Dear Editor, You would think getting busted lying outright would "honest" Big Jim up a little, but nope. His latest rant about Boeing shows his proclivity for prevarication [“The Hightower Report,” Aug. 4]. Boeing leasing planes to the U.S. Air Force is now theft, according to Jim. Aircraft have tail numbers and federal airframe registration numbers, so "trying to sneak" anything by isn't going to work. And it's not the "Bush Kiss" that allowed Boeing to deduct the cost of the fine; it's the IRS that allows all corporations, not just Boeing, to deduct the costs. And after his heartwarming comments about his being down with "all Americans,” I wonder how many working people would lose jobs if Boeing or any company had to absorb the costs of litigation. How many of his “fellow Americans” living on fixed incomes who are invested in Boeing would have absorbed the loss of income? Perhaps if Mr. Hightower had ever opened a business and employed people, he would realize that when a business incurs costs, those costs are passed on to the consumer. Boeing wouldn't have paid the fine, they would have simply raised prices on their aircraft. And as per usual, Hightower bitches about FEMA, and he bitches when someone tries to implement change. When did whining become a profession?
[Jim Hightower responds: Wow, Carl can load a lot of garbage in one paragraph! Three points: 1) I didn’t say leasing planes is theft – I said that gouging taxpayers on the leases is theft (a point that even Republican senators concede); 2) I’m not the only one who thinks it’s appalling for Boeing to grab a multimillion-dollar tax deduction on the federal fine it was assessed for its wrongdoing – Boeing’s new CEO has now said the same thing, bowing to public pressure to forgo the deduction (something the Bushites could and should have made part of the settlement from the start); and 3) not only have I opened a business, Mr. Swanson, but I’ve been in business for years, now proudly employing five people (and I find that it’s not necessary to gouge them, taxpayers, or consumers in order to stay in business).]