Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Perspective on the Possiblity of a Hill Air Force Base Closure

Would it be a good idea for our sole Utah Democratic Party House Representative Jim Matheson to waltz over to the Senate Office Building, slap Mike Lee upside the head, and then politely ask him to "cool his jets"?

In the midst of another slow Northern Utah news day, we'll direct our readers' attention to a couple of back burner news items which appeared in the Standard-Examiner and the Salt Lake Tribune, a couple of days back. Although these stories didn't seem to be intentionally juxtaposed by the S-E and Trib editors, we can't help but believe that they may be interrelated, nevertheless.

Here's the lede from the S-E story, which appeared on the print edition front page on Sunday morning, and provides the gist:
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Even without knowing the specifics of the upcoming military budget cuts and the recommendation of new rounds of Base Realignment and Closures, there is a lot of concern that the changes could affect Hill Air Force Base.
“It’s too early to know any of the details that they are thinking, but everyone should be worried,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.
On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced plans to cut military spending as the military recovers from a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of that plan is to close military bases in 2013 and 2015 [emphasis added].
Read the full S-E story here:
With a Democratic Party President occupying the oval office and base cuts on the drawing board, the fact that Republican folks like Rob Bishop and Jim Hansen might be a mite nervous makes perfect sense, of course.

And here's the lede from the 1/28/12 SLTrib story:
President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to rip Congress for blocking his nominees, focusing his ire on Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Earlier in the week, Lee vowed to oppose all of the president’s picks for open judicial and federal positions to protest the way Obama skirted the Senate to fill key jobs at the National Labor Relations Board and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"One senator gumming up the whole works for the entire country is certainly not what our founding fathers envisioned," Obama said, not specifically identifying Lee but leaving no doubt which senator he meant to single out.

In his address, the president cited a comment Lee’s spokesman, Brian Phillips, gave to Fox News, saying the plan was to "delay and slow the process in order to get the president’s attention."
And here's the link to that (possibly interrelated) story:
Although Obama doesn't name him by name, it's pretty clear that Utah Senator Mike Lee is clearly on Obama's "obstructionist" radar screen, and that he's most certainly "captured" President Obama's individed "attention." (Hopefully at this point our readers are getting the drift when we suggest that these to stories may be interconnected.)

For those who might be interested in reading a robust study on the probably devastating Utah economic effect of a Hill Air Force Base closure, here's a good scholarly study produced by a research team from University of Utah David Eccles School of Business in 2004, when the possiblity of a 2005 HAFB closure was last on the U.S. Executive Department table. It's sobering, to say the least:
And remember, folks, these numbers are calculated in un-inflated 2001 dollars.

As for devastating projected local impacts, the study furnishes a VERY long list, so we'll just pick out one of them, for starters:
Short-Term Impacts
In 2009, the impact of closing Hill AFB will be a loss of 47,400 jobs, an annual decline of $2.35 billion in earnings and $2.29 billion in personal income. Hill’s closure shrinks the state’s economy by $3.58 billion (a decline of 2.6% from the projected baseline). The annual loss of state tax revenue will be $192.4 million.
Hopefully everyone, Utah lefties, centrists and righties alike, will take the time to read the above-linked analysis.

The proposed 2005 HAFB closure was removed from the table during the presidential term of GOP President G.W. Bush of course, to the great glee of out mainly GOP Utah federal legislative delegation.

Can we see by a show of hands how many of our gentle readers believe Senator Lee is playing with fire? Is there anyone who believes that our Democratic Party President Obama will cut our Utah federal legislative delegation the same degree of leeway in re: HAFB as did GOP President Bush in 2005? Would it be a good idea for our sole Utah Democratic Party House Representative Jim Matheson to waltz over to the Senate Office Building, slap Mike Lee upside the head, and then politely ask him to "cool his jets"? (Maybe Matheson could even ask that a more than slightly "nervous" House Representative Rob Bishop might accompany him.)

What say you on this topic, O Gentle Ones?


althepal said...

Look at the bright side, Rudi.  A HAFB closure would reduce class sizes in our local public schools!

Tellmeitaintrue said...

What? This Utah moron Mike Lee is putting HAFB at risk, because of some inbred Utah Senatorial political opportunist wants to tout his offbeat libertarian stuff?

Tell me ain't True, Mike Lee!

Smattguy said...

Ha....heard Rob Bishop on KLO on the way in to work this morning...When asked what he thought the chances were that HAFB or two additional bases would be closed within the next five years he would not say...more like could not say...he was pressed further and still he creates doom and gloom but cannot say that he even has a opinion on the chances percentage wise of the doom and gloom happening...oh no!!!...not, hide, vote for idiots that can "protect it".... 

blackrulon said...

It is always interesting when federal work is threatened in Utah Rob Bishop laments the possible loss of jobs. He seems to still regard HAFB as a local jobs bank. What sacrafice in Utah! Get the government out of our lives unless it hurts his voters.

Rosemary Hoffman said...

Well, the voters wanted someone who was not a Washington insider and they got one.  Mike Lee not only has no idea of how things work in DC (as revolting as the whole process is), but he has no idea of how to keep his head low when it would be smart to do so.  

"Big government is evil" doesn't sound so good when federal $$ threaten to move away from those who depend on them.  

How much longer does this yahoo's term run, anyway?

good_reader1 said...

The Republician Congress  voted no Cost of Living Allowance increase, civil servants health care costs still goes up every year, and now they may tack on a few more years of no COLA or raises.
How can you maintain good workers when they loose money every year.
Thay all say the government doesn't create jobs.Lets these jobs go away, move the work to other bases, move the employees with them and then see who will be crying.   

Danny said...

The closure of Hill would be a short term negative, but long term positive to the local economy.  Conversely, the closure would be a short term benefit and long term detriment to the local ecology.

Meanwhile, this bombshell:  The voting machine company accidentally released the results of the presidential election today.!

Amp9924 said...

Same would be true if your company shut down!!

blackrulon said...

Given the general disdain the Utah legislature has for the federal government I am surprised they have not voted to reconsider Utahs admission to the United States.

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