Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday morning links

A limerick about the generals who finally found their hardware. By way of Skippy, natch.

The Jolly Roger brings back old memories for us. Not pleasant ones either.

Jill is just being brilliant, as usual. While driftglass reminds us that the Republican party can be described by an old parlor game. And just as accurately.

The WaahPoo has another article about the lack of safety and oversight:
Prewitt was a parts buyer, the third generation of her family to work at the sprawling Boeing factory on the outskirts of Wichita. She believed that pieces going into one of the world's most advanced and popular airliners, the Boeing 737, should fit like a glove.
Which is how I prefer my motorized parts to mesh. Especially thousands of feet in the air. But you know what will happen. Nothing. Unless your are the whistleblowers.
After the whistle-blowers notified federal authorities in 2002, the FAA and the Pentagon looked into their charges. Each said its investigation cleared the airplane parts and found no reports of problems from military or civilian operators of Boeing jets. The Department of Transportation's inspector general also dismissed the charges.

The Post's review, however, found that the FAA did not assess many of the whistle-blowers' key allegations. FAA inspectors examined only a small number of parts in the plants and did not visit any airplanes to inspect the roughly 200 types of parts questioned by the whistle-blowers.
Business as usual, so not a surprise.

Somebody has finally figured out that our Congress likes to do things below the radar.
This one would, as usual, hide the cost of tax cuts that primarily benefit upper-income Americans. But it would accomplish that budgetary smoke and mirrors with a new tax provision, involving retirement savings accounts, that also benefits the well-to-do. And, to top things off, this new tax provision, while masking the cost of the tax cuts by bringing in more revenue in the short term, would in the long run worsen the fiscal situation by piling on more debt. No one who's serious about controlling the deficit -- whatever one's position on extending the tax cuts -- could support this dishonest approach.

The gimmick is intended to get around a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to approve a tax bill if it's going to deepen the deficit more than five years down the road; if it won't have that long-term impact, a simple majority could suffice for passage. Unfortunately for Senate leaders, a two-year extension of the capital gains and dividend tax cuts, now set to expire in 2008, would cost $20 billion over the next five years -- but $30 billion more in the five years after that. Taxpayers will scramble to take advantage of the lower rates now, thereby lessening tax revenue later. So to pass the cuts with only 51 votes, legislators have to find some way to offset that second five-year revenue loss.

Enter the retirement savings gimmick. As it's being discussed behind the scenes, this would let wealthier Americans use savings plans known as Roth IRAs. With traditional IRAs, taxpayers get to deduct the contributions they make from their income for that year; they pay taxes on the savings once they are withdrawn. Roth IRAs flip that arrangement around: Contributors pay taxes on the income they put into the accounts, but their savings then grow tax-free. So letting more people put money into Roth IRAs would increase tax revenue for a while -- offsetting, at least in theory, the cost of the capital gains cuts. But the Roth change would cost money down the road, as revenue once subject to taxation would grow tax-free.
If it wasn't for their constant whining about their mistakes I might start calling them the WaPo again.

And in the good grief department this one takes the cake. Don't they realize they are going to be underwater in a few years? And they think they are using foresight.

No comments:

Post a Comment