As part of Media Mouse’s ongoing work tracking military contracts awarded to corporations in West Michigan, $6.2 million in contracts were awarded in January. Of the three companies awarded contracts, two–Wolverine World Wide and Eaton Aerospace–are among the top five contractors doing work for the military in West Michigan. The contracts include:
- A $5,132,213 contract to Wolverine World Wide for leather dress shoes for the Air Force and Navy.
- A $945,880 contract to RSL Electronics USA for fire control equipment.
- A $113,465 contract to Eaton Aerospace for aircraft components used by the Air Force.
In addition to adding these contracts, we have also made a number of significant improvements to the database that we believe will enhance its usefulness. We have added a large number of older contracts that were missed in previous data collection efforts due to disparities between different sources consulted and the way in which the Department of Defense reports contracts. With these additional contracts added to the database, we now offer a more complete overview of the companies doing work for the military in West Michigan. As always, due to difficulties in obtaining data, the numbers in the database should be considered minimums, as there is always the possibility that additional contracts have been awarded but not reported to our sources. Nevertheless, we have added running totals to each company’s profile, making it easy to identify the primary recipients of contracts at a glance. As has been the case with the numbers since we first started tracking contracts in 2005, local aerospace corporations have performed the most work for the military and received the majority of the money that has come into the area.
The weapons components manufactured locally and the weapons systems purchased at the national level must be seen as part of a structure that prioritizes and supports a system of militarism over human needs. Those who are employed received their W-2 statements at the end of last month; it is worth remembering that much of the money that the government receives from income taxes–a full 49%–is used for the military. Similarly, President George W. Bush’s recent budget proposal seeks more than $700 billion for military spending while at the same time proposes cuts of eighty billion dollars in Medicare and Medicaid programs over the next five years, making it clear where the government’s priorities lie.