Book Chapter 185

            We had a great supper together then played with the kids that I missed so much. When the kids finally wore out and went to bed it was my time to make up for lost time with my mates.

            I was up early and went to the fitness center for an hour before the kids and my mates were up. I finished in time to join them for breakfast.

            Then we began getting ready for the trip to Atlanta for the debate. First there was a side trip to Lexington Kentucky for an afternoon rally and speech.

            Andrew and I had written a barn burner of a speech. I had allowed him to leave several topics with an ending that would be open to questions. What is she saying, what is she planning? The timing was right with the debate and then just two weeks to the conservative convention. It was a great crowd – easily motivated and receptive.

            We were there all afternoon before flying on to Atlanta. I needed to spend time with Carl Isham. There were a lot of points he wanted to make me aware of before my possible fiasco on national TV. My words; not his.

            I listened to a group of experts about several topics that may come up before going to the potty and then to makeup. The final step was to be wired up for the sound system.

            The two reporter moderators came back and explained how the debate was supposed to work, according to their plans. The reporters had twenty questions that the media had put together. After that they had questions from the attending audience that they had written on note cards as they came in.

            The place was packed; the liberal candidate was to take the stage during the entrance music that was played at his rallies. It was played by a rock jazz band and was a mix for the younger liberal crowd.

            I waited until his music had stopped. I hadn’t thought about music but Troy, Carl and Marcy had. They stopped me from walking out to podium. The Georgia state University marching band marched in from the rear of the auditorium. They stopped at the stage and while they played Hail to the Chief, Troy motioned me to walk out. When they finished they played Star and Stripes Forever. I walked to the edge of the stage and gave them a thumbs up.

            They played it again as they marched to the back of the stage and left.

            Albert Finney was pissed and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see it. His face was beet red and he had his jaw clenched so tight it was a wonder he didn’t break his teeth.

            I walked to shake his hand halfway in between the two podiums as instructed – instead he turned and walked away. His smooth demeanor was gone and his ass attitude was already showing. I was willing to bet any agreement was gone.

            The moderator Marvin Sinclair ask who wanted to go first.

            ”Let the candidate go first; he has the most to lose or gain,” I said.

            The first question was on Social Security taxes.

            Albert went into a long spiel on why Social Security withholding should be doubled for both the employee and employer, making it twenty five percent.

            The liberal plan was for all the homeless to be able to collect the max social security payment, regardless of age and amount they had contributed to the fund.

            I shot that down easily, ”Employees will not stand for a twelve percent tax for Social Security regardless of your party’s good intentions. Employers would not stand for it either. They will get out of it by reducing the number of employees or simply outsource all manufacturing. Then you end up with fewer employees paying into the fund,” I said.

            ”There is no way that the Social Security fund should be used for that even if it made sense to do it. It should be from general revenue funds,” I added.

            The next question was on income taxes.

            ”I want to raise all tax rates above fifty thousand by twenty percent with all income above a million dollars taxed at eighty percent. In addition to that I want a wealth tax of twenty percent on all individuals with a net worth over a million dollars.”

            ”I want to give all immigrants, the homeless and minorities a ten year minimum income of forty thousand dollars to give them a jump start back into the economy. With the tax increases we can do that and more,” Albert said.

            I countered with ”First off you fail to recognize that all the wealthy can and will leave the country. In the modern economy money and wealth is fluid; in a matter of hours it can be transferred out of the country, then you won’t have anything to tax. Wealth is not anchored down – stocks and bonds can be sold or transferred to holdings out of the country and property can be quickly sold.”

            ”With the tax rates you are proposing, someone working and making fifty thousand dollars is going to have less money than you are giving illegals and the homeless. How do you think that is going to work? Not for long.”

            ”You would also have to change the Constitution to make a wealth tax legal. That takes two third of the states, and sixty six votes in the Senate. That was tried before. Odds of that happening are slim to none,” I said.

            ”If you give them forty thousand a year, there is no incentive to learn or produce anything in that time. At the end of ten years they will be waiting on the next handout, thinking they are entitled and deserving,” I said.

            The next question was on defense spending.

            ”I want to cut the defense department by seventy five percent and use the money for infrastructure and social programs,” Albert said.

            ”With a seventy five percent cut, you won’t have any defense other than a few Cuban style gunboats. Practically all bases will be closed in every state. You don’t understand how our military bases and the military reserves serve the needs our country at home and on the world stage. You certainly don’t understand how many local jobs depend on every military base or how bases respond to the community in emergencies,” I said.

            ”Apparently you have no idea how many companies or how many employees work for us to have the best and most competitive military in the world. You also fail to understand just how much technology makes its way from the military R&D to the consumer market,” I said.

            ”You also have no idea just how big the weapons export business is and that is promoted by having a first rate military using the equipment,” I added.

            ”The airplane, GPS, computers, radar, the ability to put men in space and now on Mars, automotive vehicles, wireless communications, nylon and artificial rubber were all improved by or created with R&D from the military making them reliable,” I said.

            The insanity went on and on; freebies, fully open borders, free medical, free college, free housing, minimum income for anyone – citizen or not. Raise the gas tax to ten dollars a gallon. Eliminate all fossil fuel use in five years and internal combustion vehicles in five years.

            He was copying the liberal California political model – the one I had destroyed by putting the idiots in jail after the state fell apart.

            I cut apart his every answer to the bone as to why it wouldn’t work, why it would destroy various segments of the economy and why unemployment would skyrocket.          

            ”Job training would be offered for the newly unemployed,” he said.

            I countered with, ”Your job training for the unemployed is worthless when there would be no jobs for them.” I went on to explained why seniority and benefits were so important to the average worker and why the labor unions and big business spent decades building on them to retain quality employees.

            ”Just how do you justify throwing millions of employees in their late fifties and early sixties into the unemployment line when they were at the peak of their earning power and benefits? A position they would never regain in their lifetime with any new job,” I asked.

            ”They will start at the bottom of the pay and benefits slope, even if they find a job. All of this for your fantasy pipe dreams. For all of the industries you are wanting to close there will be no new jobs needing their life learned skills. The last ten years is when most employees contribute the most to retirement plans. Those retirements will be gone and their standard of living for the rest of their life will impacted,” I said.

            I gave him no room on the policies he was wanting to implement. He was getting really flustered and was impatient and argumentative by the time we came to the forty five minute break.

            And then came the open mike fiasco for him. He was so mad when he went behind the curtain – to our separate room as I did – he forgot to turn his mike off.

            ”I don’t know who the dumb son of a bitch that talked me into agreeing to this debate with that fucked up bitch was but I’m not going back out there. Tell them I’ve got a headache or sick or something.”

            ”Debating her would be a piece of cake. What a crock of shit that was. You said I overly prepared. If I was overly prepared, what was she? A fucking encyclopedia on steroids?”

            ”The mike – the mike, you still have it on!” one of his aides yelled. “Turn it off.”

            It was too late for that – every word had been blasted into the packed auditorium and on the TV. The anchors were discussing the first part of the debate live. They had plenty to talk about after that.

            There was shouting from the room as I walked back to the podium.

            At the podium I talked with the moderators while we waited. The TV people were counting down time and announced they were live. The liberal candidate had not returned.

            ”If you want to go ahead with the questions we can continue,” I said.

            ”The desk is asking if you would allow us to do just that,” he said.

            ”The war – how is the war with Iran going? There is not a lot of information coming out on the ground war,” he said.

            ”The ground war is going well with real progress every day. Causalities are remarkably low. In fact we have more deaths and injuries from accidents than enemy fire,” I said.

            ”What do you credit the low causalities to?” he asked.

            ”The Navy and Air Force bombing campaign, the selection of targets and good weather. When intelligence locates the enemy, missiles and bombs get there first before ground troops do. The ground forces have the best air support we have ever had for the troops and they are making the best of it,” I said.

            ”Madam President, you have been doing fund raisers for the party even as the Vice President. The crowds have been huge with the response very positive. You seem to enjoy being in front of the people. Have you considered running for the President?” he asked.

            ”To say the thought had not crossed my mind would be a lie. I have enjoyed meeting the people. The crowds and I both seem to feed on the energy created at the rallies. I will campaign for the nominee whoever it may be. I think when the convention is over we will have a candidate all of us can support,” I said.

            ”The network has been running a question at the bottom of the screen while we have been on the air. That question is ‘If she were to run, would you vote for President Jones in the upcoming election?”

            ”Seventy five percent of those that responded voted yes, that is a strong show of support. Another one that might interest you is the odds of you running for President by the Vegas bookies are 7 to 1 in favor. Another one from the bookies is 8 to 1 on you winning the election,” Marvin said.

            ”I think the outcome at the convention will answer all questions,” I said.

A few more words with Marvin and I thanked the crowd for coming and listening to the process. The lights went dim on the stage.

            My mates had Carl Isham cornered by the wall in conversation that went hushed as I walked to them.

            Two hours later we were back at the White House unwinding from the flight. Because I had read updates on the flight we went straight to the living quarters. It had been a good night; they were happy and I was too.

Edit by Alfmeister

Proof read by Bob W.

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4 Responses to Book Chapter 185

  1. Bil Cook says:

    hmmm, a draft from the convention floor after the first ballot since there is no clear declared front runner, but for whom? You have said prior that she would not run past her term as VP in the comments. Changed your mind, Jack? Or are you pulling the full Jack Ryan I asked you about when she was appointed VP? She could be another LBJ serve the finish of this term PLUS 2 full ones since her time in office on this term does NOT trip the Constitutional limit. Looking forward to seeing what you devious mind produces!

  2. typo says:

    Another great chapter, following an interesting initial stumble. I loved the buffoon you made of the opposition but what do you do when both parties front buffoons as candidates? That’s all I will say on that subject as I’m likely to go off on a long useless diatribe otherwise. ;-(

    I may have mentioned once before my theory that it’s dangerous to self-review without at least taking a break first as our mind is more likely to recognize what we MEAN instead of what we actually SAID. This can be minimized, though never fully eliminated, by setting the content aside long enough to bring a “fresh mind” to the review task.

    The first sentence of this new chapter is a good example of this type of gaff, where an obvious case of subject/verb disagreement managed to survive review. (“We has a great supper together…” )

    Surely you intended “We HAD…” rather than “We has…,” yes? 😉

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