comments_image Comments

General Dynamics Hunger for Human Sacrifices


It’s quite possible that Maine State Representative, Jennifer DeChant, has watched King Kong one too many times. What else could be the reason to sacrifice itty bitty Ann Darrow (three million dollars) to assuage the anger of a giant ape (General Dynamics) and its ongoing threat of destruction?


DeChant, who represents Bath - home to General Dynamics shipbuilding subsidiary, Bath Iron Works (BIW) - didn’t respond to multiple requests for an interview with anything more than an email stating that she had no comment because the taxation committee hadn’t yet voted out the bill. But they have. Tuesday, Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation voted the bill, known as LD 1781, to the general legislature with a recommendation 11 to 2: ought to pass.


Worse even than DeChant - the chairs of that committee and DeChant’s co-sponsor to the bill don’t return phone calls either - no one took the time to answer the question: Why on earth would you sponsor such a bill in the first place?


It’s kinda like asking the villagers why their leadership put poor Ann Darrow in with King Kong and getting one solitary answer that it doesn’t matter because she might not have been torn to shreds yet.


Dow Jones & Company publishes a weekly magazine named Barron’s. According to Barron’s January 24th issue, General Dynamics ended last year with a backlog of $63.2 billion. That means that they have unfilled orders right now amounting to 21,066 times the annual tax break offered by Rep. DeChant and her buddies in the legislature. $63.2 billion dollars is a darn good reason to keep doing business. Three mil? Not so much.


The same article points out that General Dynamics shares are up more than expected and their revenues for last year were in excess of $8 billion. In fact, 8.4 billion is 2800 times the size of the tax break DeChant thinks will stop the monster from wrecking her village. If you were a monster threatening to ruin the lives of those around you and you make say $50 grand each year - that would be like DeChant offering you $17.85 to knock it off.


If General Dynamics is in that tight a space to make ends meet, they could ask CEO, Phebe Novakovic, to take seven weeks off. She make three million in less than two months at the office.


Nah, DeChant, her co-sponsor Jeffrey Pierce, Taxation committee chairs Ryan Tipping and Dana Dow (both voted ought to pass), can’t be falling for the General Dynamics needs $3 million each year to keep building ships bologna. No, they must be doing it for the real reason BIW had the nerve to request a little human sacrifice in the first place. According to a recent Bangor Daily News article quoting an email from BIW VP Jon Fitzgerald, they want the tax break because Mississippi just gave a pathetically similar taxpayer subsidy to the Ingalls shipyard.




That’s like saying King Kong deserved Ann Darrow because the Mayans in Apocalypto gave their bullies sacrifices too.


Besides, DeChant and her colleagues have to be living under some pretty sizable rocks not to know that last year’s republican tax bill just gave General Dynamics a real chunk of change. It’s not some pathetic little symbolic offering like Maine’s proposed tax break.  


Yeah, no, Phebe Novakovic liked that tax break quite a bit, calling passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act a “happy event.” She also got pretty excited about the $3.45 billion in cash flow they had last year. If you’re still doing the math at home, that’s 1150 times the human sacrifice offered by DeChant.


If Maine’s legislature wanted to make a genuine gesture - while still making a paltry yet symbolic suck up to BIW - they could have committed an additional $3 mil to the Maine Department of Education and named a school lunch program after the corporate giant. See, Maine’s lunch reimbursement amount is $3. General Dynamics and BIW could have gotten credit for providing a cool million lunches for Maine kids.


Hey, it’s not too late. Perhaps Jon Fitzgerald or his boss, Novakovic, will contact DeChant and ask her to amend the bill. After all, it’s only seven weeks pay to provide a million lunches to hungry kids. Even King Kong did the right thing in the end.

See more stories tagged with: