Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A modest proposal to our governors, from 18 years ago

Back when I was living in Albuquerque many moons ago, I sent this modest proposal letter around to the 50 governors then serving.

I got two responses. The first from the Governor of Colorado, just up the road. He put me in touch with his Secretary of Health & Human Services, if I recall correctly. And we had an interesting discussion.

The second was from the Governor of Delaware. He wrote me a short letter and pointed out that if this proposal were to be enacted, it would deprive the federal government of personal income tax revenues and would thus, in turn, jeopardize the federal revenue-sharing funds that flow back to the states from the Federal government.

What I had apparently not made clear enough was (and is) that the state would make up for this shortfall by increasing corporate licensing fees, transaction fees for investments, property taxes, and so on. But not on personal income--because there'd be hardly any to speak of.

In other words, one of the goals of this proposal is to essentially stop the flow of money out of the states and into the federal coffers, where neither states nor citizens have any effective control over how that money is spent.

Yes, there are the important entitlement programs, Medicare and Social Security. These will have to be dealt with. And so will our corporate welfare, or oligarchic corporate socialism, need to be addressed. However, when "every person is a corporation, too," (an ineluctable concomitant of the Supremes' holding in Untied Citizens vs. the Federal Elections Commission last year (2010), then everyone--no just the corporate CEOs and the rest of the 0.01% of our richest corporate socialists, but everyone--can feed at the corporate trough.

Yes, there are states (like Alaska, as we learned in the 2008 election), that receive far more in federal dollars than the businesses and citizens of the state pay into the federal government. About the time I was writing this letter, I think New Mexico got the highest "return" funds, something like $3 for every $1 sent Washingtonward. But most of that money was coming back to support Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, the nuclear weapons storage facility, White Sands, the Large Array radio telescope, and so on. (Oooh, I shouldn't forget Area 51, should I?)

And the "federal revenue sharing" most certainly was not flowing into the hands of First Americans on their desolate reservations--the Comanche, Navajo, Zuni, Pueblo....(check out alll these....

Northeast Albuquerque
New Mexico 87111-4526
Sun, Mar 22, 1992
The «salutation» «1stName» «middleInitial» «lastName»«line»
«title» of the «fullStateName»
«city», «st» «zip»
Dear Governor «ln»:

You could think of this as a suggestion for a significant, lucrative Family Federal Aid Program for your «fullState» which requires only state legislative action, reversing the example of Federal entitlements programs which are enacted in Washington, but are paid for by your state.

Here’s what you do: In a suite of legislation that declares the business of the «fullState» to be raising, nurturing, training & supporting capable, creative, productive businesspeople (who then, and only then, set up or work in other productive businesses), set up a Family Corporations Law, either out of whole new cloth, or amend your current Domestic or Business Corporations Law to encompass this new “business purpose”.

Let the new or amended law declare and provide:

• That all families now and hereafter are Family Corporations in the «fullState».

• That marriage automatically creates the Family Corporation, but that any individual or group of individuals may also form a Family Corporation.

• That all “traditional” employers or institutions or entities paying sums of money to a member of such corporation must change their records to pay those sums to the Family Corporation, instead of to the individuals. This would end individual income tax & withholding on those sums.

As Family Corporations engaged in the business of raising and caring for businesspeople, all the necessary expenses of food, clothing, shelter, education, transportation, communication, etc. are, of course, business expenses. (The «fullState» could begin to charge for such services as are actually rendered.)

The Federal government would of course tax the profits of the Family Corporation (as could the «fullState»), which would amount to what families now put into savings. Your «fullState» would maintain its revenue stream by tinkering with such things as corporate franchise fees. Most of the personal income tax saved by your state’s new Family Corporations would be spent in your state, benefitting your economy. Treatment of all corporations, whether “Family Business” or those existing before the Family Corporations Act, could be uniform (property tax “incentives” for traditional businesses and aid to family corporations with dependent children would then uniformly be called “corporate welfare”).

There would effectively be a national flat tax, the corporate tax.

Your state legislation should be protected by the Tenth Amendment from Federal attack.
The further the success of such Family Corporations, you’d want to add mandatory curricula in the schools in Running a Family Corporation, Family Accounting, Family Education (older family members as teachers of the younger corporate members), as well as Family Health, etc.

You could also wrap the concept in as many reams of written (or spoken) rhetoric as you wished, stating that without healthy, happy, capable, creative businesspeople, no business (of any kind) or state can long survive, etc., particularly as so much has been made in the past two decades of the plight of the American Family and yet so little has been done to ameliorate it.

Bill Wilt

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Keep Your Money; Raise Your Kids; Starve Federal Government

Well, here we are in the middle of June, 2008.

The US has a putative Democratic nominee for the presidency as well as a Republican one.

We're still in Iraq, trying to get the Iraqi government to cave in and let us fulfill our Holy Purpose to have:
  • 14 or so huge, permanent military bases there ("Oh, no, no, no, says our Unitary Liar-In-Chief (ULIC); we don't want to keep the permanent bases [like small US cities] we've already built on your land. We just want 'enduring' bases! And as you know from your holy book, nothing lasts forever, so how could we ever have 'permanent' bases? That would be an ox for morons." 
  • Just a little bit of Iraqi oil for 35 years, or 'til it runs out, and 
  • Just a few 35-year oil-field service contracts, and 
  • Only a handful of 35-year prime exploration spots. "But, gosh," says the ULIC, "we don't want to take all your oil, we just want a small share of it--12.5% for you, 87.5% for the US and our friends in England & Australia--not Germany, of course, and CERTAINLY NOT FRANCE."

Prime Minister Malaki could be forgiven for saying, in response, "We have a saying here in Iraq--I don't know if you have one like it in Texas or Washington, but we say, 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool...unnhhhh, me twice,  uuhhnn … well, you can't fool me again.' " 

"Yeah," says the ULIC. "I think I've heard that one before!"

And in the midst of all that, the economy's gone to hell for the 95% of Americans who aren't the top 5% of Americans by income, Reagan tipped the US from a net creditor nation to a net debtor nation in 1985-6, and we've been borrowing from the world ever since.'

Just think about that for a minute: We're a debtor nation. The so-called Only Superpower In The World. In hock to the rest of the world. For the past 23 years. Wow!

We borrow money from the rest of the world, now in prodigious amounts to pay for this $3 to maybe $5 trillion Iraq invasion & occupation; we borrow money from the Federal Reserve System (it's not federal, there's no reserve — it's all system. We have borrowed ALL the money in circulation from the Fed, and put up IOUs, called Treasury bills or bonds, which must be repaid with interest (which adds to the national debt, of course). The Fed doesn't even pay to have its "federal reserve notes" printed or its coins minted. We do--we the squeezed and squished 95%.

And our elected officials (I use the word elected loosely, of course) do the bidding of the 5%--the corporate thugs that have used our citizens, our courts, our roads, our cities and towns, blackmailing municipalities to forego taxes, to build special roads, sewers, schools to "attract" these corporate thieves. Who've avoided (and evaded--a crime) taxes, set up dummy corporate HQs in island tax havens to hide income from the taxman and shareholders and all members of the public who would boycott their products/places of business if they but knew the half of the damage the corporations have done and continue to do to our economy, our government, and our way of life.

It's well past the time we did something about this awful mess.

So, what should we do? First, cause all citizens, especially families, to gain equality with corporations.

How? You don't marry; you incorporate. Marriage ,or whatever you want to call it, is a matter between you, your partner(s) and your spiritual or non-spiritual selves. The federal and state governments have no authority over adult relationships (just as they have no authority over what you do with your body).

Our lives get a little bit more complicated when we're all part of our own corporation, because we'll be running a business, filing business forms, tax forms, all of that.

However, all of the reasonable and necessary expenses we incur running our corporations, in business to raise children, acculturate, retrain, make wonderful citizens and contractors — are above-the-line deductions.  Like what, you ask?

  • work uniforms;
  • corporate cafeteria;
  • corporate health plan(s);
  • corporate retirement plan(s);
  • corporate training programs;
  • corporate loans and mortgages;
  • taxes on corporate HQ and property;
  • corporate depreciation on corp. headquarters and off-site retreat facilities;
  • corporate office furniture, maintenance, decorating
  • corporate vehicles & other transportation;
  • corporate entertainment (only 80% or so deductible. Hafta check w/ IRS regs)
  • Legal assistance (in negotiating contracts with former employers);
  • etc.
In other words, all of the reasonable and necessary expenses of running a family, now to be called a Domestic Domestic Corporation, or DDC. The two domestics refer to, 1) Domestic, as of the state in which incorporated, and 2) Domestic, as of the home.

States could facilitate this switch-over by declaring all citizens of the state to be a member of their own DDC, and declaring that money formerly paid to DDC corporate members as salary or wages, would automatically become 1099 income, money paid from one corporation to another.

I can see a really useful role for our moribund unions in this, helping families to incorporate, run these DDCs, negotiate with other corporations, both DDCs and other business corporations. And certainly, both boys and girls would now have to seriously learn "home economics" because it will have become all about "running the Home Corporation."

More TK