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President Puts Defense Contractors on Notice: Crackdown on Costs Is Coming

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-06-09 11:21 PM
Original message
President Puts Defense Contractors on Notice: Crackdown on Costs Is Coming
Edited on Fri Mar-06-09 11:25 PM by Pirate Smile
Source: The Wall Street Journal

By AUGUST COLE
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama fired a surprise broadside at the defense industry, saying he intends to clamp down on practices that have resulted in billions of dollars in cost overruns and delays in recent years.

At a time when Washington faces the prospect of bailing out multiple sectors of the economy, contractors' cost overruns are showing up on the radar of many in the capital. And the Pentagon, which spends about $330 billion a year to buy everything from fighters to paper clips, is a particular focus of the new administration.

Mr. Obama has singled out the defense industry as one of the most wasteful. Last year, the Government Accountability Office found that 95 major Defense Department weapons contracts were over budget by a total of $295 billion -- though some point out that the GAO's figure includes legitimate changes to some contracts.

"In this time of great challenges, I recognize the real choice between investments that are designed to keep the American people safe and those that are designed to make a defense contractor rich," the president said Wednesday.
Whether Mr. Obama's rhetoric translates into action will be known in April, when the Defense Department releases a 2010 detailed budget, which once was thought to be effectively off limits for big changes by the new administration.



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638888403658683.html



Why is Wall Street attacking Obama so much? Here you go.

Healthcare is another area where his plans to help Main Street are hated by Wall Street http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090226/ap_on_bi_st_ma_re/w... .

He wants to stop the taxpayer gravy train and they hate him for it.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-06-09 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. He did mention "Change" during his campaign, did he not?
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-06-09 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. He did. Main Street is all for it. Wall Street - not so much.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 12:32 AM by Pirate Smile
I'm so effing sick of the Wall Street/CNBC temper tantrum I can hardly stand it.

I wish reporters would actually mention some of the details instead of just pushing this Obama hysteria. The people are on Obama's side on these issues but the reporting has been, of course, completely dishonest.

After his speech earlier in the week about going after the Defense contract waste, I knew Ike's "Industrial Military Complex" would not be pleased. Did anyone on that day mention it in relation to Wall Street? Not that I ever heard.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-06-09 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. 45,000 Contractors in Iraq --- !!!!!
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Contractors should be the First thing to Cut
2nd Biggest Scam I've ever seen - right next to Banking Deregulation
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. Boeing to lay off 4,500
I'm guessing the "shoe has dropped" since this two month old article
Boeing to lay off 4,500


snip
If you're a contract worker, and you have skills critical to producing these airplanes then no, he said. Its going to depend more on what your skills are, rather than your position as a contact worker.

Healy said the announced layoffs will not include people from other Boeing organizations such as Shared Services Group, or Integrated Defense Systems. Shared Services runs facilities companywide and includes many workers in Washington, while Integrated Defense Systems, which makes military equipment, also employs thousands of people in the region.

snip

He discounted talk that this was just the beginning, and that more layoffs are planned for later in the year.

Its not like were making this announcement, and anticipate another shoe to drop. As we see it, this is what we need to do, he said.


http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2009/01/...



I'm sure cottage industries such as 'Starbucks' may feel the pinch


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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. I'm talking Blackwater, Haliburton, KBR...
"In Theater" contractors providing support - doing jobs that normally would be performed by military personel

EI: "Cooks, Truck Drivers, PLL Clerks, Truck Mechanics, ect ect..."

I don't think most of america realizes how much the RATpubliCONs have done to "Privatize the Military". These were all jobs up until 20 years ago were performed by military personel and historically speaking were a vital part of the war effort.

EI: the rear echelon (Brigade level Tank Mechanics) that created, and fabricated the devices Sherman Tanks used to tear through "Stone Henge" in WWII
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pasto76 Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. word
If soldiers made as much as contractors, there would be no shortage in recruiting.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. BINGO.....Ding Ding Ding
We pay contractors 10 times as much to do the same job our troops do

That is the way RATpubliCONs support the troops
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. I cannot recall any President taking this on before. Gobama! Will the Pentagon allow it, though?
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. That is the question.
What I get peeved at though, is that everyone wants him to do everything now, and many miss what he is doing, to instead highlight what they feel he is doing wrong. It's kind of tragic in a way, considering his short tenure. It will take more than a month and a half to clean up not just many of the changes made in 8 years, but also the personnel that make up the various departments. It's gonna be a tough 4 years.....
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Check out who Obama picked as the head Pentagon buyer:
Harvard expert nominated for key Pentagon post

Email|Link|Comments (27) Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor February 23, 2009 05:10 PM
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- President Obama late this afternoon nominated Harvard professor Ashton B. Carter, a leading authority on arms control, to take on a surprising new role, according to top administration officials -- as the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer.

The choice of Carter to run the office that oversees hundreds of billions of dollars for new weapons and research -- and the focus of intense lobbying by defense firms, retired generals, and members of Congress -- has been rumored for weeks. And word of his pending nomination has already sparked concern within the defense industry and some of the Pentagon bureaucracy.

But that may be exactly what Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates want.

Unlike most of his predecessors selected to be under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Carter has no professional ties to America's arms makers or manufacturing industry, nor has he spent his career in government procurement. Instead, from his perch at Harvard's Kennedy School, Carter has been criticizing the Pentagon for buying too many armaments it doesn't need, decrying what he calls a lack of discipline and "failure to take account of cost growth in weapons systems and defense services."

A trained scientist with a doctorate in theoretical physics and a degree in Medieval history, Carter's advocates say the long-time Harvard professor and national security specialist is being chosen because his combination of technical expertise and knowledge of defense strategy will be needed to make what Gates calls "difficult choices" about which weapons programs to invest in and which ones to terminate.

"He is not being brought in to help the defense industry thrive," said Loren Thompson, president of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va., think tank. "He is being brought in to decide what we need and what we can do without."

-snip-
Almost immediately after rumors surfaced that Carter was being considered for the high-profile job, Pentagon contractors and military procurement officials began waging a whisper campaign to raise doubts about the choice.

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligen...
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Somewhere in this task force, Wes Clark should be involved.
Wes was the first to bring to my attention

the 'Games the Pentagon Plays' with their

contractors
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. "Weapons programs" and "terminate" in the same sentence!
Be still my heart.
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. Well, I can see where the academic credentials might be of help

Especially the degree in Medieval history when dealing with the Pentagon but I can't see where that Theoretical Physics is going to do him any good.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
7. "Welcome their hatred" -- FDR
Obama should take the same stance.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
10. Clark is rumored to become SoD
by law the secretary can not have been active in the armed forces for 10 years and Clark would eligible next year. Gates has said that he does not intended to stay for the entire term.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. That would be a very good thing n/t
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:53 AM
Response to Original message
12. Yeesssssss!!
"He is not being brought in to help the defense industry thrive." There will be new faces in Pentagon procurement.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. I'll hold my congratulations until the promise is fulfilled. n/t
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Tim01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. Some of the waste is not what it seems.
Discussing what the money is for sometimes would give away secret information. So the military says they paid outrageous amounts for hammers and toilet seats, and the difference goes into secret operations. Not illegal operations, necessarily, but operations that have to be more secret than being discussed on the floor of congress.
Just saying.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Also over budget is not always a sign of waste.
Its a subtle thing...many time programs are started underfunded or with the expectations that requirements will change.
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Tim01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
17. He sends more troops to Afghanistan and cuts their budget.
I HOPE he comes through with his promise to get the troops out of Iraq. Putting boots on the ground without good equipment and good training will get soldiers killed. It will also make the bad guys more confident, and they will step up their attacks because our troops will look weak.
If we could get off the oil addiction all these problems would go away. I don't believe for a second we would have any concern for the mid east except that we need the oil. Hopefully President Obama will move forward on the alternative fuel research like a run away freight train.
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. Obama a tough guy???? Geee if you could only be so tough on YOO and all the
many gov't crimes that have been commited by the Bushco.

But don't listen to us....keep trying to look pretty.
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