Posted on 01/07/2012 at 3:00 pm by JM Ashby
The citizens of Wichita, Kansas are about to learn what it feels like to be trickled down on.
This week, defense and aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing announced that it will be closing the Boeing Defense, Space & Security facility in Wichita by the end of 2013, which “means the loss of 2,100 well-paying jobs at its Kansas facility, which was once considered the centerpiece of Wichita’s claim as the air capital of the world.” Boeing will instead be performing the operations that were scheduled for Wichita in San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Boeing’s decision — which it blames on possible defense cuts that may take place in the future — is devastating to Wichita community, which also includes more than four hundred Boeing suppliers. [...]
The announcement is particularly shocking given the fact that Boeing had repeatedly promised to keep jobs in Kansas and add many more if it were able to land a $35 billion contract for an aerial tanker. Kansas lawmakers went to bat for the company in early 2011, with Sen. Pat Roberts (R) even calling on “everybody who’s out there tweeting, chirping and Facebooking” to push for the Air Force to grant the tanker contract to Boeing rather than European rival EADS.
I’m sure everyone recalls the shitstorm that was the fuel tanker contract which saw Republicans losing their minds and whispering impeachment over the Pentagon offering the contract to a European company rather than to Boeing.
Ultimately, Boeing did land the $35 billion dollar fuel tanker contract, and the state of Kansas offered them millions of dollars in tax breaks to keep them in the state where Boeing promised to remain if awarded the contract.
Despite recieving both the $35 billion contract and the tax incentives, Boeing is closing its Wichita plant because of “possible defense cuts that may take place in the future.”
Possibly. Maybe. Who knows?
I’m sure the 2,100 local employees and over 400 local suppliers and their employees would like a better explanation than that.
It’s true that there will be considerable defense cuts over the next decade, however Boeing is not a company that is hurting financially or anywhere even close to it. According to Bloomberg, Boeing saw roughly $68.6 billion in revenue in 2011 and is projected to see $78.7 billion in revenue in 2012. Boeing is also among the 30 corporations that paid no federal taxes between 2008 and 2010.