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Defense Spending As Stimulus, Part Deux

On the heels of Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ (R-Ga.) impassioned plea to Defense Secretary Bob Gates to consider production of the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor as part of a responsible stimulus package, check out this Website, passed along by an eagle-eyed friend. It urges readers to send President Obama and Congress this message:

Keeping the production line of this model aerospace program open currently requires no additional taxpayer dollars, and is not a rescue or bailout. Rather, it will allow us to maintain a healthy program that delivers considerable economic benefit while providing our Air Force with appropriate numbers of the best fighter aircraft ever made. Production of this aircraft is in jeopardy—and with it more than 95,000 American jobs, over $12 billion in national economic activity, and the superiority of America’s Air Force.

I don’t know who’s paying for the website, but Lockheed Martin, the main manufacturer of the F-22, is a safe bet. Chambliss certainly knew to cite the “95,000 American jobs” talking point to Gates yesterday. I note as well that Tom Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute, a former Lockheed Martin official, recently wrote along the same lines, specifically urging Congress and the Pentagon to “maintain F-22 production” as part of a “defense stimulus.” Watch this argument expand in the coming weeks.

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