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GOP Wants You to Cry for Boeing

The Republican Study Committee just blasted out a release attacking the Democrats’ health care reforms for forcing Boeing, among other large corporations, to pay a $150 million charge based on the bill’s elimination of a corporate tax deduction for employees’ prescription drugs.

“ObamaCare will clip the wings of the American Dream(liner),” the Republicans say, citing estimates that the charge will reduce Boeing’s earnings by 20 cents a share in the first quarter of this year.

But before you shed tears for Boeing, consider some context. Boeing is the second largest government contractor in the country, with almost $11 billion in federal contracts in 2008 alone. It’s well on its way to winning a $40 billion deal to build an Air Force tanker. And Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), a long-time supporter of the Seattle-based company, was recently named head of the defense appropriations committee, which controls the purse strings of the Pentagon contracts that have treated Boeing so well.

As a result, the company isn’t exactly suffering. Indeed, its stock went from $35.58 a year ago to $73.53 yesterday — a jump of nearly $38, or 107 percent. Suddenly that 20-cent loss to help fund health reform doesn’t seem so disastrous, particularly considering the extent to which taxpayers have bolstered the company’s earnings over the years.

It’s a nuance that seems to be lost on the RSC.

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