Friday, May 29, 2009

A Letter to Rush

Dear Rush:

Just got my first Limbaugh Letter after listening to you all these years on KSFO in “Sodom By the Bay”, aka San Francisco.

One question only—who will be the gutsy guy or gal to repeat Newt’s feat of 1994, and slow down Obama? Apart from Sarah Palin on the gal side (unfortunately out of the D.C. loop), who has the “right stuff” on the guy side?

My first novel, An American Fable and second novel, An Italian Fable are now available—it’s not Hemingway by a long shot, but it is chock full of love of family, God and country, including a blueprint for Jeffersonian revolution in matters of domestic and foreign policies—my “last hurrah,” if you’re a Spencer Tracy fan. My third novel, CIA Fables, to be published later this year, completes my Fables Trilogy.

There are 50 million voting seniors out here. No one on our planet need preach to us about revolution—we invented modern-era revolution—including the coming peaceful one.

Very truly yours,

Charles Fairfax Speer (email)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Q & A

Kevin, a CPA in Little Rock, Arkansas asks:

Q: Hey, Charlie—
I’ve been reading this blog since it started and first off, I’d like to say that I am intrigued by your theories and can’t wait to read your two books. I can see why some call you a “visionary.” You’re writing what a lot of us are thinking, but are unable to synthesize into an action plan. I’ve scanned your blog entries, including your “things to come” epilogue to An American Fable, and I must admit that you’ve raised a lot of questions—to whit:
  • What happens to under/unemployed tax advisors (like me)? IRS agents? franchise tax agents? property tax assessors? parking meter maids? road/bridge/tunnel toll collectors? auto liability salesmen? Social Security/Medicare administrators? healthcare insurers? liquor and tobacco “revenuers”? Washington lobbyists? ambulance-chasing personal injury litigators? and so forth? How do we put food on the table?

  • How can you even think about a global Pax Americana, which would increase our military from 800,000 to 2 million volunteers; jump start the Peace Corps from almost zero to a half-million American and European volunteers to back up U.N. Secretary General Colin Powell’s mandate to save Africa from the abyss?
A: Kevin, I never said that my vision of 21st Century America would be easy—just doable; and that you, I, and our countrymen, have inherited the “True Grit” and “Right Stuff” to accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Folks like us have to reinvent our productive roles, in my case for the fourth time during my life. There’s a great big world out there just waiting for new ideas, and the guys and gals behind them.

All of the under/unemployed, as well as the homeless, will be forced to find their niche within the new city and county jobs created by local assumption of federal programs—from parks to monuments; disability to disaster; museums to mausoleums; borders to bridges; and just about everything else in between. Otherwise, Uncle Sam stays out of our daily lives, and sticks to what our Constitution hired him for.

Don’t fret about your CPA practice; both my books call for accountant certification of loan applications and stock issuances—a kind of Congressional “accountants’ full employment act” designed to deter future hanky-panky at all levels, from mom and pop to Citicorp—no certification, no money from bank loans or securities offerings.

In the meantime, our City/Town/County will provide the 12 buck/25 grand minimum wage for the infrastructure work needed—buildings; maintenance; roads; schools; bridges; or work at home on a loaner laptop to do City admin or research to back up the Councilperson charged with validating and then taking care of us, our neighbors, and our townspeople, while administering about a trillion dollars of our daily 10% tax bite.

With regard to Pax Americana, my scenario is a post-WWII update, when we reluctantly ruled the planet, at a cost of 680,000 foreign gravestones for our G.I.’s, Marines and sailors, out of 10 million sent to European and Pacific battlefields; 16 million Americans put in uniform; and 20 million “Rosie the Riveters” sent to our assembly lines—all this from our Greatest Generation population of less than 100 million men, women, and children, including my boyhood gang that scavenged every old rubber tire and bit of metal in our neighborhood.

For the second time in a quarter century we proved to the world that there is no task too difficult for Americans. We saved European civilization, and capitalists that we are, proceeded to purchase a good portion of their industrial enterprises with our “heavy” dollars after WWII, while fueling their post-war recovery with our outright charity, in the form of Harry Truman’s C.A.R.E. packages and Marshall Plan.

Today, and during the 50-year-long Cold War of yesterday (which Ronnie Reagan finally won), the planet still looks to us for guidance. This is our God-given destiny, and there’s no way around it, like it or not—and in our isolationist years of yore we didn’t like it one damn bit, until Teddy R. woke us up at the turn of the last century, with his “walk softly and carry a big stick” foreign policy.

Our “big stick” tomorrow will be our operational outer space defensive and offensive satellite umbrella, in defiance of every arms treaty we ever signed.

It’s up to you and me, Kevin—don’t look elsewhere, because to paraphrase a famous old Manhattan happy hour cocktail quip, “Buddy, there is no elsewhere, elsewhere.” (Gertrude Stein at her Algonquin Hotel evening roundtable cocktail hour, when Great American Humorist Robert Benchley queried her about her Oakland, California origins, replied dryly, "Dahling, there is no there, there."

More Q&A

Walter, a 27-year-old busboy in Richmond, Virginia asks:

Q: Mister Charlie, I just heard about your 12 buck/25 grand minimum wage for myself and my wife, who works as a cleaning lady. We are both from the small village of San Francisco (population 2,000), just outside San Salvador.

You cannot possibly imagine what a promotion to America’s middle class would mean for our young family, which includes our son Walter Jr. (4 1/2) and plans for more children down the road. With a combined income of 50 grand, we can qualify for a modest home loan, our American Dream come true. And looking forward, we can plan on a decent education for our kids; locally administered medical care for our family; and if my boss lays me off, I would be happy to do city maintenance or new construction manual labor to keep my income at base level. But how is all this possible?

A: Walter, there’s nothing magical about my proposals—the stronger our middle class, the stronger America; and I am a believer in American wealth accumulation, bit by bit, beginning with a home of our own. Then, we need to convert Social Security promises to hard cash T-bonds at age 70.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Letter to Steve Forbes

Dear Mr. Forbes:

As a CPA tax guy, I’ve been following your “flat tax” proposals for several years, and have taken your simplification ideas a step further with my “10% on everything” idiot-proof, two-page tax code. This approach is discussed at length in fictional form in my new book
An American Fable, and it is debated in Q&A format on my blog.

The advantages of a “10% on everything” tax code are:
  • Yields total tax revenue of $3 trillion plus, versus about $2 trillion today from income taxes, fees, tolls, licenses, duties, bondings, payroll contributions, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, excises, assessments, property taxes, et al, which would be eliminated (along with my modest post-retirement income from tax services to long-time clients);
  • Is paid day-by-day;
  • Is buried in retail prices, like the European VAT, but without VAT’s accounting complexities for small business owners like my Italian brother-in-law;
    • Provides for a 60% share to cities and counties (10% to States), allowing a return to local rule over social services (healthcare, unemployment, disability) and local infrastructure (bridges, roads, buildings, tunnels, and schools);
    • Gets Uncle Sam out of our daily lives. His 30% cut ($1 trillion) is to pay down our national debt; protect us against enemies, referee internal conformity, and give us a functioning bank system;

    • We “local yokels” will take care of our schools, neighborhoods and townspeople—a return to Constitutional States’ rights after 150 years of Federal Caesarian command;
    • Is front-end loaded, with no back-end tax on business profits, interest income, investment income, capital gains or pension T-bond withdrawals. Gets my 8 grandkids (and near-term great-grandkids) off the hook for paying off our $10 trillion national debt and $20 trillion Social Security/MediCare actuarial; shortfall.

    • Promotes “low-class” Americans to “middle-class” Americans overnight, with a 25 grand minimum wage and a 10% T-bond retirement account.
    Steve, I don’t care who gets credit for what; I just want to see a serious debate about simple taxation, local empowerment, and T-bond conversion of Federal pension benefits. There are 50 million senior voters out here who love our country, but hate the drift to Socialism. We need authoritative voices to speak for us; don’t let us down!

    Yours very truly,
    Charles Fairfax Speer (email)

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    A Letter to Governor Palin

    Dear Governor Palin:

    Thank you for your staff’s interest to learn more about my first book An American Fable, which contains proposals to confront and conquer some of America’s financial and social ills with a body of fresh thinking (some conservative; some liberal).

    You’re still the gutsy gal I voted for last November, so don’t change a thing—Republicans need all the guts that can be mustered to overcome the slings and arrows of outrageous assaults on our American culture; which I judge to be the greatest in recorded history—better than the Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, and Turks.

    We are a great people who deserve great leaders in the mold of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy R., FDR, Harry Truman, and Ronnie Reagan (my short list of visionary Presidents).

    Yours very truly,

    Charles Fairfax Speer (email)

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    More Q&A

    Sue Morello, Des Moines, Iowa writes:

    Q: As a teacher, I am highly offended by your comments, Mr. Speer. How dare you depict teachers, the ones who mold tomorrow's leaders, as Socialists. Shame on you. I am a Democrat and proud of it, you old fart! We work hard for every cent we earn and we are the backbone of this country. Don't ever forget that.

    A: You missed my point entirely Sue, wherein I clearly blame Federal interference for the unacceptable high school dropout rate. If your town was using its own money exclusively, parental outrage would demand any and all methods be adopted to correct this sad state of affairs—union or no—on pain of dismissal. There would be no Federal rules. Uncle Sam has nothing to offer except money, and if you and I have the money we need, we don’t need Sam in order to teach our kids. Let’s tell him to stick to what we hired him for in 1787—protect us against enemies and give us a national banking system that works.

    I see no problem with your being a “proud Democrat” (even I voted for Jack Kennedy), but let’s leave Socialist dogma and political correctness to the theoreticians, and keep these unproven viewpoints out of the classrooms. If teachers must preach, then preach the American heritage of “individuality” from Boston revolt to New Orleans jazz. Yes Sue, we do have “an American culture”, warts and all, and it’s greater than that of the Chinese, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Turks.

    More Q&A

    Jason from Memphis, TN writes:

    Q: I think your ideas are great, if not a little unrealistic. As a fellow conservative, you have struck a few chords with me. I do have one question, however. What would happen with estate and inheritance taxes under your plan? And who did you vote for in the last Presidential election? If you say Obama you'll lose all credibility.

    A: Jason, my 10% on everything\replacement of everything tax is exactly as advertised, and replaces all existing Federal, State, and Local taxes, assessments, fees, excises, tolls, licenses, bondings, import duties, property, estate, inheritance, gasoline, and every other form of dunning our wallets. It does it day-by-day, on pain of a 10% late penalty; freezing and eventual confiscation of assets; and 2 to 5 years of “soft” jail time. (The ‘bad guys’ are moved out to one of our unfenced Aleutian Island enclaves, to make room for white collar tax evaders, including those who compound their felony by hiring illegal aliens.)

    Secondly, I haven’t voted Democrat since Jack Kennedy. Obama has all the tools for success, but is mired in failed Socialist central control philosophy, and thus unlikely to promote any measures to return schooling, infrastructure and social services to local rule. In his mind, we “local yokels” are a bunch of dummies, even though his “brain trust” has so far failed miserably in their responsibility to provide a working bank system—the collapse of which has cost us half of our 401(k) pension nest egg. But bitching and moaning serves no purpose without a comprehensive body of solutions, which I put forth in my writings.

    More Q&A

    George, a Wells Fargo loan officer in Denver asks:

    Q: How would your so-called “10% on everything” tax affect banks and borrowers?

    A: Competition for new loans would be fierce, keeping interest rates at rock bottom, because there is no tax on bank interest income. The front-end 10% tax to the borrower would be shared to some extent by Wells Fargo as a “loan acquisition cost”, and the remainder added to the borrower’s loan principal, to be paid off over the life of the loan.

    For example, let’s say “Joe the Plumber”, walks into your office for a 500 grand loan to either expand his business, or buy a larger home for his expanding family. You’re an aggressive guy, so you offer to split the 50 grand tax bite 25/25, and give him a long-term (home) or short-term (business) loan at prime plus 1%--say 5%. You shake hands, and everybody goes home happy.

    Uncle Sam is happy because he just made 15 grand (his 30% share); Denver City and County is happy, because they just made 30 grand (their 60% share); Joe is happy, because he has half-a-mil in cash to fund his business, or to buy his new 4-bedroom house, making his wife happy; you are happy, because you just made a 5 grand commission, making your wife happy; Wells Fargo is happy, because they will be making a net 2% profit after charging off the 25 grand loan acquisition cost and your 5 grand commission to current expense. Lastly, Wells Fargo stockholders are happy, because their investment is going gangbusters with no hidden surprises, bumping up their stock price and tax-free dividends.