practice actually make Lockheed-Martin’s decision easier ? Think about it, I got a guy that will work to get me work and one that won’t … who are you going to cut and where will you add employees ?

My read of Mr. Kline’s letter is CYA … he acknowledges in the letter that some of these jobs will be moving to other parts of the country.
What does he want Secretary Solis to do ? … other than be his scapegoat ?