Friday, July 07, 2006

Can I deduct my speeding tickets?

Are you working hard today? This week, month or year? You better be. You have to work to pay your taxes so Boeing can get a tax deduction for paying $615 million to settle with the federal government and avoid criminal charges.

This all began when hearings were held, (congressional oversight? It's a miracle!) to investigate a $23 billion contract for leasing aerial refueling tankers from Boeing. There was an Air Force officer in charge of the contract and procurement who just happened to get hired by Boeing ($250,000 a year, nice.) as she left the service. Yada, yada, yada...the Air Force procurement officer pleads guilty as does the chief financial officer for Boeing and Boeing settles the case along with another faux pas of stealing Lockheed Martin documents to gain an edge in a multi-billion dollar satellite contract.

The $615 million settlement has three Republicans (oversight by Republicans? Another miracle!) Senators Charles Grassley, John McCain and John Warner writing to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales expressing their displeasure that Boeing may be allowed to take a tax deduction for the payment. The senators wrote, that allowing the settlement to be tax deductible, would result in "leaving the American taxpayer to effectively subsidize its misconduct." The senators continued, "We are not interested in settlements that are designed to look good in newspapers, but fail to bring real accountability,". (Substance over P.R.? A triple play of miracles!)

The Justice Department did not address the tax status of the settlement and Boeing has hired outside counsel to look into the question. Gee. I wonder how that question will be answered. So work hard at the store or the law firm or wherever you are. The government needs your tax dollars so you can subsidize the conduct of Boeing that led to it paying $615 million to avoid criminal charges. I wonder if I should hire outside counsel to answer whether I can deduct my speeding tickets? I wonder if I can get their number from Boeing.


President Bush, Sept. 17, 2001 talking about Osama bin Laden: "I want justice...And there's an old poster out West I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.'"

July 5, 2006: In late 2005, the CIA closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants.

I guess "alive."


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