Opinion: Boeing bonuses: earned or excessive?

A rocket interceptor soars toward space from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jan. 28, 2016. It veered far off-course after one of its thrusters shut down.
A rocket interceptor soars toward space from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jan. 28, 2016. It veered far off-course after one of its thrusters shut down.
(Gene Blevins /

To the editor: Isn’t this exactly the corruption lurking in the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about?

( “Boeing wins big bonuses after failures,” Sept. 4)

My heart sinks when I think of the national treasure that has been squandered for decades on gold-plated, ineffective weapons programs such as this.

Thank you so much for unearthing this colossal waste of public money.


Kent Strumpell, Los Angeles


To the editor:  So, Boeing has developed a missile that travels at 4 miles a second, that can hit a missile coming at the United States at probably about the same speed, a target which is only about the size of a bus.

It can hit the incoming missile about 50% of the time.


I suggest that we buy fewer tanks, fighter planes and ships (used in the last century’s wars) and buy 300 of these antimissiles.

On the bonus to Boeing, it’s less than 10%. The company earned it.

Jeffrey Pierce, Torrance


To the editor: Boeing is indeed the master of spin.

Billing the taxpayers for failure — no problem.

But use these billions to clean up the highly contaminated site it is responsible for at the Santa Susana Field Lab? Nope.

Nearby residents have been waiting for years for proper cleanup of the contaminated soil and water.


Boeing did not have to wait for its unearned bonuses — why should residents have to wait and continue to fight for a healthy environment?

Catherine Lincoln, Van Nuys


To the editor: Like most readers, I am outraged, but perhaps for a different reason.

The argument is that outsourcing provides superior results at lower costs.

The problem is that senior government positions are too often held by bureaucrats rather than technocrats (people who understand what they are contracting for).

Technical people will tell you that arcane procedures meant to protect against favoritism actually encourage it.

Having different contractors write the requirements, determine the products/procedure the project should use, and implement the solution ensures that knowledge about the problem is compromised, if not lost.


Also allowing a retiring bureaucrat to join a contracting firm one year (or 180 days in California) after leaving government pretty much explains to me how this drama unfolded.

Keep it simple.

My suggestions: Pay to hire technical managers who understand what they are purchasing, change the law so no one can leave the government and go to work for a contractor for seven or more years, and keep the bidding/purchasing process as simple as possible.

Kay Hammer, Venice


To the editor: The American taxpayers paid billions of dollars for a missile defense system that essentially doesn’t work, and then gave Boeing billions in bonuses.

This is why I believe people vote for someone such as Donald Trump — not because he has any idea what he’s talking about, which he doesn’t; not because he tells the truth, which he apparently can’t; not because he’s the best one for the job, which he isn’t — but because they are so tired of this kind of corruption and ineptitude that they just say “screw it.”

Such is the delicate architecture of history.

Bart Braverman, Los Angeles

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