Some Taxpayers Are Already Benefiting From Passage Of The Tax Cuts

Yesterday The Business Insider posted an article about some American corporations’ reaction to the passage of the Tax Reform bill.

The article reports:

AT&T said Wednesday it will pay a $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 US employees after the GOP tax bill is enacted.

“Once tax reform is signed into law, AT&T plans to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T US employees — all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers,” a company press release said. “If the president signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays.”

Boeing released a statement announcing “immediate commitments for an additional $300 million in investments that will move forward as a result of the new tax law.”

They are:

“$100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing’s focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in our communities, and for veterans and military personnel.

“$100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education, and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.

“$100 million for “workplace of the future” facilities and infrastructure enhancements for Boeing employees.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said: 

“For Boeing, the reforms enable us to better compete on the world stage and give us a stronger foundation for the investment in innovation, facilities and skills that will support our long-term growth.”

Fifth Third Bancorp said it would raise its minimum hourly wage for all employees to $15, with 3,000 hourly employees benefiting from the hike. The bank also said it would distribute a one-time bonus of $1,000 to about 75% of its employees.

“We want to invest in our most important asset – our people,” said Fifth Third President and CEO Greg Carmichael. “Our employees drive our reputation, our business and our success.”

Wells Fargo said it would raise its hourly minimum wage 11% to $15 from $13.50. Additionally, the bank plans to donate $400 million to community and nonprofit organizations in 2018 and will target 2% of its after-tax profits for corporate philanthropy beginning in 2019.

“We believe tax reform is good for our U.S. economy and are pleased to take these immediate steps to invest in our team members, communities, small businesses, and homeowners,” said President and CEO Tim Sloan in a company release.

…Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast NBC Universal, said the company would award $1,000 special bonuses to more than 100,000 eligible frontline and non-executive employees following tax reform and the repeal of net neutrality.

Roberts also pledged to spend $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure, saying that the investments would “add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs.”

Sounds like a pretty good start!

How The Free Market Economy Works

Hot Air posted an article today about job losses at the Boeing Aircraft plant in Washington State. The company announced this week that 1,800 unionized employees at the Seattle facility will be losing their jobs.

The article further reports:

Nearly three-quarters of eligible production workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant voted Wednesday not to join the International Association of Machinists in a major setback for organized labor.

The Post & Courier newspaper reported that 2,097 of 2,828 voting workers — 74.2 percent — cast ballots against unionization.

Under NLRB rules, workers must wait a year before another union vote. In a statement, Machinists organizer Mike Evans said the union was disappointed with the vote but vowed to stay in close touch with Boeing workers to figure out next steps.

The article concludes by explaining exactly what is happening:

So 1800 workers in Washington are finding themselves unemployed. At the same time, more than 3000 people in the Palmetto State have gone to work, begun training and started pumping new life into the economy. So why aren’t the two unions in Washington who are making this doleful announcement talking about that story? I’m just taking a shot in the dark here, but it might be because South Carolina is a right to work state and the union has already been roundly rejected by the workers there who want to see the business grow and not kill the new goose which is suddenly laying a considerable quantity of golden eggs.

Boeing is not crashing and burning, nor is the economy collapsing. What we’re seeing is a rebalancing of resources where employers are going to places where there is an available pool of skilled labor and they can simultaneously keep labor costs under control to remain competitive in a challenging global market. Much like everything else in our capitalist system, such transitions produce winners and losers. Unfortunately for the employees of Boeing, their unions have opened the door to the “loser” side of the equation hitting the folks in Washington state while the benefits accrue to the citizens of South Carolina.

And that, folks, is how the free market works. In the end, more people gained jobs than lost them, and Boeing will be more competitive in world markets. That is a win-win. Unions are a useful tool, but they need to remember that if their contracts produce an unworkable business model for the company they work for, everyone loses.

Arming The Enemies of America

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about one of the consequences of the nuclear treaty with Iran. The treaty paved the way for a transaction that was very profitable for Boeing Aircraft. The treaty got through Congress because both the Republicans and Democrats got something out of it. The American people and the American military, however, did not. The Democrats showed solidarity with their President. The Republicans rewarded Boeing, a major campaign donor, with the lucrative contract to sell airplanes to Iran.

The article reports:

With the blessing of the Obama administration, Boeing Co. has negotiated the sale of a fleet of new jets to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

The $17.6 billion deal between the aviation giant and the Islamic Republic of Iran was made possible by the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran in January. It is a reckless piece of business that Congress must address.

Under terms of the memorandum of agreement, Boeing reportedly will supply 80 planes—including intercontinental jumbo jets—to state-owned Iran Air.

The carrier, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury, has been routinely commandeered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics to transport rockets, missiles, and other military equipment, including materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

There is little doubt that the weapons transported by these planes will be used against American soldiers. We are funding our enemy.

The article concludes:

Boeing executives say the proposed sale is necessary to remain competitive against Airbus, the European aviation manufacturer that has struck a $27 billion deal with Iran for 118 planes. But that’s the same lame argument Boeing made in lobbying for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank—from which Boeing was the top beneficiary of export subsidies.

The fact is, projected demand for commercial planes is forecast to rise for years to come, and both manufacturers are carrying huge backlogs that will take years to fulfill.

Rather than tweak the tax code, Congress should, at the very least, explicitly prohibit financing from the Export-Import Bank for the sale of Boeing planes (or any other product) to Iran.

Additional actions are needed as well. The administration has already increased the risk of yet more death and destruction by the terrorist state. Lawmakers should ensure that Boeing and other U.S. companies don’t become tools of Tehran.

It is time to clean house in Washington.

When Money Is More Important Than National Security

On September 6, I posted an article about the money the Iranian lobby gave to Congressmen to support the Iranian nuclear deal. This is an article showing the monetary reasons some Republicans allowed the deal to go through.

The Iranian nuclear deal is a treaty. Were it treated as a treaty, it would be defeated. Therefore, the Obama Administration needed to come up with a scheme to prevent it from being defeated. First of all, they declared it an ‘agreement’–not a treaty. Then they agreed to a deal under which it would take two-thirds of the Senate to reject it–not two-thirds of the Senate to approve it. If the Senate could not get a two-thirds rejection vote (when was the last time two-thirds of the Senate agreed on anything?), the ‘agreement’ would become law.

I wondered why the Republicans were stupid enough to agree to that deal, but I think Andrew McCarthy has the answer. On Friday Andrew McCarthy posted an article in the National Review which might explain the actions of the Republicans.

The article reports:

Based in Chicago, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company, with revenues expected to surge past $96 billion this year. It is a major GOP donor. It gives mountains of money to Democrats, too, but the lion’s share of its political contributions go to Republicans.

For the 2014 campaign cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org, the company gave about 60 percent of its whopping $3,250,000 in donations to the GOP. Major recipients included such establishment pillars as the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee ($38,000 each), and the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($33,000). Significant contributions were also made to McConnell ($13,000), Boehner ($25,000), Senator Lindsey Graham ($39,000), and many others. And that’s apart from the nearly $17 million the company spent in 2014 on lobbyists, 80 percent of whom have transitioned to the other end of the trough after careers in government.

It just so happens that Boeing stands to reap huge money from Obama’s lifting of the sanctions.

This is an aspect of politics that most Americans hate. Congress sold its soul to the highest bidder.

The Iran deal is a real threat to America–it funds terrorists and terrorism, creates a nuclear arms race in the Middle East–an area of the world that has never been known for political stability, and pretty much assures a war between Iran and Israel. Any Senator that voted for this treaty or voted to prevent a vote should be ashamed. The purpose of government is to protect the nation. Our Senate has betrayed us.

All Export Agreements Are Not Good Agreements

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at PJ Media about a recent export agreement reached with Iran.

The article reports:

Boeing and General Electric were given export licenses by the Treasury Department and everyone involved has been chanting “we take aircraft security very seriously,” in order to cloak this latest gift to the Khamenei-Rouhani regime in humanitarian hues.

Frankly I’d rather they took national security very seriously.  Iran uses its commercial aircraft for military purposes (one of the reasons that eery flight between Tehran and Caracas is so worrisome), and the mullahs have been limited by the degradation of the national fleet.  The Boeing planes and GE engines date to the 1970s, and very few of them are in service.

The Iranians are quite able to get around what is left of the sanctions on their country and are finding ways to get around the oil embargo–they are bartering with Russia and Turkey. The Russians are probably providing military equipment and the Turks are swapping for gold.
The article comments:

And so it is, indeed the war has been on for some time, and it’s a bit hotter than Cold War 1.0 was for most of the twentieth century.  Kiev burned, and may burn again soon.  Caracas is burning, as are many of Venezuela’s cities and towns.  Crimea has been annexed, and Syria is still aflame, as is Iraq, and also Yemen.  Estonia and Finland are seriously frightened, as well they should be.  If we pull back from the crisis du jour, we can see it’s a global conflict.  Iran and Russia are fighting in Syria, sometimes with and sometimes against the jihadi marauders.  Cuba is fighting in Venezuela, a country the Castros largely command, and Hezbollah is in there, too.  And for those of you who follow Africa, know that the Iranians are up to their necks in Nigeria, buying influence and supporting the mass murderers in Boko Haram.

This is not a time to be helping those that want to destroy us in any way.
The article concludes:

But, as the Ukrainian revolutionaries have found, and as the aftermath of our victory in Iraq has demonstrated, the battle against evil is not going to end on this earth, and if you fail to challenge the heart of the current darkness, you may well find things worse than they were before.  Our enemies are bursting with confidence.  They think they’ve got us.  Bret Stephens: “Mr. Putin knows Mr. Obama. He knows that the U.S. president has the digestive fortitude of a tourist in Tijuana.”

As Mr Obama runs for the Pepto Bismol, he’s arming our enemies for the next round.  So it’s gonna get worse.

Numbers Can Be So Inconvenient

Yesterday Investors.com posted the chart below:

President Obama has stated,

“These so-called right to work laws, they don’t have anything to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money,”

That is simply not true. The numbers on earnings in right-to-work states simply don’t agree with what the President and labor leaders are saying.

The article reports:

According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, right-to-work states (excluding Indiana, which passed a RTW law in early 2012) “were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.”

…The president who fought Boeing’s expansion in RTW South Carolina knows it’s all about his keeping union dues flowing into Democratic coffers and maintaining the plush lifestyles of the union leaders who support him.

The article concludes:

If unions satisfied workers, one would expect their membership to at least remain constant. But between 2000 and 2010, union membership declined by 9.5% in non-RTW states and 9.2% in RTW states. The only growth was in government unions.

Michigan‘s right-to-work law is a positive blow for worker freedom and economic growth and an example, as in Wisconsin and Indiana, of how conservatives can win and are winning in states led by GOP governors.

At its core, this is about campaign money. When the Supreme Court ruled in the  Citizens United case that corporations could make campaign donations, the unions had a problem–someone else was throwing tons of money into political campaigns. When the Democrats were not successful in changing that ruling, they desperately needed to hang on to union money. The ruling in Michigan is a direct threat to the Democrat party’s major source of funds–union money. Workers will no longer be forced to join a union or contribute dues to a union they are not a member of. That is a step forward for workers.

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The Layoffs Begin

Breitbart.com is reporting that Boeing has announced a 30 percent cut in managerial positions in the company.

The article reports:

Boeing says the cuts are not part of the president’s $500 billion in defense cuts, set to take effect in January 2013. But this is hard to believe, particularly since other defense contractors, like Lockheed Martin, have been warning that the president’s military cuts were going to lead to job losses in defense.

In fact, in September, Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors were threatening to go ahead and lay their workers off before the election so voters could see the impact of Obama’s cuts, but Obama’s team talked them out of it. At the time, the Obama administration told them it would be “inappropriate” to lay the workers off ahead of the election.

Yesterday KSL.com reported that West Ridge Mine has laid off 102 employees as a result of the re-election of President Obama.

The article reports:

In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.

“There is nowhere to sell our coal, and when we can, the market prices are far lower,” the statement said. “Without markets, there can be no coal mines and no coal jobs.”

Let’s hope that as the war on coal continues that at least we will be able to develop other domestic energy resources through fracking.

There is a list of layoffs at The Blaze. They include such companies as Westinghouse, the Providence Journal, Energizer, Research in Motion Limited (manufactures Blackberry smartphones), Lightyear Network Solutions, Hawker Beechcraft, CVPH Medical Center, U.S. Cellular, Momentive Performance Materials, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), Husqvarna AB (HUSQB), Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Oce North America, Inc., Darden Restaurants, and United Blood Services Gulf South region. Follow the link to the article to see the additional companies laying people off. The website has updated the story.

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Possible Good News For Boeing

Fox News reported yesterday that Boeing’s machinist union will vote today on a four-year contract extension. Workers are expected to ratify the contract, which includes dropping the complaint to the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing for opening a non-union plant in South Carolina.

The article reports:

Crucially for the union, it would ensure that jobs for Boeing’s updated 737 line — the 737 Max — stay in the Puget Sound region. Boeing said in July it was studying other locations for the new 737.

Industry analyst Wayne Plucker, of the San Antonio, Texas, research firm Frost and Sullivan, said the agreement is good for both sides. Considering the looming Defense Department budget cuts that threaten defense contracts across the industry, Boeing is going to need solid performance from its commercial airplanes division, Plucker said.

It sounds as if both sides got some good things in the agreement. It is just unfortunate that the union used a government agency to bully the company. Government interference in a company’s decision as to where to locate their facilities is one of the things that inhibits economic growth. Industry in America is currently overregulated, and until the government loosens its grip, the American economy will not grow at the rate needed to bring down the current unemployment numbers.

 

 

 

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This Is Simply Disturbing

Boeing 747-400 displaying the post-1997 Speedm...

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Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story yesterday about comments Representative Nancy Pelosi made about the Boeing plant that is attempting to open in South Carolina.

The article reports:

In an interview late last week, House Minority Leaeder Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNBC that Boeing should either unionize its production facilities in South Carolina, or shut them down entirely.

“Do you think it’s right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it’s non union?” asked host Maria Bartiromo. Pelosi’s reply: “Yes.”

The minority leader quickly added that she would rather it simply unionize and stay open. But barring unionization, by Pelosi’s reasoning, it should simply shut down.

Mr. Morrissey also points out:

Pelosi may or may not know that workers at the South Carolina plant in question voted resoundingly (199-68) to decertify their union two years ago. Government policies that would close the plant for being a non-union shop would simply be punishing those workers for exercising their right to determine union representation for themselves.

As long as the Democrat leadership is in the pockets of the unions, it will be very hard to shrink the size of government and turn the economy around. The workers in South Carolina voted not to unionize. That should have been the end of the story. It is unfortunate that the union-bought Obama Administration chose to get involved through the National Labor Relations Board. We need to understand that even if the plant in South Carolina eventually opens, the amount of time and money spent on the legal battle to open the plant will be a lesson to other companies seeking to open plants in right-to-work states. Again, we need to take a good look at where political money is coming from and vote out anyone being heavily funded by unions.

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The Fight To Open The Boeing Plant In South Carolina

My photos that I took at today's First Flight ...

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The Hill reported today that the House of Representatives has passed a bill to limit the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to dictate to a American company where it can expand its manufacturing.

The article reports:

The House approved H.R. 2587 in a 238-186 vote in which eight Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill and seven Republicans voted against it.

The bill is a response to the NLRB’s decision to sue Boeing after it opened a manufacturing plant for its new 787 Dreamliner jet in South Carolina. The NLRB is charging that the plane manufacturer picked South Carolina for new production in order to retaliate against strikes by its unionized workers in Washington state. South Carolina is a right-to-work state that generally bans union membership.

It is ironic that it would have been less complicated for Boeing to move its plant out of the country. That kind of government interference costs American jobs.

It is understood that the bill has little chance of passing in the Senate, but Republicans want a public vote in the Senate on the issue.

The article further reports:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill would put real limits on the right of workers to bargain collectively. He said the bill would allow companies to say to workers, “Yeah, you have the right to bargain collectively, but if we don’t like what you’re doing, we’re taking a hike.”

Trade associations have lent their significant lobbying weight in support of the bill. Both the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers that they would score votes on the bill.

Conservative activist groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, also have pushed for passage of the bill. 

Unions are in opposition, saying the legislation will gut worker protections and undermine the NLRB’s legal authority. 

I don’t know when the NLRB was given the power to tell companies where in the United States they could do business, but I do believe that it is time to take that power away. If corporations cannot meet union demands and still make a profit, they should be free to relocate where unions are not an issue. That used to happen in this country–one of the reasons the textile industry moved out of New England to the southeastern states in the 1950’s was that the southern textile plants were cheaper to operate because they were not unionized. When did companies lose that freedom?

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Is The Executive Branch Of Government Above The Law ?

Fred Upton

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Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an editorial about the need for more aggressive action by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in reining in some of the power grabs by the Obama administration. President Obama has frequently used bureaucratic decrees to initiate policies rejected by Congress and the public.

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich) heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Representative Upton has requested documents from the Department of Energy concerning its $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra Corp. So far the Energy Department and the Office of Management Budget have defied a congressional subpoena and refused to turn over documents.

Representative Darrell Issa heads the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Representative Issa has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for documents concerning their actions when Boeing attempted to open a plant in South Carolina (a right-to-work state).

So far, many of the documents that have been requested have not been produced by the Obama administration. It is time for the Republicans in the House of Representatives to develop a spine and insist that these documents be made available to the appropriate committees.

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