Maine citizens should be outraged that General Dynamics is coming to the taxpayer trough once again for $30 million to subsidize its operation at Bath Iron Works! This corporate welfare (which was recently downsized from a $60 million request) has already cost our state $200 million since 1997! The bill now before our Legislature, L.D. 1781, must be defeated.

General Dynamics, the sixth largest defense contractor in the world, had $31.3 billion in revenues in 2016 and is so profitable, according to the Providence Journal, that it is doing stock buybacks to the tune of $12.9 billion.

The company also recently had its tax rate reduced by the Trump administration from 30 percent to 21 percent. This will fatten its, and other megacorporations’, bottom lines significantly. Still, it wants more. For example, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, will reap an $11 billion gain as a result of this tax break. Billions folks, we’re taking billions.

So why does General Dynamics want millions more from Maine, the 33rd poorest state in the nation? One word: greed. General Dynamics, and other corporations, like Amazon, seek to play states and municipalities off one another if not given huge tax incentives to operate in their locations.

According to Robert Reich, secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, these tax breaks seldom work to the taxpayer’s advantage.

We want to live in a democracy, not a kleptocracy. We must stop Bernie Madoff-type corporations like General Dynamics, where enough is never enough, from scamming taxpayers by subsidizing their losses and privatizing their profits at our expense.

Please write, call or visit your state legislators and let them know, loud and clear, that enough is enough. No more corporate welfare. Tell them to vote “no” on L.D. 1781.

Don Kimball

South Portland

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