Pardon a bit of skepticism about your news item Dec. 27 about the reduction in the naval fleet and projects: “Navy proposes destroyer funding cuts.”

First, Congress just approved the largest defense-spending plan ever. There’s no shortage of money.

President Trump may not like the incumbent Democrat Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District, but Trump did like getting an electoral vote from Golden’s district in 2016. And it is even more important to President Trump that Sen, Susan Collins is reelected if he and Sen. Mitch McConnell are to keep their majority in the Senate.

Will anyone actually be surprised if President Trump rides to the rescue for Bath Iron Works? Sen. Collins can make appropriately serious observations to the press. The White House will take the matter under advisement, and also keep funneling money through both transparent and dark pathways to the senator’s re-election campaign.

At the appropriate moment, all threats will be forgotten. Golden, even though he voted for the more serious count of impeachment, will get a boost, probably. But far more important to the White House, that dollop of construction money will help ease Collins through what is likely to be the most competitive race of her career.

Jim Perkins

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