Thursday, December 22, 2011
Navy to acquire two Hawaii superferries for pennies
Congress has given the Navy the green light to spend up to $35 million to acquire two Hawaiian superferries from the U.S. Maritime Administration.
A provision in the recently approved defense authorization bill will allow the transfer of the Huakai and the Alakai to the Navy, where they will become Department of Defense sealift vessels.
The Navy declined to discuss the matter on Thursday because President Barack Obama had not yet signed the bill.
[pilotonline.com, Navy gets OK to buy two Hawaiian superferries, 12/23/2011]
Click link for full story.
We at the US Navy thank you Kauai for your protests. Without you, we never would have been able to get these two fine, fast, and very maneuverable boats so cheap. Merry Christmas and A Big Mahalo from your friends at the US Navy!
On behalf of the taxpayers of the state of Hawaii who paid 40 mil to have the super ferry dock in Kahaluli (sort of) , the US Navy would like to thank govenor Lingle, the DOT, the state legislature, Mr. Lehman and the US Meritime Admin. for providing us with these large fuel guzzling boats of questionable use (note the selling price). Without your direct intervention to break the laws of the state we would not have been able to buy these vessels at 0.10 cents on the dollar. Just one small example of how as a country we manage to be 12 Trillion dollars in debt.
The value of the two Superferries was revealed when nobody wanted them. The US Maritime Administration, which had guaranteed the loans for the vessels, received them as part of as settlement. MARAD "paid" $25 million apiece for them, hoping they could salvage some of the money they had lost by selling them to the Navy or another buyer for a bit more.
I find it curious that Hawaii conservatives, in general, became such strong cheerleaders for the SuperFerry instead of seeing them as an example of "crony capitalism" and government "interference in the marketplace" through taxpayer subsidies for politically connected corporations. Even now, people who pose as if they are more savvy about business, refuse to see that the SuperFerry was a BUSINESS FAILURE. Their business plan never made sense. Hawaii politicians were sold a "bill of goods" and failed to do due diligence in evaluating the project prior to committing tens of millions of dollars into hte venture. Private investors would have been much more skeptical of the representations being made by the SF. The core private investors involved in the core group were people with military contracting backgrounds who thought their sweetheart relationships with politicians could overcome the realities of the marketplace. And, the roughness of the Molokai Channel, silly people.
But except for a few like Ron Paul, MOST "conservatives" oppose real world competitive capitalism in favor of corporate capitalism and the inevitable crony relationships it entails. Lingle will continue to misrepresent why the SuperFerry failed, preferring to blame "environmentalists" and the courts instead of her uncritical collusion with the well-connected Republican SF leaders and their lousy, unrealistic "business plan."