1. What happened with Romney’s audit?
On Sunday, Mitt Romney – while promising ABC he would “go back and check” to see if he had ever paid less than the 13.9 percent in income taxes he reported paying in the only return he has released so far – volunteered that he had been audited in the past by the IRS. So, the next question needs to be, “Governor, when you were audited, did the IRS then require you to pay additional taxes, and, if so, would you specify the discrepancy between what you claimed and what the IRS determined was the appropriate tax? And was more than one year of returns audited? If so, what were the results of those other audits?”
2. Aurora and risk:
When I saw reports in the wake of the Aurora massacre that theater chains are thinking about how they might implement new security measures to restrict who can bring what into a theater, I was reminded of a story I read recently about what happened in the aftermath of a horrific air crash 16 years ago.
Most of us have only a dim memory of TWA Flight 800, the Boeing 747 that exploded over the Atlantic shortly after leaving Kennedy Airport for Paris on the night of July 26, 1996.
An investigation found that the oxygen had ignited in the jet’s fuel tank, and that this was probably caused by excessive heat because the plane had been sitting for hours on a hot summer runway before taking off. But despite all the headlines and speculation in the days immediately following the crash, attention faded, and not much was done until July 16, 2008 – 12 years after the accident. Only then did the Federal Aviation Administration get around to issuing an order that airlines had to retrofit thousands of potentially vulnerable planes with a safety feature designed to prevent the kind of explosion that downed Flight 800.
However, according to this report in the trade e-newsletter Aviationpros.com published two weeks ago on the 12th anniversary of the crash, it turns out that the airlines still haven’t installed the required flammable suppression systems on most of their planes. In fact, they may not meet the FAA’s 2014 deadline for retrofitting just half of their jets and a 2017 deadline to retrofit all of them. That’s right: The FAA set the deadline for 2017, 21 years after the explosion. And the airlines aren’t going to make the changes even by then.