Books & Writings by SPam McGee

Alaska Short Stack Stories, Series I, II, & III ~ Alaska's Deadliest Sin-Drill Baby Drill ~ Alaskan Company Man ~ Eklutna Lake Worrier ~ From the Fifth Floor ~ Hannah Cove ~ My Journey to Landes House ~ Poemetrics ~ Quinn the "Tanik" Eskimo ~ S.O.S. from Beaver Lake ~ The Teachings of the Swamp Fox ~ Trans-Alaska-Pipeline Funny Stories ~ Spirit Dog & the Ghost Wind


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

SOOoo, Who's On the Take?

OK, so the rail boss of Bill Sheffield's Alaska Railroad is saying it needs more “Off Season” passengers as it is loosing money and not able to show a “Profit”? I am a little confused, as the only time the ARR ever realized a “True” profit without a government handout was when it had that train-wreck with an environmental nightmare 120000 gallon fuel tanker car derailment, back in 1999 and collected FEMA disaster relief money. OK, that was also a handout, so the ARR never made a clear-cut profit. But when it collected that $13-Million in FEMA dough-rob-me in 2000, that was the time Bill decided to call it quits and retire! Not because of a bad reputation with the wreck, but a cashing-out when the cashing-in was good! With the ARR “2000 Profit Margin” now inflated by the FEMA relief - because the rail already found insurance money to cover the cleanup costs so the government handout acted as “Extra Revenue” - well Bill's retirement party included a percentage of that “Revenue” and based on CEO typicals, Bill may have enjoyed a $1.3-Million windfall - because of the way the ARR defines its revenue stream in efforts to look like a viable business entity. Yes, it's on “TILT”, and would mean bankruptcy for a real business venture. Bill was smart enough to realize this fallout with the added profit margin, best retire now as this same time next year, well there would be no such “Bonafide Bonus” and retirement would have then meant a measly state retirement income – that “Tier One” all expenses paid option. Including “free” Medivacing from Mexico because of a little nose-bleed – sorry different Sheffield story! So, no doubt Bill received that “Extra Revenue” windfall on top of his “Impeached Governor” retirement benefit package and most likely ran off with, well that FEMA money was the U.S. Taxpayers loot. And if used for a retirement benefit, well it takes away from the true intent and what could have been paid out to retain Alaskan workers in efforts to keeping the steel beast on track, it meant instead workers getting furloughed. He's a crock, we learned that when he tried to resemble a governor. We impeached him, yet he has been able to survive and continues to wreck havoc what he does best – making money being stupid. OK, he uses “our” stupidity to let his malfeasance continue on and on and on. Look at the Port of Anchorage disaster! I am glad the city finally took away his credit card. But back to Casey Jones & Company. So profits are down, way down. And to entice more interest in riding the mildew smelling old railroad cars with dirty windows, more “Beer & Freak Show” train rides are being considered, costing an arm and a leg upwards $150 bucks - no food or emergency clothing included. Said like this: "We're looking at more beer (puke) trains, holiday (horror) trains and ski (bum) trains," CEO O'Scary said. "Passenger travel is an area where we try to expand where it makes sense." Know what Mr. Scary, if you just followed the written law and maintained “Half Fare” schedules as required by Uncle Sam, you would have plenty of passengers. The reason I refuse to travel by rail in Alaska, because it is taking advantage of Congress, which means in the trickle down theory of things to shat upon taking advantage of the “American Taxpayers”. And if the ARR demonstrated Americanism and allowed for “off peak” daily travel at a discount like it is supposed to allow – which includes discounts for all including military and family, handicapped and the elderly – well then all the tourists would use it also, and those “Princess Coaches” would then become roach infested coaches. I find no sympathy for the devil in the ARR's doom & gloom synopsis. Over time - since inception when we were thrown the rail boomerang bone of contention by the Fed.'s - the ARR has become its own worst enemy, and is nowhere even close a viable business entity that could not maintain without a helping hand from Uncle Sam, which said again means bankruptcy without. It is by far the “Corruptest” of the 49er's “state” run corporations, even beating out the Alaska Aerospace Development thievery. Wake up Alaskans, these autonomous non-transparent state run-amuck corporations continue to drain our coffers dry. Maybe a “Prison Train” would be better suited for the ARR Board of Directors and cohorts in slime! And here is why else it stinks. In 2007 the Alaska Railroad sold bonds in the tune of $165-Million, secured by “We the Taxpayers' Federal Government Treasury” through “Formula Grants” allowed railroads throughout the nation from sea to shining sea. Which means as long as the White House is “OPEN”, there is guaranteed payback with these “bonds”. And when it is all said and done with in 2026 – as this bond sale was a 20-year plan of attack – it means “Whomever” is on the “take”, well they will pocket $67-Million. Yes, a return on investment of 41% and most of it coming by way of what the ARR gets from Uncle Sam – from we hard at work salt-of-the earth middle class Americans, paying for this madness! What's in your wallet? This year alone the ARR will pay out to an unknown accomplice this crime spree upwards $12-Million, for a measly $26-Million in construction payments, or drum roll please, a 46% “ROI”. Yes it is a crime, as we have $billions$ in reserve that should be used upfront to fund such construction and infrastructure projects of necessity, instead of allowing Rudy loan shark to bite us in the ass cheeks. We could pay off the cost of such projects in a heart beat, with “zero” interest payments and save a whole lot of loot. But that is not the intent, as those making a killing on this “secrecy-in-hiding looting” are most likely in bed with the ARR and could include some very well known Alaskans – like maybe MoanaLisa MuCowpiefly and her affiliation with Frank and his banking buddies. And I am sure that if we could get into Sheffield's books, we would see many Alaskans of political camaraderie taking advantage of this secret gift giving. And not only did the legislature approve “ARR Bonds” for the rail itself, but also approved $18-BILLION$ for construction of a natural gas pipeline – already approved by the legislature so I am sure the pillaging of our next generation's wealth will be ransomed and ramsacked for many more years to come. Honestly, those making a killing on this behind the scenes extravaganza by allowing Bill Sheffield the keys to our “Treasury”, it is fostering the creation of $millionaire$ offspring brats that will never have to perform a decent days living wage consideration, because they will be “Board” members by succession-ism. So these state run corporations are merely “fronts” for insiders – including the legislatures – that are making a killing on things we see as a necessity, but in reality behind the scenes it is highway robbery at its best. Just ask Trans-Canada how well it is doing behind the scenes doing nothing with “our” resource money. And take for instance building things that have no meaning - M.V. Sustainer and the ARR Tanana “Bridge to Nowhere” - sure thing it creates jobs but the real McCoy reason we find such ridiculousness, well low and behold it is making a few in the “know” very handsomely rich. And raping Uncle Sam at every chance possible! Yes, I not alone along with many Alaskans that have called “bluff” would like to see the ARR books, who is the beneficiary of this $67-Million in “Interested Interest Payments”. So why not use the “Reserve” to fund and save? Why not - because it interferes with their secret “Pot of Gold”. Here is some other ARR math that doesn't work well, except for those on the receiving end. For years, the Alaska Railroad has worked in a deal with one of its best by-rail transport customers – they won't tell me who it is, but it is either the Koch Brothers or Joe Uselessbelli. Like providing for “Transport Credits” in the $millions$ for an iffy proposition. See, the IRS under 45G allows an entity to pay for track maintenance on sideline track it requires for commerce but not maintained by the railroad. Say a farmer has hay to get to market but the railroad no longer maintains the spur to his depot, and is financially ruined without the track. Well the “Tax Code” allows Joe to pay out of pocket to maintain that steel rail and then claim a “Tax Credit” up to 50%, based on $3500 bucks each mile of track. In Alaska, under the 45G ruling, an “unknown entity” pays Bill Sheffield & Company a yearly stipend of $4.8-Million, and in return the rail sweeping crew is supposed to maintain the line. Now that amounts to the entire “track miles” inventory for the ARR. All said and good? It is debatable, but for goodness sake, let's allow a little “trust” in this relationship. Now the beneficiary that pays out for this maintenance so the business entity can deliver coal or gas using the rail, well come taxable income time, the business entity can directly “write off” 50% of what it gave to the ARR for weed wacking. See, Bill can take advantage of this “Tax Shelter” because the ARR does not pay federal or state income revenue taxation, so can basically sell that “Tax” benefit to the highest bidder – in this case either the Koch Suckers or Joe Coalbelly. So let's say it's Joe this time around that has paid out to the ARR that $4.8-Million. Now Joe gets a tax break of $2.4-Million. So what's the point? Well the ARR then allows Joe a $2.7-Million “Transport Credit”. So Joe has a $5.1-Million advantage, or in Simple Simon math, a 106% “Return On Investment”. How and where does one sign up for this bargain basement giveaway extravaganza? But a few that have tested the merit of this austerity program, well some believe that the extra income – that 300-thousand – it is conveniently used as an ARR “political donations” cornucopia. See, the ARR cannot politically involve itself, as it isn't allowed under current policy because we don't know if Bill is a Democrat or a Republican – so it wouldn't be fair to allow the Non-Profit Tax Exempt ARR to enjoy giving donations to candidates that the BOD supports. Look, Bill keeps the VECO grill in his garage and uses it at tail gate block parties by invite only. OK, enough is enough. It reeks of corruption as it is premeditated corruption, but we let it go on and on and as the “Court Justice” rules, we had no problem with it when it started and because of that, well it's just the way it is. Look, when this state discovered the “Corrupt Bastards Club”, that occurred by reason we had some transparency in government. With the ARR, transparency is like, well the same reason why a bunch of Anchorage doctors are now many $millions$ richer with the ARR buying Point Mackenzie dairy land that was swindled away from the state many years ago. Land purchased for another ARR project as ridiculous as building a launch facilty on Kodiak Island – sorry NO rockets to blast-off! See, with the state cutting corners because of low oil prices, well that “Government Hill Knik River Bridge” is a long, long shot away from reality. Something the “Doctors Group” was hoping for in efforts to cash in on “land ahoy” across the water – to build housing and make a fortune on a new “Anchorage” bedroom community! But with doom & gloom, well they found someone to listen to the hardships and allowed them to cash-in while the cashing-in was still in good shape. See what I am talking about, this secret giveaway! I am willing to bet – but because of no transparency the true owners of the farmland will never be revealed – that 600-acre farm for $2.8-Million and that 300-acre farm for $1.4-Million, well the “ROI” for the doctors is about 85%, based on “Fair Market Evaluations” when that land was taken away from farmers under water at bargain basement Bob Penney prices. Sad, especially when the state could have used “eminent domain” to secure the 168-acres desired for this ARR “Project to Nowhere” instead of cashing out for 900-acres – or 500 times what was necessary for something still in the indeterminate stage. It's a project that doesn't find financial backing, yet. But low and behold, we have more “bonds” to dish out as the ARR has proven that “perpectual motion” does exist when it comes to Alaska style “crookedness”. Please Mr. Scary, we need that “Prison Train”!

 "It's alright Ma, I'm only nose-bleeding"

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