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Lockheed Martin’s CEO Wants Your Social Security Check

By   Published: Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The law that created the deficit committee also created a zero-sum game: Any expensive program that escapes the budget knife does so at the expense of cuts to other programs. If the military contractors succeed in keeping the war budget intact, they’ll likely do so at the expense of Social Security and Medicare.

That means money that would go to your Social Security or Medicare benefits will instead go into the hands of people like Lockheed Martin CEO Robert J. Stephens, who last year made $21.9 million, almost totally from taxpayer-funded military contracts.

Join War Costs in telling the deficit committee to keep military contractors’ hands off the money that should go to Social Security and Medicare.

These corporations have been and are devoting considerable resources into a coordinated effort to ensure they get as much of that money as possible. A new investigation by AlterNet’s Nick Turse (as part of a joint investigative project among AlterNet, Salon,and Brave New Foundation) uncovered that not only have tens of billions of dollars been sent to war contractors in deficit committee members’ districts in the last several years, but the millions of donations donated to the members’ campaign and PACs have heavily favored Democrats since 2007.

That means that the people we usually rely on to protect Social Security and Medicare may have been compromised by heavy war industry donations.

Democrat Jim Clyburn, for example, recently said, “…Defense may be something that most members on the Democrat side will not mind going after. But I do mind going after that. So I’m going to be very reticent.” Clyburn has taken several hundred thousand dollars in contractor donations since 2007, and he’s not alone. Deficit committee co-chair Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) literally campaigns on sending military contracts to Boeing, which has a heavy presence in Washington State. These members typically (and cynically) defend shoving money at corrupt contractors by saying they are “looking out for their district.”

As we show in our new War Costs video, if they continue this behavior from their perches on the deficit committee, they will most definitely NOT be looking out for their districts. Because the deficit committee is required by law to propose no less than$1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal budget to prevent automatic cuts across federal programs at the end of the year, all big-ticket federal programs are essentially competing against each other for funds. If the war budget wins, popular programs like Social Security and Medicare lose, and that means many, many more of the committee members constituents will be directly hurt by the cuts.

Below we list the number of people in each committee members’ district who rely on Social Security. We then compare the dollars received by Social Security beneficiaries in areas represented by the committee in 2010 with how much federal money was sent to military contractors in the same areas(drawn from Nick Turse’s research).  Clearly, if the deficit committee slashes Social Security and Medicare to protect the military budget, many more of their constituents will lose, and their districts will take a much harder economic hit.

Number of Social Security Recipients in Areas Represented by Deficit Committee:

  • Sen. Patty Murray (WA): 1,089,887
  • U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05): 125,185
  • Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ): 1,067,717
  • Sen. Rob Portman (OH): 2,124,650
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (PA): 2,557,714
  • Sen. Max Baucus (MT): 192,701
  • Sen. John Kerry (MA): 1,140,830
  • Rep. Dave Camp (MI-04): 155,855
  • Rep. Upton (MI-06): 135,716
  • Rep. Becerra (CA-31): 51,189
  • Rep. Clyburn (SC-06): 142,082
  • Rep. Van Hollen (MD-08): 88,726

Social Security vs. War Spending

Military contractors are crying crocodile tears right now about the “fragility” of their industry, and they’re declaring that they’re really just concerned about the committee members’ constituents. But as we showed last week, this industry is flush with cash, and will do or say anything to protect the one thing they care about above all else: profit.

The deficit committee has to choose: will they stand with the 16 million people in their districts who rely on Social Security and Medicare, or will they send that money to Lockheed Martin’s CEO?

This should an easy choice: cut the war budget.

If you agree, join us at War Costs and tell committee members you want military contractors’ hands off the money that should go to Social Security and Medicare.

Join the War Costs campaign on Facebook, and follow Derrick Crowe and Robert Greenwald on Twitter.

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2 Responses

  1. journeyer58 says:

    This is an expected development in the fight to retain a modicum of social services safety net. We are in a war, against the transnational corporations for our very lives.
    This although expected is nonetheless an abominable situation, foretold by Dwight David Eisenhower in his last speech to the American people. He foretold the time when the Congressional-Military-Industrial complex would become so enamored of their power that they would seek to destroy our way of life and the freedoms we hold dear.
    These people, these thieves would steal our money from our mouths, they would take what we have put into this government by fear and loathing of the American people. These people no more care about the people of America than they do the man in the moon. They want more and more of the tax dollars we give to our government. Yet we, the people would get nothing but bigger and more pervasive government for this.
    Congress stop the bloated and overgrown military/war making machine. Their is nothing wrong with defense, but this has become a monster of proportions to big to be defense. We no longer need an imperialistic and colonialist regime running our country. Stop the madness of out of control military spending, and give back to the world, with arms opened wide. Share the wealth of this nation in food, medicine and resources to help rebuild and restore our world. Stop the madness of raping this planet for carbon based fuels. We need relief, we need a change. Only people deserve this kind of support, not corporations who are leeches on the backs of the people.

  2. Zosma says:

    In a bit of sad irony, Lockheed already has contracts with the SS Administration – so we could say they are
    using taxpeyer’s SS money to lobby against SS. Go figure

    Confirm this on Lockheed’s webside

    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/iks/index.html

    also see http://socsecnews.blogspot.com/2011/01/lockheed-martin-contract-for-dcps.html

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