Exam Code: ASVAB-Assembling-Objects Practice exam 2023 by Killexams.com team
ASVAB Section 9 : Assembling Objects
Military Assembling plan
Killexams : Military Assembling plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/ASVAB-Assembling-Objects Search results Killexams : Military Assembling plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/ASVAB-Assembling-Objects https://killexams.com/exam_list/Military Killexams : Our Freedoms Shrink as Our Military Expands

The Merchants of Death even own our sidewalks. That’s what we were told when we arrived at Raytheon Technologies in Arlington, Virginia, on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, to issue a “Contempt Citation” for Raytheon’s failure to comply with a subpoena issued last November by the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, a People’s Tribunal scheduled for November of 2023.

Raytheon knew we were coming. The police were waiting and would not permit us to enter the enormous building even though other businesses and a public restaurant resided inside. “You’re not allowed in,” the police said. “The owner of the building said no to you.” Others were free to enter for lunch or to conduct business. The officers were polite. Respectful. “We are only doing our job,” they said, seeming more like a hired corporate police force than a public police force.

“And you cannot remain on the sidewalk,” the police said. We responded that it was a public sidewalk. “Not anymore,” the police said. “Raytheon bought the sidewalk. And the sidewalk across the street.” When asked how a private corporation can buy a public sidewalk, the officers shrugged not knowing the answer. “You can move down there,” they said, pointing to a corner across the busy street.

We asked to see a deed proving this bizarre acquisition of public property. Lo and behold, the police dutifully produced a deed stamped by the recorder of deeds office indicating Raytheon did in fact own the sidewalk all the way to the street.

Using US tax dollars, including the dollars of those of us who stood there, Raytheon bought up the very freedom they claim they’re building weapons to defend. Freedom of speech and assembly is drastically reduced when corporations as powerful as Raytheon control the halls of Congress, the Pentagon, the White House, and our corporate media.

In fact, in the belly of the beast of the Raytheon building was the corporate media itself, an ABC television affiliate which refused to talk to us last November. When we had approached an ABC spokesman outside, they refused to admit they worked for ABC despite wearing ABC attire. From corporate wars to corporate police to corporate media, all in one monstrous, taxpayer-funded building.

In 2023, approximately $858 billion will be taken from the paychecks of US citizens to help squelch our most fundamental Constitutional rights of privacy and assembly.

Across the street from Raytheon, we unfurled our banners and carried our signs. We held Raytheon in contempt for refusing to comply to a subpoena issued by the people of the world. We noted their shame of their own corporate behavior such that they purchased police and public sidewalks to keep public scrutiny away.

A young woman approached, noticing our signs. She was an Afghan refugee who had been there during the invasion. She and her family had suffered immensely from the US bombing. Her father barely made it out alive. She was crying as she spoke. Off to the side, a man in a suit carefully took pictures of each of us. We were photographed everywhere we went this Valentine’s Day.

To evidence Raytheon’s complicity in war crimes, we read the names of the 34 victims—26 of them schoolboys—killed in the horrific 2018 bombing of a school bus in Yemen. The bomb, a 500-pound Paveway laser-guided bomb was made by Lockheed Martin while Raytheon was responsible for the infrared system which targeted the bus.

Under the careful eye of our National Security State, we traveled to the Pentagon to deliver a subpoena compelling Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to testify before the Tribunal. Mr. Austin, before being Secretary of Defense was, of course, on the Board of Directors at Raytheon. This, after retiring from the military.

Mr. Austin had cashed in at Raytheon and was now in the catbird seat at the Pentagon sending billion-dollar contracts to his former employer. He is certain to cash in a second time when he leaves his current office. And so, we had a subpoena asking Secretary Austin to speak about these allegations epitomizing the “Revolving Door” between the military, defense contractors, and public office.

A dozen police waited. They counted the number in our group making hand signals between themselves. “You’ve just come from the Raytheon building,” they said to me. “And you plan on spending one hour here. And then you’re going to the Hyatt Hotel for a protest.” I asked how they knew that, especially the information about the Hyatt Hotel since that had not been made public, and the police officer smiled and said, “We have our ways.”

We were told we could protest in a small, fenced-in grassy area away from the metro stop, out of sight from most. We, the people, had been corralled behind a fence in a small grassy patch to peacefully exercise our freedom of speech as the billion-dollar behemoth of war and death, surveillance and repression, stood before us.

Similar actions of subpoena delivery had been carried out the same day in San Diego, California; Asheville, North Carolina; and New York City. Surveillance and corporate resistance had occurred at each location.

Valentine’s Day, this day meant for the opening of hearts, was one of recognizing the Orwellian state in which we live, funded by our own dollars. Our military not only consumes our money, but our freedoms as well.

We again read the names of the dead, sang, some prayed. As we were leaving, one of the police officers cheerfully said, “It’s 64° outside and a beautiful day. Why not enjoy it and go play golf.” A frightfully common thought in such perilous times.

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 16:52:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.counterpunch.org/2023/02/17/our-freedoms-shrink-as-our-military-expands/
Killexams : The US plan to become the world’s cleantech superpower

Powering growth

In a warehouse in Turtle Creek, just east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a line of workers is assembling batteries, each about the size of a suitcase, based on zinc—an alternative to lithium-ion that its proponents say will offer competitively priced, non-flammable, dispatchable energy for hospitals, schools, and other stationary users.

It’s a young cohort of workers, many people of color and military veterans. “We’re hiring right out of high school,” says Joe Mastrangelo, the Edison, New Jersey-based head of Eos Energy Enterprises, the company making the batteries.

His goal for the factory in Western Pennsylvania is to double its total capacity to 3 gigawatt-hours in 2024, producing a battery every 90 seconds once the plant is fully automated. The workforce will also double to 500.

“We’re doing this in a location that was historically an old energy economy, creating not jobs but career paths for people to get to middle class,” Mastrangelo says.

Climate is central to the IRA. But it is industrial policy on a grand scale, too, aiming to revamp the US’s decrepit infrastructure and create advanced manufacturing jobs in Rust Belt regions like Western Pennsylvania, once the heart of the country’s steelmaking industry.

From Ohio to Georgia, investment is also pouring into lithium-ion energy storage, the technology that will underpin the electrification of the US auto fleet.

All told, the IRA offers $369 billion of tax credits, grants, loans, and subsidies, many of them guaranteed past 2030. The credits can be sold, too, allowing deep-pocketed investors with enough tax liability to buy the credit—a way to get more capital to developers, quickly.

Credit Suisse thinks the public spending enabled by the IRA could eventually reach $800 billion, and $1.7 trillion once the private spending generated by the loans and grants is included.

The tax breaks have made marginal projects suddenly economical, say developers. A battery plant can generate tax credits of up to 50 percent of headline costs if it meets several criteria, including prevailing wage requirements, domestic sourcing of materials, and location in a fossil fuel community. This can translate into an effective reduction of 60 to 65 percent of a project’s fair market value, according to law firm Vinson & Elkins.

“It enables us to grow and also enables a further incentive for people that want to invest,” says Mastrangelo.

Wood Mackenzie estimates investment in energy storage will more than triple by the end of the decade, reaching $15.8 billion. Energy storage capacity additions will grow from 5 GW to 25 GW per year by 2030, enough to power almost 20 million homes.

While juicy subsidies are also available for wind and solar, the IRA’s biggest impact may be on technologies that have yet to achieve scale, including carbon capture and bioenergy.

For green hydrogen, a potential clean alternative to natural gas in industries such as steelmaking, the subsidies wipe out about half the project cost, vaulting the US from its position as a global also-ran in the eyes of developers to the most attractive destination for future investment.

For Europe, which hopes scaling up domestic supplies of green hydrogen can speed decarbonization and help replace the loss of Russian natural gas, the US now poses a threat. The EU is scrambling to respond, but the US incentives are so comprehensive—tax breaks for every section of the green hydrogen supply chain—that it will be hard to compete, say analysts.

“If you look at the price at which a well-located green hydrogen project, let’s say in Texas, exporting through the port of Corpus Christi, could generate green hydrogen if they can access low-cost renewable power—it’s pretty untouchable,” says Scaysbrook. “It’s a pretty potent trade advantage.”

The geopolitics of the IRA

Gaining a similar advantage over China, however, will be far harder. About two-thirds of the world’s batteries for electric cars and nearly three-quarters of all solar modules are currently produced in China, according to the International Energy Agency. BloombergNEF estimates China invested $546 billion in its energy transition in 2022.

Meanwhile, the domestic supply of raw materials, parts, and processing capacity is lacking, too. The lithium refineries, and nickel and cobalt for batteries; the rare earth materials for solar modules; the nacelles and monopoles for offshore wind—almost everything can be sourced more cheaply from abroad.

Together, China and Europe produce more than 80 percent of the world’s cobalt, while North America makes up less than 5 percent of production, according to the IEA. China also accounts for 60 percent of the world’s lithium refining.

“The Germans make a lot of this stuff. The Chinese make a lot of this stuff. So we are still facing the irony that for the IRA to succeed in the short term, it still relies a lot on China,” says Scaysbrook.

Some early progress is being made. Last month, GM announced $650 million to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, the US’s largest-known source of lithium. Honda, Hyundai, BMW, and Ford have all announced multibillion-dollar plans to build batteries in the US following the IRA’s passage.

But it’s a drop in the ocean compared with the scale of Chinese domination. Wood Mackenzie estimates the US will make up 13 percent of lithium battery manufacturing by the end of the decade, only a 3 percent upward revision compared with forecasts before the IRA. Asia-Pacific will still account for two-thirds.

“There are so many components when you think about building solar and wind. It’s not going to be realistic that the US is going to become totally self-sufficient in that way,” says Marlene Motyka, US renewable energy leader at Deloitte.

“You have to be able to build the thing”

To claim the mantle of cleantech superpower from China will take an extraordinary expansion of infrastructure—but not everyone in the US welcomes it.

This month, authorities in Scranton, Pennsylvania—the city Biden regularly invokes to remind Americans of his blue-collar heritage—held a 90-minute zoning board hearing about a proposed solar array on West Mountain, northwest of the city’s center.

The array, said its developers, would have created dozens of jobs and been sited on a former coal mine—exactly the kind of project that the federal government wants to coax along.

But residents were less impressed. One of them, Brian Gallagher, said he would be able to see the facility from his porch. “We’re not an asset, we’re a neighborhood. We don’t want to wake up and look at this,” he said. The board voted 4:1 against the project.

The US may have the West’s most generous subsidy regime and its federal government may be committed to restoring supply chains, but permits to build stuff are another matter.

Congressional efforts to loosen the rules have made little progress, leaving states and local authorities with significant power to block projects. Some climate campaigners and conservationists fear a laxer permitting regime would encourage more fossil fuel projects, like the pipelines sought by the oil industry.

But building transmission infrastructure across state lines—crucial if windy, sparsely populated regions such as Oklahoma are to be connected with big consumer centers on the coasts—is especially difficult.

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House adviser who now works for Washington’s Progressive Policy Institute, says the “chronic sclerosis” of current permitting rules means that by the time projects have met all the conditions demanded of them, about 95 percent have been delayed by five years or more.

This could limit the green potential of the legislation. While credible models suggest the law’s provisions could allow the US to cut 45 percent of emissions compared with 2005 levels by 2030, putting it within spitting distance of the Biden administration’s target of 50 to 52 percent, slower permitting could reduce this to 35 percent, says Lott, at the CGEP.

“Until we resolve those things, it doesn’t matter how many production tax credits or incentives you put out there, you have to actually be able to build the thing to take advantage of those tax credits,” she adds.

Given the tight timeline to get the projects up and running—both to capitalize on the 10-year tax credits and to meet the Biden administration’s decarbonization targets—worker shortages are another pressing problem.

“We have another generation of mega projects in front of us and the labor market is already strained to the limit,” says Anirban Basu, chief economist at the Associated Builders and Contractors.

The ABC estimates the US will need to add half a million more construction workers in 2023 on top of the normal hiring pace to meet demand: a sign that clean energy is creating the jobs, but an alarming prospect for the developers.

Yet some of the IRA tax credits also depend on paying prevailing wages and including apprenticeships in the workforce—measures designed explicitly to address the longstanding complaints of American workers who have watched jobs “shipped overseas” over decades of globalization, but which are also increasing costs.

“These standards are actually going to undermine the Biden administration’s clean energy agenda as a whole,” says Ben Brubeck at the ABC.

It leaves the pace of the energy transition in the US depending on how, or whether, the Biden administration will be willing to compromise on any of the goals in its sweeping clean energy legislation.

Even many supporters wonder how an industrial policy to rejuvenate America’s manufacturing heartlands can happen alongside an effort to decarbonize the economy in less than a decade—all while the US adopts a geopolitical strategy to compete with China in a new clean energy race.

Others say one cannot happen without the others. Either Biden ensured the fight for the climate would bring jobs for Americans, or Americans would forget about climate. Either the reliance on foreign supply chains would be broken, or America would be relegated in the new global energy order.

“This is the future of ambitious climate legislation that can actually pass,” says Sonia Aggarwal, a former Biden climate adviser who now runs the Energy Innovation think-tank. “We have to actually be more holistic. Without including worker policies, and including this broader global perspective of where we are going, we wouldn’t have the climate policy at all.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023 © 2023 The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved. Please do not copy and paste FT articles and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Fri, 17 Feb 2023 22:21:00 -0600 Derek Brower and Amanda Chu, Financial Times en-us text/html https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2023/02/the-us-plan-to-become-the-worlds-cleantech-superpower/2/
Killexams : How Delaware's plan to resurrect Fort DuPont as a 'vibrant' riverfront haven went wrong

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Killexams : Eric Schmidt Is Building the Perfect AI War-Fighting Machine

Schmidt became CEO of Google in 2001, when the search engine had a few hundred employees and was barely making money. He stepped away from Alphabet in 2017 after building a sprawling, highly profitable company with a stacked portfolio of projects, including cutting-edge artificial intelligenceself-driving cars, and quantum computers.

Schmidt now sees another opportunity for technological reinvention to lead to domination, this time for the US government in competition with other world powers. He may be uniquely well positioned to understand what the Pentagon needs to reach its technological goals and to help the agency obtain it. But his ties to industry raise questions about how the US should aim to align the government and the private sector. And while US military power has long depended on advances in technology, some fear that military AI can create new risks.

Good People, Bad System

Speaking over Zoom from his office in New York, Schmidt lays out a grand vision for a more advanced DOD that can nimbly harness technology from companies like Istari. In a cheery orange sweater that looks like it’s made of exquisite wool, he casually imagines a wholesale reboot of the US armed forces.

“Let's imagine we’re going to build a better war-fighting system,” Schmidt says, outlining what would amount to an enormous overhaul of the most powerful military operation on earth. “We would just create a tech company.” He goes on to sketch out a vision of the internet of things with a deadly twist. “It would build a large number of inexpensive devices that were highly mobile, that were attritable, and those devices—or drones—would have sensors or weapons, and they would be networked together.”

The problem with today’s Pentagon is hardly money, talent, or determination, in Schmidt’s opinion. He describes the US military as “great human beings inside a bad system”—one that evolved to serve a previous era dominated by large, slow, expensive projects like aircraft carriers and a bureaucratic system that prevents people from moving too quickly. Independent studies and congressional hearings have found that it can take years for the DOD to select and buy software, which may be outdated by the time it is installed. Schmidt says this is a huge problem for the US, because computerization, software, and networking are poised to revolutionize warfare.

Ukraine’s response to Russia’s invasion, Schmidt believes, offers pointers for how the Pentagon might improve. The Ukrainian military has managed to resist a much larger power in part by moving quickly and adapting technology from the private sector—hacking commercial drones into weapons, repurposing defunct battlefield connectivity systems, 3D printing spare parts, and developing useful new software for tasks like military payroll management in months, not years.

Schmidt offers another thought experiment to illustrate the bind he’s trying to get the US military out of. “Imagine you and I decide to solve the Ukrainian problem, and the DOD gives us $100 million, and we have a six-month contest,” he says. “And after six months somebody actually comes up with some new device or new tool or new method that lets the Ukrainians win.” Problem solved? Not so fast. “Everything I just said is illegal,” Schmidt says, because of procurement rules that forbid the Pentagon from handing out money without going through careful but overly lengthy review processes.

A New Weapon

The Pentagon’s tech problem is most pressing, Schmidt says, when it comes to AI. “Every once in a while, a new weapon, a new technology comes along that changes things,” he says. “Einstein wrote a letter to Roosevelt in the 1930s saying that there is this new technology—nuclear weapons—that could change war, which it clearly did. I would argue that [AI-powered] autonomy and decentralized, distributed systems are that powerful.”

With Schmidt’s help, a similar view has taken root inside the DOD over the past decade, where leaders believe AI will revolutionize military hardware, intelligence gathering, and backend software. In the early 2010s the Pentagon began assessing technology that could help it maintain an edge over an ascendant Chinese military. The Defense Science Board, the agency’s top technical advisory body, concluded that AI-powered autonomy would shape the future of military competition and conflict.

But AI technology is mostly being invented in the private sector. The best tools that could prove critical to the military, such as algorithms capable of identifying enemy hardware or specific individuals in video, or that can learn superhuman strategies, are built at companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple or inside startups.

Sun, 12 Feb 2023 22:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.wired.com/story/eric-schmidt-is-building-the-perfect-ai-war-fighting-machine/
Killexams : North Korea Fires Another Missile 2 Days After Testing Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Says South Korea

In its second weapons test in three days, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters Monday, rekindling regional animosities over US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The weapons firings follow an intercontinental ballistic missile launch Saturday and North Korea's threats to take an unprecedented strong response to the drills. A new testing spree also allows North Korea to expand its arsenals amid stalled talks with its rivals and eventually use the boosted military capability as leverage to try to wrest bigger concessions from the United States. South Korea detected the two missile launches from a western coastal town, just north of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Monday morning, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

It said South Korea has boosted its surveillance posture and maintains a readiness in close coordination with the United States. Japan's Defense Ministry said both missiles landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It said Japan condemned the launches as a threat to the peace and safety of Japan and the international society. The Japanese Defense Ministry said the first missile reached the maximum altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles) and flew as far as 400 kilometers (250 miles). It said the second missile reached about 50 kilometers (30 miles) in altitude and flew a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles).

North Korea's state media said its long-range artillery units on its western coast fired two rounds cross-country toward the eastern waters on Monday morning, possibly referring to the same activity its neighbors said were missile launches. The official Korean Central News Agency said the North Korean artillery rounds simulated strikes on targets up to 395 kilometers (245 miles) away.  The North said the launches involved its new 600 millimeter multiple rocket launcher system that could be armed with “tactical” nuclear weapons intended for battlefield use. Some experts viewed the weapons system as a short-range ballistic missile.

“The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces' action character,” Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said in a statement carried by state media. “We are well aware of the movement of US forces' strategic strike means recently getting brisk around the Korean Peninsula.” Calling the United States “the worst maniacs,” she threatened to take unspecified “corresponding counteraction” in response to the future moves by the US military.

She could be referring to the US flyover of B-1B long-range, supersonic bombers on Sunday for separate training with South Korea and Japan. The B-1B deployment came as response to North Korea's launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM off its east coast on Saturday in the country's first missile test since Jan. 1.

North Korea is extremely sensitive to the deployment of B-1B bombers, which can carry a huge payload of conventional weapons.  North Korea's state media said Sunday the ICBM test was meant to further bolster its “fatal” nuclear attack capacity and verify the weapon's reliability and the combat readiness of the country's nuclear force. In her earlier statement Sunday, Kim Yo Jong threatened to take additional powerful steps over upcoming military drills between the United States and South Korea.

North Korea has steadfastly slammed regular South Korea-US military drills as a practice for a northward invasion though the allies say their exercises are defensive in nature. Some observers say North Korea often uses its rivals' drills as a pretext to hone and perfect its weapons systems. The South Korean and U.S. militaries plan to hold a table-top exercise this week to hone a joint response to a potential use of nuclear weapons by North Korea. The allies are also to conduct another joint computer simulated exercise and field training in March.

North Korea has claimed to have missiles capable of striking both the US mainland and South Korea with nuclear weapons, but many foreign experts have said North Korea still has some key remaining technologies to master, such as shrinking the warheads small enough to be mounted on missiles and ensuring those warheads survive atmospheric reentry.

In her statement Monday, Kim Yo Jong reiterated that North Korea has reentry vehicle technology. She also hit back at South Korean experts who questioned whether North Korea's ICBMs would be functional in real-war situations.

Kim Yo Jong insisted that the nine hours of launch preparation time after her brother Kim Jong Un ordered it included the efforts sealing the launch site and evacuating people, and was not long because of shortcomings of the missile system itself. Last year, North Korea set an annual record with the launch of more than 70 missiles. North Korea has said many of those weapons tests were a warning over previous US-South Korean military drills. It also passed a law that allows it to use nuclear weapons preemptively in a broad range of scenarios.

Kim Jong Un entered 2023 with a call for an “exponential increase” of the country's nuclear warheads, mass production of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons targeting South Korea and the development of more advanced ICBMs targeting the US. (AP)  IJT

Sun, 19 Feb 2023 12:34:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.outlookindia.com/international/north-korea-fires-another-missile-2-days-after-testing-intercontinental-ballistic-missile-says-south-korea-news-263540
Killexams : S. Korea to launch 1st military surveillance satellite in November

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to launch its first military surveillance satellite in November under a project to deploy a total of five such satellites by the mid-2020s, the state arms procurement said Friday.

In a briefing to the National Assembly's defense committee, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) unveiled the plan to launch an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite under the project worth 1.2 trillion won (US$927 million).

Along with the EO/IR satellite, the country seeks to secure four synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ones under the project key to Seoul's efforts to bolster surveillance capabilities and reduce reliance on foreign intelligence sources.

Once those satellites go into service, they are expected to enhance the South's overall capabilities to monitor and track North Korea's military movements.

The South has been striving to build space-based defense capabilities as the North unveiled a plan to launch a military surveillance satellite "at the earliest possible date" during a key ruling party meeting late last year.

This image, provided by the Agency for Defense Development, shows the operation of surveillance satellites. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) © Provided by Yonhap News English This image, provided by the Agency for Defense Development, shows the operation of surveillance satellites. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



Thu, 16 Feb 2023 12:09:56 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/s-korea-to-launch-1st-military-surveillance-satellite-in-november/ar-AA17ADz5
Killexams : Should Maryland provide a $50M bonus to military retirees? | COMMENTARY

Surely, most Marylanders can agree that men and women who have served in the U.S. military richly deserve not just the nation’s thanks, but, whenever possible, financial benefits from retirement pay to health care. A lot of seniors deserve pension relief, particularly at a time of heightened inflation. Just last year, the Maryland General Assembly and then-Gov. Larry Hogan approved legislation providing a tax credit to retirees of up to $1,000 per individual and $1,750 per couple. Yet now, lawmakers in Annapolis have been presented by Gov. Wes Moore with a costly proposal, the Keep Our Heroes Home Act, that would further reduce taxes on military pensions — for individuals as young as 37 years old.

The governor’s heart may be in the right place, but his priorities are not. Recently, the legislature’s budget analysts calculated the cost of providing what the governor wants — exempting up to $25,000 in military pension payments from state and local income taxes and then raising it to $40,000 in 2024. It quickly adds up to more than $32 million in lost revenue each year for the state and $21 million for local governments.


Governor Moore has said his goal is to eventually exempt all military pension from state income taxes, which would be more expensive still. The former U.S. Army captain’s reasoning is to make Maryland a more attractive place for military families to live and work. Given the state’s significant military presence from the U.S. Naval Academy and Fort George G. Meade to Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Detrick, not to mention its proximity to the Pentagon, there is an undeniable logic here. Do we not want to retain the thousands of veterans and their families after they finish their military service, or should we risk them moving to states that do not tax military pensions? And we might point out that Moore announced this proposal last month as he was contemplating what to do with a $2.5 billion state budget surplus.

Yet there are several potential pitfalls here. First, there’s a question of the government’s true financial picture. Short-term budget surpluses have been nice, but analysts have projected they go away soon enough. Indeed, one of the most important commitments made by the legislature, the $3.8 billion Blueprint for Maryland’s Future school reform plan, is estimated to hit a $1 billion shortfall by Fiscal 2027. Are we going to turn around in several years and raise the income tax as lawmakers did in 2012 (to the detriment of middle class families earning a combined $150,000 or more)? Unlikely. And that’s not even considering the chance of a significant economic downturn in the coming year as interest rate hikes have their effect of slowing down the economy.


Next, there’s the matter of hardship. Just how badly needed is this tax cut? Maryland already provides an income tax exemption of $15,000 for military pensioners over the age of 55 and up to $5,000 for those below. Since those who retired from the U.S. Armed Forces can start collecting pension benefits from the day they leave service, this leads to what is known as “double-dipping,” as pensioners often begin second careers in the public or private sectors thus earning paychecks and pensions at the same time. Good for them. But it means a lot of these individuals who stand to benefit aren’t exactly hurting now. So where is the best bang for the buck? It’s useful to remember that these same tax dollars could also be used to house the homeless, broaden health care coverage, build schools, reduce gun violence and so forth.

And finally, there’s the political reality of special interest tax cuts. If military pensioners are regarded as a unique group deserving of this privilege, who else might petition lawmakers for similar status? Public school systems are hurting for teachers and school bus drivers. Hospitals are having trouble filling nursing slots. Firefighters would surely love to anticipate a more prosperous retirement, too. The COVID-19 pandemic has produced no shortage of jobs regarded as heroic, but they aren’t paid that way, nor do they have a double-dip opportunity. Expect all to be lining up to get their share of the action.

Democrats in Annapolis will likely want to provide their popular new Democratic governor a political victory on an issue of obvious importance to him — even after rejecting similar proposals in the past. No one testified against the measure at its first hearing. And we’re guessing they can make any tax cut bill a bipartisan affair. But we would counsel caution here. Shouldn’t we at least let the ink dry on last year’s five-year, $1.86 billion tax cut package before Maryland starts giving special treatment to any group of pensioners no matter how valued their service?

Baltimore Sun editorial writers offer opinions and analysis on news and issues relevant to readers. They operate separately from the newsroom.

Fri, 17 Feb 2023 00:27:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0221-military-retirement-tax-cut-20230217-l64xrnwcxzaijhpspqopsif6vq-story.html
Killexams : New veteran investments; Gov. Evers including in budget plan

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers' executive budget will include millions of additional dollars to help Wisconsin veterans with their mental health and educational needs, the governor's office announced Thursday.

Evers is set to release his full 2023-25 spending plan to the Republican-controlled Legislature on Feb. 15. The Legislature's finance committee will spend the spring revising the document before sending it back to the full Senate and Assembly for approval. From there the budget goes back to Evers, who can rewrite it to his liking with his partial veto powers.

The governor's office said his budget will include $500,000 to evaluate post-Sept. 11 veterans’ needs; an additional $1 million annually for county and tribal veterans services offices; nearly $3 million to help University of Wisconsin System campuses provide services for veterans and military personnel; and $250,000 to help provide dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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The proposed budget also would relax eligibility requirements for property tax credits for veterans and surviving spouses. The move would provide an additional $43.2 million in tax relief for claimants over the next two years, according to the governor's office. The spending plan also would expand those property tax credits to renters, providing another $10 million in tax relief, the governor's office said.

Thu, 09 Feb 2023 03:47:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.fox6now.com/news/new-veteran-investments-wisconsin-gov-evers-budget-plan
Killexams : Moore testifies for expanding military retiree tax relief


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore testified Thursday in favor of his proposal to expand state tax relief for military retirees, marking the first time a Maryland governor has testified for legislation in person before a committee in more than eight years.

Currently, the state allows anyone receiving military retirement, including surviving spouses, to deduct the first $5,000 from their taxable income if they are under 55 and $15,000 if they are 55 or older. The governor’s proposal would expand the amount and eliminate the age distinction.

The measure calls for expanding the military tax exemption to $25,000 of income in tax year 2023 and $40,000 in tax year 2024.

“These are individuals who are starting small businesses,” said Moore, a Democrat. “They’re serving on our boards. They’re bringing their talents to companies that are driving Maryland’s economy forward. There also making sure that their family members are staying here as well.”

Moore said Maryland needs to be competitive with neighboring states that do not tax veterans’ retirement income as much as Maryland. The governor noted that Virginia recently increased its exemption for military retirees to $40,000 starting in 2025.

“As I’ve said before, I refuse to let this state be a farm team for other states,” said Moore, who was a paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne and served in Afghanistan.

About 33,300 military retirees would be eligible under the bill, according to an estimate by state analysts.

The governor included about $33 million in his $63.1 billion budget proposal for the next fiscal year for the proposal.

Moore’s testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee was the first time a Maryland governor testified on a bill favored by the chief executive in more than eight years. Moore’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, never opted to testify on legislation before the General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.

Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat who chairs the committee, thanked Moore for appearing before the panel and “showing and demonstrating that you are going to be a partner with this legislature.”

“It means a lot,” Atterbeary said.


Thu, 16 Feb 2023 00:19:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/moore-testifies-for-expanding-military-retiree-tax-relief/2023/02/16/2aed58b0-ae37-11ed-b0ba-9f4244c6e5da_story.html
Killexams : Putin to address Federal Assembly ahead of anniversary of full-scale invasion and war

Vladimir Putin

The Russian dictator had been expected to provide the speech in December, but the address was postponed.

Read also: So long as Putin is in the Kremlin: What awaits Russia and what the West is striving for

Peskov said Putin’s speech would pay special attention to "the current situation" – in particular economic and social conditions. Members of the military that have fought in the war in Ukraine may also be present.

"The work has begun. We're working on the guest list. There are traditional guests, but, of course, due to the current situation new guests will be introduced," Russian news site Interfax quoted Peskov as saying.

Another Russian outlet RBK wrote about a concert scheduled for Feb. 22 in the Kremlin, which might be attended by the Russian dictator. RBK said it had confirmed this with three independent sources.

Read also: A seven-point plan to make Putin resign

The most likely venue for the event is Luzhniki Stadium in the center of Moscow. The last time Putin spoke there was on March 18, 2022. Back then, Russian propagandists dedicated the show to Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

Putin's annual address to the Federal Assembly was cancelled on Dec. 14, 2022. The day before, Peskov said it Putin had cancelled his big annual press conference – for the first time in 10 years.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the annual address to Russia’s Federal Assembly has been postponed only once before – in 2017, Putin's address was rescheduled to March 1, 2018.

Russian media speculated it was connected with his election campaign, as the presidential election was held on March 18, 2018.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

Fri, 10 Feb 2023 02:13:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/putin-address-federal-assembly-ahead-144900429.html
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