When asked of his accomplishments for the State of Connnecticut, Joe Lieberman's main talking point regards the Groton Sub Base. He takes credit for
saving 31,000 jobs, and in typical political speak, moves on without giving any details. Well, surprise surprise, Joe's not exactly being honest here.
How Many Jobs?
The number routinely used
by Joe and Republican Congressman Rob Simmons of the 2nd District, where the base is located is 31,000 jobs. However, this number is a fiction. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) would have shut down the US Naval Base in Groton, where 8,500 soldiers are stationed. It also reduced contracts for Electric Boat (EB), a sub manufacturer. At the time, EB employed 11,800, of which about 20% would have been impacted. However, these cuts may have taken place over a period as long as 18 years.
So, let's do the math. 8,500 + (11,800 * 20%) = 10,860. That's only about 1/3 of 31,000. So where did the bigger number come from?
According to an Electric Boat Press Release, the 31,000 number is an economic estimate of total job loss impact for Connecticut AND Rhode Island. Of the 2,360 layoffs planned for EB, 1/4 of these were to be in Rhode Island. So, Joe is taking credit for saving jobs in Connecticut that never even existed because they are
in Rhode Island.
These economic impact estimates are always questionable at best because they tend to assume the worst case scenaior, and furtehr assume that nothing else will come to fill the void. For example, would a 7-11 near the sub base be forced to close too, thus resulting in more job loss? Well, that assumes they get all of their
business from the Naval officers, and that no other company might re-develop the area. This type of logic points to a major failure of Lieberman, Simmons, and our Rebublican Governor - the failure to create new jobs
for CT. It's not enough to save the remnants of our state's dying military industry. We must re-tool and create jobs in growth industries.
Earlier this week I spoke with an HR consultant doing work for EB, who asked not to be identified. Despite all of Joe's "hard work" to save these jobs, it seems that the future of EB is actually more grim than it was before he "saved the jobs."
In January of this year, EB laid off 222 employees (8% of the employees they were planning to eliminate in CT before our hero stepped in to save the day.) And, according to my source, EB is now preparing to eliminate 6-8,000 more CT jobs over the next few years.
Who Deserves Credit?
Lieberman makes it seem as if it was a solo effort, that HE ALONE saved these jobs. These things are rarely the effort of one person alone. But Joe is so in love with himself and the words "I" and "Me" that he seems unable to recognize
that others were indeed involved. For example, Congressman Rob Simmons seems to
want the credit for himself. The House Bill that included contracts for Electric Boat, the sub manufacturer in Groton, passed 398 to 19.
Sure, Simmons did indeed work to get Groton included, but given the vote, it's not as if anyone had to make a major fight or big bi-partisan comprimise to get it passed.
A quick search did not find any example of Lieberman or Simmons giving credit to the other. Plus, there were tons of local officials and
community leaders working tirelessly to save the local Naval Base and jobs at EB. Does Joe not value all of the hard work that took place in the community? What about the unions that he claims to love so much? They certainly worked pretty hard and spent a fortune on lobbying to make this happen. Wait, now it's starting to make sense. Let's connect the dots here. Lobbyist money...save union jobs...Joe Lieberman. Yes, now it all makes sense.