James Taiclet, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor, praised Congress’s decision to raise the debt ceiling without touching the defense budget.
The bill increased the debt ceiling and put some curbs on federal spending, but, much to the delight of the defense industry, spending for national security for fiscal 2024 was capped at $886 billion, which Reuters noted was the amount that the White House requested.
Taiclet spoke at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference for investors on Thursday—prior to the bill’s passage and said the frozen military budget is as good an “outcome as our industry or our company could ask for at this point.”
Responsible Statecraft reported that Lockheed Martin received 73 percent of its net sales from the Pentagon and spent $13 million in lobbying government officials. Taiclet pulled in $24 million last year based on “performance-related bonuses.”
Taiclet spoke about what his company learned from the Ukraine War and how it needs to develop the capacity to ramp up production when needed.
“The benefit of being one of the munitions providers that is now being asked to ramp up is there’s going to be [a] revenue opportunity that comes with that, and we want to take advantage of it,” he said.
President Joe Biden issued a statement after the bill was passed and said the agreement “demonstrated once more that America is a nation that pays its bills and meets its obligations—and always will be,” according to the Associated Press.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag, said the deal “does nothing” to limit the Senate’s ability to approve other emergency supplemental funds for Ukraine.
TRENDPOST: Gerald Celente has long said China is in the business of business, and the U.S. is in the business of war. Lindsay Koshgarian of the National Priorities Project told Common Dreams that the U.S. will spend about 56 percent of its total discretionary spending this year on the military. (See “WAR-MONGERS IN CONGRESS PUSH RECORD SPENDING FOR MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX” 17 Nov 2022, “U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA: WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES ANOTHER $2 BILLION IN WEAPONS OF DEATH FOR UKRAINE” 28 Feb 2023, and “WAR-MONGERS IN SENATE EASILY KILL EFFORT TO END 2001 AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE USED TO JUSTIFY WARS” 28 Mar 2023.)
“This represents a massive shift of resources away from domestic programs and toward the military: the already-gargantuan military budget will increase by $28 billion (3.3 percent), while domestic spending will take a cut of $63 billion (8.2 percent),” she wrote. “Cuts to many domestic programs will need to go deeper, because domestic spending includes veterans’ programs, which are protected from cuts in the current deal.”
Politico noted that “lawmakers in both parties are already looking for ways to boost funding levels in spite of those caps” and are “looking for creative ways to increase the Pentagon budget.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, said an inadequate defense budget “could be addressed and remedied by an emergency defense supplemental.”
“That is what we need to do. That is what I would ask the administration and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to commit to—because we know this budget is not adequate to the global threats that we face,” she said, according to Politico.
We’ve noted that there’s only one truly bipartisan issue in Washington and that is war.