Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sid Salter: Shipyard's Future Vital to State

Only Walmart/Sam’s employs more people in Mississippi than does Ingalls Shipyards at about 12,500 employees. But Ingalls and other shipbuilders pay significantly better than Walmart.

 Since December of 2018, Ingalls has been awarded the following major shipbuilding contracts from the U.S. Navy: $931 million for construction of two new U.S. Coast Guard national security cutters (NSCs); $1.47 billion for construction of a new San Antonio class amphibious loading platform dock (LPD) ship; and $931 million for a planning yard contract for Littoral combat ships.

In addition, VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula in April won a $746 million Navy contract to build three heavy polar icebreaker cutters for the Coast Guard. That contract should drive employment at VT Halter to over 1,300 over the six-year life of that contract.

Clearly, those contracts don’t find their way to the Mississippi Gulf Coast without some nudges in Congress.
Republican Mississippi senior U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s posts on the Senate Armed Services Committee and as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee make him a player in the award of Navy contracts and in the formulation of Coast Guard policy.

There are several Mississippi connections to the VT Halter contract for the polar security cutters. Junior Mississippi Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee while 4th District U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo holds a seat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Mississippi’s lone Democrat in the U.S. House, 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Future funding for the Coast Guard polar security cutters in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget could well get caught in the partisan crunch. Thompson made clear in April that Democratic disagreements with the Trump administration over proposed White House cuts in Coast Guard programs could derail the process.
Thompson said the White House proposes to cut $1 billion from the Coast Guard budget that would underfund operational capabilities, personnel and funding for future cutters.

With 14,000 of the state’s highest-paying jobs on the line, one would think that the state’s shipbuilding industry would garner more attention in statewide politics. State subsidies to Ingalls have in the past drawn political fire from conservative politicians, but state lawmakers have continued to do the same thing that lawmakers in other states with substantial shipbuilding industries have done – keep the subsidies in place to protect the jobs.
The industry has two main components – shipbuilding and ship repair.

In 2011, Mississippi had the second largest share of U.S. shipbuilding and ship repair jobs in the country, trailing only Maine. The industry had 23,450 direct, indirect and induced jobs. That same year, Mississippi had just under 10 percent of all the private shipbuilding and ship repair jobs in the U.S. with 13.8 percent of the total national payroll.

Shipbuilding and ship repair in the U.S. have declined over the last decade. China, South Korea, Japan, and those countries control some 75 percent of global commercial shipbuilding. Even VT Halter in Mississippi is at least 51 percent owned by interests in Singapore.

Brookings Institution economic studies fellow Aaron Klein documents that from the end of World War II until the 1970s, the U.S. shipbuilding industry built most of the world’s shipping fleets during a time when countries around the world subsidized their national shipbuilding industries – a practice the U.S. abandoned in 1981.

Mississippi legislators have been wise to continue to make modest subsidies to a shipbuilding industry that has been an economic centerpiece in the state since Ingalls was lured to Mississippi in 1938 to locate their shipyard in Pascagoula under Gov. Hugh White's “Balance Agriculture with Industry” program.

If we lost that industry, what would replace it? Another Walmart?

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Eat More Sanderson Chicken said...

Staggering when you think about how many odes to Federal pork just like the above that Salter has written in his life.

Only thing better would have been if Sid had argued that we needed more illegal aliens to build the ships.

Anonymous said...

If Ingalls Shipyard is so great, then why did Northrop Grumman dump it and run away screaming?

Didn't President Eisenhower warn us of the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex to our constitutional republic? Did, you describe that danger well when you mention Bennie Thompson having a say in defense spending. Now someone has to enrich that idiot to ensure the cash flows south.

That's right, but it's jobs fo m'ssippi! It don't matter where the money comes from!

Anonymous said...

This employer was the first ever in Mississippi to be involved in the old BAWI program (70 years ago) that gained them a tax break for locating in Pascagoula. Since then, billions of dollars in payroll have flowed into this state as well as the state on the eastern side of our land mass.

Let this be a lesson to the idiots who are always chirping about corporate welfare and the 'nonsense of tax abatements'.

Meanwhile, when is Salter going to pen an article about the politicization of the flooded Delta region, with 2 million acres under water while the federal government fiddles? This thing has become quite the political football between the feds, environmentalists, hunting interests, dues-paying members of farm-related organizations and millionaire landowners with shotguns and rifles.

Bennie Gonna Be Bennie.. said...

The last thing Bennie Thompson wants or advocates for is JOBS. Having not brought a single job to his Delta district in 25 years, he knows his voting base is not inclined toward such mundane activities. Nor do Pelosi and Schumer (his puppeteers) have any interest in letting them leave 'the plantation'.

Anonymous said...

I wonder about folks who cringe at the mention of Benny Thompson. He has been referred to the FBI countless times and he's come out clean.
You want me to believe that the likes of Tater and Trump are clean.There is more evidence that Benny is Clean than those two.

Jeff Rimes said...

Anyone who calls the manufacturing of the best naval ships in the world "pork" is demonstrating how little they know about national security. There is much great work being done in Mississippi to protect our liberty, at our military bases and at manufacturers like Ingalls.

Rod Knox said...

If the shipyard and the military bases in the state were pulled from the state's economic statistics it would become obvious that Mississippi is at near THIRD WORLD poverty levels. But who would ever take it on themselves to show us just how poor the state is financially, and therefore show us how corrupt and mismanaged the government is. But let's keep cheering state government for keeping that rebel flag flying and shoveling sand against the tide on the issue of abortion while ignoring the 20+% who live in dire poverty without access to healthcare or education or even opportunity for employment that would fund relocating to find better opportunities. Yeah, Governor Bryant, keep up the DOG AND PONY SHOWS highlighting fights for autism vouchers and tax deferments for corporations while allowing bridges to collapse. Great job Mr Governor. And surely we can count on Governor Reeves keeping up the great work.

Anonymous said...

It is very common for Congress-critters to include projects in defense funding bills that the respective services do not want, but it is forced on them.

Anonymous said...

Benny IS NOT CLEAN. Neither is the FBI as proven in how they gave prefer e to not divulge all of HRC’s emails. Mine and yours would have to be under a microscope. It’s called the Deep State.

Now, go to the ERDC facility at Vicksburg and you will see millions of dollars in waste because Benny hands work over to his minority buddies and gets kickbacks. I will NOT perform work there ever again. It’s a boondoggle and stupidity runs wildly there.

So, let’s address the issues of education in this state and stop letting our skilled and potentially skilled citizens leave this state. When I refer to potentially skilled, you don’t have to have a college degree to make very good money and we have a lot of good people who waste time borrowing money to go to college and it doesn’t do a bit of good for some of them.

We need more industry....

Anonymous said...

If we need the ships, I Hope Mississippi builds them. If they are not needed and the Coadt Guard agrees, then the money should be spent elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to lay off Bennie. His HUD approved, Section 8 housing company is 100% legitimate and he doesn't sit on any HUD committee that would cause him a conflict of interest. Like many elected Democrats, Bennie Thompson is simply in the business of providing set-aside minority owned services to the federal government. And it has made him a very rich man.

It is all completely legal and above board.

Anonymous said...

Mississippians don’t need high paying jobs. Just keep feeding them conservative abortion, gay, Confederate remembrance, state flag laws and they are as happy as a clam with how things are going in the great state. Remember “old times there are not forgotten “

Rod Knox said...

Tanks, planes and ships unwanted by the armed services are built and dumped on the Pentagon year after year. And how can the Pentagon turn down free gifts as long as they get what they actually do want.

there are many more similar unnecessary weapons programs.

And just look back 60 years to the M151 and M-16. Neither were wanted by the Army or Marine Corps. And both were total failures. It just keeps getting more expensive every year.

Anonymous said...

11:44, You are right about those living in Mississippi being satisfied with the way things are. But there are also plenty lazy, thieving, murderous inner city Democrats who are just as happy as the ignorant rednecks, as long as they get their EBT and Section 8 housing.

The smart thing to do is just get out of there. Just move to Chattanooga, Mobile, Hammond, or Nashville. Go anywhere else and your life will instantly be improved. I say we give Mississippi to those who want it, and the rest of the nation's taxpayers should cut the fat tick off.

Anonymous said...

The best way to lose you job when working at Ingalls is to do your job right the first time. They make their money tearing out mistakes and re doing them. It isn't unusual to do the same job 12-15 times before you are allowed to do it right.

Anonymous said...

The Navy specs call for trail and error on certain components. Navy project management and inspectors run the show. You know that if you work at the Yard.

Anonymous said...

Ingalls hired 2000 from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Looks like they are working out for the shipyard.

Anonymous said...

Neither is the largest employer in the state. The government is the largest employer in the state.

Numbers Schmumbers.. said...

"The gubment" is a 'sector', 8:13, not an employer as such. Like construction, mining, agriculture, service, manufacturing, education, finance, trucking....government numbers are lopped into a 'sector'. You can't get away with that post.

Ingalls is a single employing unit. And their numbers stand alone in the labor market reporting process.

Anonymous said...

I think 8:13's point stands

Anonymous said...

No, his point doesn't 'stand' at all. It's hyperbole. Look the word up. But, his point stands if you like fabricated data analysis.

He takes every governmental employee in the state and lumps them into one mythical statistic. Cops, teachers, legislators, mayors, clerks at 91 courthouses, tractor drivers, the janitors at the coliseum. How the hell else can he come up with such stupid fabricated data?

Anonymous said...

Ingalls hired 2000 from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Looks like they are working out for the shipyard. May 9, 2019 at 12:31 AM


Borinquen Field General said...

12:31 might be thinking about the 500 jailed Puerto Ricans who, following the hurricane, were transferred to the federal prison in Yazoo City.

I can see how he might have confused the two, said nobody, ever.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS