Friday, March 03, 2006

Shotgun Friday

Major Mike

Business Unfriendly

From the
Oregonain today...

"Gov. Kulongoski has eye on corporate tax kicker
- Business leaders will consider plans to pump cash from the $205 million tax break back to the state"

Again, government, and in this case, the governor, want to steal $205 Million dollars of corporate tax surpluses, to fund myriad of dreamt up State programs.
Oregon law requires that any surpluses over 2% be returned to the taxpayers…now the governor is eying the corporate portion of the excess to fund his liberal agenda.

What bothers me most is that the law is part of the State Constitution, and changing it requires a state wide vote, but the Dems who run this state seem to think that Constitutions, laws, and voter approved measures are advisory in nature. They continually seek to subvert the will of the majority by attempting to garner support for their “causes” while the laws clearly tell them what the MUST do. Respect the law, issue the excess dollars back to the businesses who have overpaid their taxes. Do not view these excess revenues as opportunities to buy votes, add programs, or expand government. The law clearly outlines what must be done with the money, now just do what you're are legally bound to do.

Also, what astonishes me, is that governments are increasingly looking to profit making companies to lend more (almost never ending) support to the myriad of “righteous” programs they seem to be able to dream up with their limitless imaginations. These companies have budgets…which by the way…they stick to. They have stockholders to which they are responsible to maximize their profitability…they cannot simply agree to give more money to the government without impacting the value of the company…a concept this State’s government never seems to get. And, the more millions that the government take out of these businesses, the fewer jobs, and less growth these businesses can support.

Lastly, I have huge issues with the tone that the Oregonian sets for this article. The following is the second paragraph of the article…

"Leaders of an array of business groups said it is possible, although far from certain, that they will lobby to redirect the corporate kicker back to state government -- if they can agree how the money should be used."

Now, read the entire article, and see if anywhere you get the feeling that anyone in business is supporting this…it is not there.

"Most people agree that the kicker law is a fairly clunky way of doing the state's business," said Jim Craven, lobbyist for the Oregon council of the American Electronics Association. "You are seeing states around the country, as they enjoy a rebound, deciding whether to invest that money in infrastructure, put it in a stability fund or cut taxes. We don't have those choices."

Lynn Lundquist, president of the Oregon Business Association, said his board will take a position on the corporate kicker next week. He said his group is inclined to favor diverting the money into a reserve fund or high-priority, one-time expenditures.

Craven, whose electronics association represents high-tech manufacturers, agreed that it would be better to redirect corporate kicker money into a reserve fund than to kill the kicker entirely and have the money pump up general spending.

J.L. Wilson, director of the National Federation of Independent Business-Oregon, said his members support the corporate kicker -- even though most don't receive it since they are not corporations -- because it keeps a lid on state spending. But, he said, "We have no plans on obstructing the process. We would prefer those dollars be captured in a way that benefits Oregon business."

Joe Schweinhart, lobbyist for Associated Oregon Industries, said he wants to hear more from the governor but his group is open to ending the corporate rebates if the money helps boost business growth. A top AOI priority is cutting the capital gains tax, and he'll push to use corporate kicker money to cushion the state if the capital gains rate is cut, he said."

What you get is lobbyist politicking for other positions relating to how corporate taxes should be collected and distributed within in the State. Nowhere do you get the sense that companies are lining up behind this. Did anyone ask Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Intel, PCC Structurals, Schnitzer Steel, whether or not they would like to have their excess tax payments back? No! These companies, while willing to pay their fair share, are not begging the State to keep their money, and if plainly asked, they would plainly tell you they want their hard earned money back.

This kind of writing is the Oregonian shilling for the Governor and his liberal, over-spending agenda.

Coincidence that the governor is not going to the individual taxpayers in the State and not trying to keep their kicker money? It would be political suicide, but I guess corporations are easy targets for this kind of lawless grab for excessive tax collections.

Zogby This

Polls Schmolls.
Zogby’s highly suspicious poll (HT Hugh hewitt) about the morale of the troops in Iraq means zip. Anyone who knows our troops, knows their mettle…

I was controlling other aircraft onto targets in southern Kuwait, a few days before the ground war was to begin. We were working a line of fortified trenches that were formed and ready to meet the anticipated onrush from the 2nd Marine Division. I had discovered a 57mm Self-propelled Anti-aircraft vehicle supporting those dug-in positions.

As a FAC(A) (Forward Air Controller, Airborne) in the back of a two-seat F/A-18D Hornet, I would soon be directing aircraft onto this 57, and they would be toast. While the outcome was certain, the risks were still high. Only a couple of weeks ago, a Harrier I was controlling got bagged and the pilot captured, as we were attacking similar targets near the “crotch” (the sharp angle in the Kuwait/Saudi border where it transitions back towards west, about 1/3 of the way up from its Southernmost border). Aside from the 57 there would likely be many handheld SAMs, and other, still unseen surface to air threats. But, as soon as I got some aircraft, this 57 would be toast.

There were no aircraft in the cue, and we were running low on gas. We would have to hit the tanker to the west, and come back for our second forty minute “period” over bad guy territory. We had ten minutes to go, but no bombers. Bummer.

Our wingman, “Face,” who flew cover for us as we scouted targets, speaks up. “I’ll take those targets.”

Face is flying is a one-holer (single seat) and is armed with two AIM-9 Sidewinders (air to air heat seeking missiles), a FLIR pod, one Rammer (Advanced, Medium range, Air to Air missile, AMRAAM), two fuel tanks, and three MK-83, one thousand pound bombs. His primary mission is to keep air to air threats off of us while we’re hunting Wabbits, and to bomb for us if we get a hole in the schedule. With a hole, and a good target, “Face” was our man.

My pilot rolled in for the mark, and put a Willie Pete (white phosphorous rocket) round about 20’ away from the 57. In our run, we began taking fire from another semi-buried 57 a bit to the north. I watched that threat, called the adjustment from the mark to Face, and directed my pilots eyes to the new threat. Face began his run, I cleared him hot. My pilot was already in his run for the second 57. Face calls “Off safe.” I talk his eyes onto us. I observe his single MK-83 shack (direct hit) the first 57.

I call “in for the mark.” Face calls tally. My pilot lets another 5” Zuni go. We begin to get fire from another 57 to the east…and he isn’t a bad shot. We evade. I adjust from the mark on the second pass for Face. He calls “Tally, in hot.”

“Cleared hot.” Shack.

My pilot is already looking to mark the third 57, when I notice we’re at Bingo fuel…time to go to the tanker. “Face” begs for us to mark the third 57. My pilot whips the jet around, we’re in for the mark. Aside from the mark, my pilot switches to guns and starts exchanging gunshots with the 57. Face calls the mark. I adjust. Cleared hot. Miss.

“Sorry Face we have to get to the tanker.” We’re well below bingo.

Face…with his seven hundred extra pounds of fuel (in the single seater) is not yet at bingo. We’re heading west to the tanker. I hear “tally on the target, clear me hot.”

“I can’t Face, you have no wingman.”

“Clear me hot.”

“I can’t”

“Clear me hot”

From 10 miles away, headed to the tanker, I relent…”you’re cleared hot, guns, call me on tanker freq when off” …guns, his only air to surface ammo left.

“I’m in hot, guns.”

The second longest minute of my life (the first, is another story)…finally, “off, safe, heading 270, climbing to angels base plus 6.”

In the mission debrief, Face produced his video, in which his third kill of the day was confirmed. He out-dueled the 57 on two passes, and the video captured hunks of armor coming off on the final, deadly pass. What an animal.

That was the only night of the gulf War I did not sleep well. I kept playing Face’s attacks over and over again. First thing the next morning I delivered a citation for the Distinguished Flying Cross to the VMFA-235 ready room, and slept great from there on out.

Face apparently was awarded that medal…reportedly the first given in our air group, on his way back to his home base of Hawaii, shortly after the war had ended. I wasn’t there…I would remain in Bahrain for a couple of more months.

I don’t need Zogby to tell me what our service men are made of or how they feel, I know. Anyone who has served knows that there are 5% of the force that are whiners, and the rest are winners. The polling arm of the Democratic party is not welcome in our circle…a circle of warriors.

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