Keep America as the place where the jobs are

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I have read about Dominion Virginia Power’s increased distribution capability being erected across our local counties and applaud its effort to meet anticipated electrical demand.

Its cost is quoted at $223 million. The down side of this very positive action is that a plant in Monterrey, Mexico, is now fabricating prototypes for the lattice steel structures. The job for SAE Towers (presumably the Mexican company) will use about 4,500 tons of steel, according to news reports. They indicate the biggest pieces of steel will come from U.S. plants. Fabrication will take 10 months and will be shipped in batches by truck from Mexico over 10 months.

The obvious question is why are these towers not being built in Virginia with American steel by American workers. We still have the steel-making capacity, and in Virginia we have the steel-fabricating companies that can build anything you can design.

If it was a matter of money, that is what the stimulus program was supposed to provide — to create American jobs. Instead, we have created Mexican jobs. If we are not careful, they may even be erected in our counties with illegal aliens. Too late now, but Ross Perot was right.

Reference the C-17 funding dispute. The Senate refused to take out of the defense budget $2.5 billion for 10 C-17 cargo planes not wanted by the Pentagon. These are the same planes for which a contract was initially issued to Airbus of France; however, based on some very vocal outcries, I think that is currently on hold. It sought to transfer the monies to more directly support troops, military families and combat operations.

To their credit, our two senators voted against the C-17 funding and instead supported the wisdom of the Pentagon. If we build them in France, no American jobs; if we build them at all against the Pentagon’s priorities, you have to question why. Two point five billion dollars? What are they thinking?

And finally, let’s talk about the Cash for Clunkers program.

While I was a beneficiary of the program, buying an American built Ford pickup, the stimulus program was supposed to provide American jobs to support the American economy.

In fact, however, it stimulated the South Korean and Japanese economies to a much greater degree.

Did no one recognize this would happen with American taxpayers’ money? All that was necessary was to require that for cars to qualify, they had to be made in America thereby producing American jobs from American taxpayer money. Where are the men of Ronald Reagan’s character? What were our leaders thinking?