It is December 1970, and the United States now has 350,000 troops in Vietnam much less than today in Afghanistan. Or so Vice President Biden believes.
In a speech delivered recently, the Vice President stated that there are “650,000 troops still left in Afghanistan.”
Apparently, those I Pad Presidential Briefing presentations are a little out of whack.
But in a sign of progress, we are informed that the President has moved on from I Pad based daily briefings to some face to face ones.
To clarify for anyone who has done these briefings, the point of face to face is that you get asked questions.
Not only do you have to answer and to marshal the team to find better answers, but you learn what the President and his team really knows and cares about. That way the Intelligence Community can do a better job.
But these past few weeks in the Middle East have been flooding the I Pad screens, and the challenge of sorting out what really happened is pushing down on I Pad processing power.
We asked Boomer to help us understand how a Vietnam Vet looked at all of this.
“My brothers in the USMC just suffered their biggest airpower loss since Vietnam, and the press seems to be missing in action but thank good the Marines and soldiers were not. I am sure those other 349, 950 US soldiers will respond vigorously. And with where we are going with the military, having Potemkin soldiers will be crucial to our overall force strength. We will be doing missions like the USCG is doing now with phantom ships, planes and helicopters.
And one of my friends noted about the Marines – who do not have the benefit of reading about it comfortably on their I Pads but rather meet the Taliban every day –
It is your squadron; your aircraft; your Marines – and they are under attack. What do you do? Simple – run to the sound of gunfire and fight with what you have.
And I say to you Joe – I can call you that because it is campaign season and we are all down home friendly in that time of the year – you may have got your numbers wrong but is beginning to feel a lot like the place that once had that many American servicemen.
So how about having a leadership moment and instead of having an aide correct the numbers down to something approaching reality, how about giving those Marines and their brothers and sisters the equipment and support they need?”
In point of clarity the Biden comment was made to taunt candidate Romney for his unfeeling and uncaring position on folks who don’t pay taxes.
Always good to not throw rocks if you live in glass houses.
And we should add further clarification of the clarification, for that is what you do when you hold office INSIDE the BELTWAY.
“By the way, those dependent people he refers to, those 47 percent, they include the 650,000 troops still left in Afghanistan who, because they are in combat, being shot at, injured, they do not have to pay any federal income tax on their salary. I don’t call that dependency. I call that ingratitude to not recognize they are a part of that 47 percent,” Biden said on the steps of the state house in Concord, N.H.”
I would point out that the Internal Revenue Service is not as generous as Vice President Biden in campaign mode.
Of course, we are all on the hook or under the guillotine to pay taxes. Full stop.
As one website on dealing with the IRS notes:
Just like their civilian counterparts, members of the armed forces must pay federal taxes. And just as there are myriad rules and procedures for the private citizen regarding how, when and what amount of tax to pay, a service member must also navigate through a dizzying array of guidelines and regulations in order to calculate and remit his or her accurate share of taxes in the correct way and at the required time.
While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has attempted to minimize the difficulties for active duty personnel, the many types of pay and allowances that exist in the military — and the fact that some pay is subject to taxation and some is not — only add to the complexity of the process.
That is why it is vitally important that service members seek the advice of expert accountants, both in and out of their service units, in order to adhere to tax reporting requirements and to take advantage of benefits offered under the law.
(Perhaps a little tax reform might be needed here?)
And another site adds:
You are obligated to file federal, state and local income tax returns as are all residents and citizens of the United States. Like other federal employees, you cannot exclude amounts received from any agency of the United States for services rendered in a foreign country or within U.S. possessions. This means no matter where you are, your basic military pay is taxable by the federal government and your own stateand local governments. Special tax breaks apply for military compensation earned in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area (e.g., the Arabian Gulf, Bosnia). Contact your local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center or a legal assistance office for more information.
If your gross income is above certain established levels, you are required to file a federal income tax return.
Apparently we need another aide to correct the Biden record!
For you have many aides while holding HIGH office INSIDE the BELTWAY, unlike the poor dude or dudette deployed to Afghanistan.
We are going to close with a final comment from Boomer.
“With all that Vietnam combat experience under his belt, I really appreciated the Vice President equating combat veterans and heros with those 47% or not who are not paying taxes. Talk about missing it.”
Oops! Another aide please to correct the record!