Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Armored Vehicles, Saudi Support, and Sales Tax on R.E.

On Feb. 7th, here, I posted that only 25% of our vehicles (in Iraq) were armored.
In the transcript of Feb 6th of Sec. Def. Donald Rumsfeld on Meet the Press with Tim Russert this exchange took place:
SEC'Y RUMSFELD: ...By February 15th, nine days from now, there will not be a vehicle moving around in Iraq outside of a protected compound with American soldiers in it that does not have an appropriate level of armor.

MR. RUSSERT: Which is a pretty dramatic change, because Newsweek had said that, of the 19,000 Humvees in the Iraqi theater, according to the Army's latest numbers, only a quarter were fully armored.
Did we go from 25% to 100% of all vehicles "moving around in Iraq outside of a protected compound"? Stay Tuned!

Mover Mike

Hat Tip to The Big Picture! The Chicago Sun-Times writes about what it is that the Saudi's teach in American Mosques

"The Saudi textbooks and documents spread throughout American mosques preach a Nazi-like hatred for Jews, treat the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact, and avow that the Muslim's duty is to eliminate the state of Israel," writes Nina Shea, the Center's director. In addition, they "instill contempt for America because the United States is ruled by legislated civil law rather than by totalitarian Wahhabi-style Islamic law." Woe to Christians who should be actively hated because they stir up images of crusaders and colonists and because they are "enemies to Allah, his Prophet and believers." Woe to Muslims who advance tolerance and human rights -- they, too, are infidels. Woe to homosexuals or heterosexuals who have sex outside marriage -- it is considered "lawful" to kill them.
Mover Mike

Sales Tax on Property Sales

I have been meaning to comment on this post from RoguePundit. Officials in Asland, OR, believe affordable housing is a problem. First, they have established a living wage of $11.44 an hour. Since there is little land for dense housing and where there is, there is NIMBY, residents who fear dense housing will negatively affect their property values, the city wants to impose a sales tax on property sales to be used for low-income housing. Currently, state law prohibits such a tax. So Ashland is trying to get Portland to support changing the law.

In Oregon, we passed a property tax limitation a number of years ago. Our property taxes would be based on market value today, rather than appraised value plus a maximum increase per year. There is getting to be quite a difference between appraised base and market value, if you have owned the same home since this law was passed. Cities and especially schools are constantly crying for more money, and School Dist #1 (Portland) is no exception, never mind that enrollment is down substantially.

Housing affordability is a problem. We have had a net migration into our state. We have urban growth boundaries, which concentrate all new housing within the boundaries, and I suspect, we still, have lower housing prices per square foot than elsewhere on the coast. A sales tax on property sales would be a boon for the city.

What both cities fail to understand is a sales tax will not solve the affordable housing problem in Ashland. Sellers will just raise their price to offset the tax, so they net the same amount. In Portland, when a house sells, there is a new base for taxation created and thus more taxes for the city, anyway. They just want a new source of revenue. Tax revenue to a politician is like a drug. Giving in, just encourages them to want more.

Mover Mike

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