Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Burger King Story

When I joined the Air Force in August of 1977....the finance guys asked me what I wanted for a state of residence.....which translated over into state taxes.  I didn't really grasp the question, but just naturally answered Alabama.  So for the next three years, I paid Alabama state taxes.  I doubt if I ever paid more than $300 a year....because a young airman just doesn't make that much anyway.

When I got to Tacoma, Washington in 1980, they let me know right away that Washington was one of those states without a state income tax, and it'd be smart to change your status.  I didn't really think much about it......but around a year later as I was getting ready to leave the region, I changed my status to a Washington resident.  For the remainder of my career, I was a Washington resident and paid no state taxes.

Around 1989, I came to arrive in Arizona, and this topic came up in a finance briefing.  They tossed up a slide of what a E6 and a O3 would pay per year for various states.  For Bama, I would have paid around $950.  For Kentucky, it was closer to $1300.  They were encouraging folks to figure some method of getting Texas residency (that was popular then) and pay no states taxes.  It simply made sense.

While at the Pentagon in 2010 to 2013.....I came to work around a number of Army personnel, who mostly all claimed Texas as their state of residence.  So they paid no state income tax.

I bring this up....because today.....Burger King announced that it was buying Hortons of Canada....a Bar-B-Q chain....and moving their headquarters to Canada.  The US corporate rate of taxation is around 38-percent, while Canada is around 15-percent.  Various news idiots are giving two or three different rates for each, which makes it awful confusing.  The bottom line is that BK will save millions by shifting the headquarters there.

Naturally, on the Business Channel....a couple of congressmen and senators are all upset and talking about business operations not being patriotic and paying their fair share of taxes.  I kinda sat there and wondered who blessed them to come up with a "fair-share" number and say that's ok and fair.

I don't have much of a problem with this corporate mentality.  It's their right.  If you want to make it a legal mess....just tell them they can't move anywhere, period.  While you do that.....also make up a rule that congressmen and senators need to keep their residence back in their home state and actually just maintain a hotel room while living in DC.

If you look around....there's around five or six states which are deemed as harsh places for any company to set up a headquarters.  There's around a dozen states (like Texas and Alabama for example)....where the state goes way out of its way to talk folks into moving their business operation into their states....mostly by lowering all corporate taxation at the state level.  I don't see congress or the senate jumping into this business or trying to put a fist down on Texas being openly friendly to attracting new companies.

Where does all this lead onto?  I sat there one day and figured that over a twenty-two year career.....I probably saved around $20,000 that went into my pocket.....rather than the state tax revenue bucket of Alabama. Basically a new pickup.  For a company like Burger King, what they'd save over twenty years....probably would amount to way over a billion dollars.  It means a good bit if you think about it.

The Fort Lee Story

An episode occurred yesterday (Monday) at Fort Lee Army Post.  Basically, a Sgt First Class (roughly fourteen years of service reported via one media site)....got into a tirade at the organizational headquarters.

No one says much over what triggered the fit of hostility, nor will they say if she was under treatment for anything, or any anti-depression pills.

Cops were called because of the outrage being shown.  They arrived to find this gal locked in the office area, with her own handgun (not an Army issue weapon as you might suspect).

After a few minutes of talk.....she killed herself.

The Army is investigating the episode.

What some have said is that she only deployed to Iraq once over the past decade....back in 2007....for roughly a year.  Beyond that....no other deployments reported.

Over the past couple of years.....most of the shooting episodes around Army posts have involved men.  It's the first that I know of....involving a woman.

Around twenty years ago....I was in a unit and we had a thirty-five year-old gal who was married.  She went home early one day....finding her husband (a contractor) in the house with some other gal.  Yeah, in a compromising position.

Our associate went into some tirade and fit that went involved her kicking the husband out of the husband....then throwing all his clothing and property out of the house.  Cops came, and they simply stood there waiting for her to simmer down. Well....it took around forty-five minutes for her to reach some point of cooling off, with a massive amount of personal property of the husband destroyed.

Health-wise....the cops were a bit worried over this gal, and took her to the base clinic....where they gave her some kind of injection and knocked her out for at least twelve hours.

By the next day.....she was back up, peppy, and prepared to destroy more property of the husband.  It took a good bit of talking by the First Sgt to calm her down, and around twelve more hours on the second day before they'd release.

She ended up spending weeks under the watchful eye of a mental health expert....before reaching a point where she was finally in control of her senses.  She admitted a week later in office chatter that occurred....that she just wasn't herself and some fit of rage had taken control of her mind.

The husband?  She ended up divorcing him....as I was told later.

Maybe the Army will get to the bottom of this episode at Fort Lee, but I'm guessing it'll involve some things that they don't want to discuss in public.  So, we might never know the trigger to her fit of rage.

After thirty-odd years of hanging around military individuals and bases/posts.....I came to some point of realizing that we have a lot of pressure built up within some folks, and they simply use military discipline to contain their rage and fits.  Strong minds.....contain vast thoughts of destruction and harm....even to one's self.

It was one of the odd things that I eventually figured out about life in the military.  There's lots of positives, and this small handful of negatives.  And somehow, most of the time.....it generally works out OK.  In this case?  Well....no.