Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lockheed

If you can believe this Lockheed wants $147 million not to build anymore F-22's. I find this appalling and a clear sign with what is wrong with the government and how it spends our money. You would think that if you are being paid to build something then you stop building it you stop getting paid. It would seem like that would be a reasonable idea, but Lockheed got the AF to agree upfront that if they didn't buy so many airplanes then a $147 million clean up fee would kick in for them. How did this contract ever make it through the chop chain. I know that like every other defense contractor they hire Generals that can schmooze other Generals, so shit like this can happen, but who is minding the store?

There has to be some protection from this kind of greed and corruption. If they knew that they were going to need $147 million to wrap things up then they should have tacked that on to the price up front. I don't buy a car then have the dealer come back five years later and ask for more money because he isn't going to be building anymore of my model. This is what is wrong with the business practices of the government that if people really knew how their money was being wasted they would grab the pitchforks and torches. The way I see it is that if you do a horrible job of getting a government product to market the more you get paid, so where is the incentive to provide a quality product for a reasonable price?

The only group that is doing it right is the sub builders in Groton because they understood that if they could get a handle on costs and deliver a quality product on time and at costs it would result in more business. Newport News, Texas and Mississippi didn't get this memo because you look at the ships coming out of them and it is all cost overruns and poor quality. This is not the way to win friends and influence Congress to pony up more ship building money. The defense contractors have been riding the gravy train for too long and I can only hope that the new Congress will put an end to their wasteful practices. It could also mean that they might let us build more submarines because we are doing it right.

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