Finance Minister Mathias Cormann Charged $37,000 For Military Flights

The minister in charge of reining in government expenditure charged taxpayers $37,000 so he could fly on a military jet instead of getting a commercial flight. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann billed taxpayers for three flights aboard a RAAF CL604 Challenger last year so he could spruik the government’s income tax plan and lobby crossbench senators to cut corporate tax. These flights on June 22, taking him from Canberra to Adelaide and then back to his home city of Perth, cost $37,000 or about 20 times the cost of one commercial flight. The hefty expenses haven’t been listed by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority but Senator Cormann has confirmed he took the military flights because there were no available commercial services at short notice. Use of the special purpose aircraft was approved in the appropriate way to facilitate official business in Adelaide in transit from Canberra back to Perth in between two parliamentary sitting weeks,’ his spokeswoman told the ABC. June 22 was also the day Parliament agreed to pass the government’s personal income tax cuts. Crossbench senators, however, continued to opposed the Coalition’s plan to reduce corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. This was why Senator Cormann flew to Adelaide, during a non-sitting week of Parliament, to meet with Centre Alliance senators Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick in a bid to lobby them, the ABC confirmed. Two days later, Senator Cormann took a commercial flight from Perth to Canberra for $1,808, Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority data showed. On June 29, he took another commercial flight from Canberra to Adelaide, charging taxpayers $1,758, before flying from Adelaide to Perth for $1,754. While Australia’s finance minister is in charge of government expenditure programs, Education Minister Dan Tehan defended Senator Cormann’s use of a military jet. What that trip was about as I understand, was making sure that we were doing everything possible to see Australians pay less tax,’ he told ABC TV’s Breakfast on Friday, arguing he travelled to Adelaide to lobby the Centre Alliance senators because he was ‘hellbent’ on reducing tax.

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And, similarly, the contrast with the House speaks for itself. But if they press forward with a carve out bill for a liberal Obama donor while killing a much stronger free market bill that addresses the same issue, it doesn’t take a genius to see how it would be used against them. The (basically accurate) Senate good/House bad narrative becomes muddied and more difficult to explain. This becomes even truer if Straus ultimately kills this measure. We spent several hours this morning working Senate sources and, to the best of our knowledge, nobody seems to have any clue what’s going on besides Dan Patrick and Kelly Hancock. That’s both a bad thing and a good thing. One silver lining: If this bill does move forward, it’s vulnerable to a floor amendment that could substitute the Tesla bill for the “Buffett bill.” All it would take would be to have a Senator force the vote during floor debate.

What appeared to be a portion of a partially submerged church by Dan Havel was certainly an attention grabber! It was the first sculpture seen as one headed north on the esplanade of Heights Boulevard off of Interstate 10. Many people got to see it during the temporary “True North” public art installation in Houston, Texas. This sculpture was the brainchild of artist Dan Havel. He has been living and working in Houston now for many years. His sculptures often stop people in their tracks out of sheer curiosity and wonderment. This portion of an old church that had been torn down was not sinking in quicksand. The land here is stable. The salvaged part of the church from the Houston Heights area was intentionally re-purposed by Dan Havel into a decorative piece of art crooked steeple and all. That steeple was once hit by lightning, which is why it was twisted and bent.

One of the top university prep schools in the country is located here in Houston, Texas.

This local Houston artist graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in 1981 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He attained his Master of Fine Arts degree two years later from Minnesota State University. Dan Havel stays very busy. He is a teacher and Art Director for the critically acclaimed St. John’s School here in Houston. 1946 was when the school began. St. John’s has a long history of graduating students who excel in life endeavors. Dan Havel plays a definitive role in his role of encouraging art appreciation and perhaps even inspiring artists of the future. One of the top university prep schools in the country is located here in Houston, Texas. If a student is academically inclined and wishes to get into schools like Harvard, Stanford, Rice, or Yale, attending this not for profit private school might be something to consider. There is an annual fee that ranges from a little over $20,000 to more than $24,000 per student for kindergarten through 12th grade. Some of the students receive scholarships. Arts is a part of the curriculum, and a minimum requirement of one credit is mandatory for graduation.