Book 3 Chapter 6
Happy New Year!
I left the White House at noon on Tuesday; Marine One carried me to the landing site behind the office. I met with my mates in my old office. We discussed more updates before we went to the commissioners meeting.
Bobs Engineering group had the 3D models of the twin 110 towers and associated development assembled on display tables so my mates could make any last minute changes before the meeting.
There was a 3D display of the RV park with the water park complex in the corner. They looked impressive to me. The real test would be in a couple hours.
Duke was going to allow them to be set up on tables with wheels so they could be rolled into the meeting as my mates were introduced.
I had sent Hanna and Melinda a text to be at the county meeting tonight. They were there when we got there as was Elmo. All three asked if they could sit with us. We had arrived early and the Sheriff’s deputies, my JBG security detail and the Secret Service guided us to seats on the side where we could make a quick escape if it became necessary. It also gave the Secret Service an excellent security vantage.
Sitting in the corner with Hanna, Melinda, Elmo and one White House reporter, I answered questions on camera for the fifteen minutes before the meeting started.
We listened to two hours of mundane county end of the year business that included holiday schedules and openings and closings along with agency reports. Every one of the agencies asked if there was any questions before sitting down. I guess my rant the last time I was at the county meeting had brought some changes.
Finally they opened the meeting up to new business. Duke announced that a special request for time had been allotted to Lorrie Jones, Marcy Jones, Jenny Jones, Victoria Jones, and Ching Lee Jones of Jones Business groups for a presentation.
Lorrie started with a description of the properties and the intended construction as the models where wheeled in and uncovered. Pandemonium lasted twenty minutes with the rest of the commissioners’ agency heads and Realtors going nuts.
Marcy was finally able to give the financials and all the reasons why and then there was another thirty minutes of heated conversation before the meeting continued.
Jenny gave the legal overview of the project with all the necessary filings. Vicky gave the construction security and long term security for the complex. Ching Lee gave the web site information and where to find more detailed information, the layout, engineer drawings, concepts and progress updates.
”The Jones group have agreed to answer a few questions and the commissioners have allotted fifteen minutes for that. Those that want to ask questions, step to the podium and use the microphone so everyone can hear the question, ” Duke said.
”These projects are huge. Do you really think they will ever fill up to become profitable?” someone asked.
”One thing, JBG is going to consolidate many of our offices, likely taking up twenty five stories in one building. Another thing you have to look at is that within a two hour commute you’re are looking at a population of five million people that could be potential customers of the retail areas,” Marcy said.
”Another thing, businesses are leaving the major cities because of the high crime rate and taxes. As an example Baltimore, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington DC are averaging twenty five deaths a day from crime. There are hundreds of assaults, rapes, a hundred carjacking a day and hundreds of daylight robberies,” Marcy said.
”All of this is because of liberal courts, liberal policing and liberal policies in those areas. Another thing, those cities have been dumped on since they were started. The plan wasn’t designed to be people friendly – just dump everyone together and see what happens. The county plans will prevent those things from happening. Queen Anne county plans calling for controlled growth to protect open spaces is to build tall,” Marcy said.
”What’s this going to do to local property taxes?” another asked.
”With JBG paying for the expansion of water and sewer plants and paying for its own emergency services, property taxes should not go up. In fact with the taxes these two properties will pay, the county should be able to cut taxes substantially and should even eliminate them for the county’s senior citizens. The high taxes are the reason our senior citizens are moving out of state,” Marcy said.
The commissioners wanted the models left for other county officials to look at and evaluate. Elmo, Hanna and Melinda wanted pictures and interviews with my mates. They wanted me in the pictures and interviews. I told them because of ethics rules I could not. I was here to support my family in their business decisions.
The plans for the property were on the 2200 Baltimore news when we got home. The media must have called every Maryland senator, delegate, the Annapolis mayor and the Baltimore politicos for a statement.
The Annapolis and Baltimore politicians were screaming that the complex had to be built on the western shore in Anne Arundel, Baltimore County or the city. They were the only place suitable for such a structure or they would not allow it to be built. Like they could stop it!
The Governor was more understanding, most likely because of his close friendship to Jason and Jenny.
”Tonight’s was the first that I have heard the JBG development plans on the shore. I got a tip that I should watch the Queen Anne county meeting and I’m glad I did,” the Governor said.
”As usual the Jones group keep things close to the chest; this complex development had to have been years in the planning stage. I understand they have already submitted the prints for approval and have full funding. How you can keep that kind of project and that amount of funding under wraps, I wish I knew,” he said
”It’s a remarkable complex for the state of Maryland. It will supply tens of thousands of construction jobs and long term employment for both the western shore and the eastern shore residents. It’s definitely going to be a showplace for the state. The third and fourth tallest buildings in the United States will put you on the map,” the Governor said.
”I received an invitation moments after the presentation to meet with the QA council, the Jones Group and the State Highway Administrator to discuss the project highway needs,” he said.
”One thing we have to remember is that JBG is a major US and International company with hundreds of facilities in nearly every nation around the world. This project could have been built in any state or any country in the world with their connections and they chose Maryland. That says a lot about where their heart and pride is.”
”The Governor’s office will work with the county and JBG to expedite the process and get the project moving. I understand this is only two of many major projects that JBG has in the works in the US and around the world,” he said.
I spent the night home with the girls and in the arms of Jenny. I needed to go to work at the White House tomorrow to be able to rest up. With the Secret Service provided 24/7 chef, I had an early breakfast and then Marine One carried me back to Washington. The media was in the roped off section as the gear touched the grass – yelling and screaming as usual.
For spite I walked over and said “Good morning, how do you like this cold weather?” I asked.
”You could invite us into the warm media room for hot coffee and donuts,” one of them said.
” You’re right – I could. I think there might be a few dollars left in my donut budget for the year, 0830 media room,” I said.
I worked at my desk until time to go the media room. The donuts and coffee were already on the table and both media groups were helping themselves. I had brought my mug of coffee with me.
I sat with Harry on the edge of the stage, sipping my coffee while he had a donut with his.
”You’re not having a donut with us?” one asked.
”I had a big breakfast this morning; two pancakes, bacon with a big sausage patty, scrambled eggs and toast with grape jam. I’m still full and the gym is already telling me I am late for my appointment,” I said with a laugh.
”With Christmas just a few days away have all of you got your shopping done?” I asked. It was a diversion to send them in a different direction and a delaying tactic. It only worked a little while.
”No, I – most of us are last minute rush shoppers. I guess you are all done,” another said.
”I have done some on line but have more to do. I’m going sneak out of the White House incognito and go to the mall and finish,” I said.
”Like hell you are. Over our dead bodies,” came from behind wall. It was Senior Agent Brewer.
”Well, maybe not,” I said.
”The base changes have got lots of people worried this close to the holidays. Have you got anything to give anyone piece of mind?” one said.
”Given that information was released just two days ago, there have been no changes. It will be thirty days before the list is the review stage,” I said.
”You had a busy evening last night. Lots of media coverage in Maryland and national this morning – some happy, some not so happy – in fact plain outright mad,” another said.
”I was there to support my mates on plans that we had started a couple years ago. It was nice to see the models, it will be even better to see steel going into the ground and the buildings rising to the sky. There is always someone upset with every decision someone else makes. They will just have to get over it,” I said.
I left all the extra donuts with the media people and went back to the Oval Office to deal with today’s problems. I delegated people to handle the mundane tasks and I read the updates from my investigative group. They were working in the direction I wanted. I had given them a list of names that I wanted complete details on.
At 1000 the IRS commissioner was back with the all the information I wanted about the various tax proposals that the advisory group had put together. Breaking all the rules, he brought me a list of the one thousand richest people in America and their worth. He had compiled it from public sources so there would be no real connection to the agency.
We talked an hour on various tax codes and their effect on the economy – in his opinion. I researched the top one hundred names on the list myself and made notes on the paper. It was exactly what I thought it was. The top one hundred richest were liberals and supporters of progressive socialists and communists.
I cross checked them – from the last election’s campaign donations, they had given Finney and the liberal party nearly two billion dollars and had tried to buy multiple Senate seats. It was no secret that I could be a revengeful bitch but how do you hurt someone that wealthy? Simple; you make them poor.
One way to do that was a wealth tax they could not get out of paying. Liberals had used the tax system to make the middle class poor and the poor more poor for decades to make them dependent on government handouts while protecting themselves. Even the speaker of the house had special wording put into several tax bills to help her family avoid millions in taxes.
The reason everyone said the wealth tax was unconstitutional was because the bills were only directed against a few. My plan was to make the wealth tax bill apply to everyone – including non-filers – by eliminating the non-filer rules. Everyone deserved the headache of filing taxes. But as in all tax codes, create exemptions.
Line A net worth less than one billion, line B no tax due. More than one billion but less than five billion, five percent due. Five to ten billion ten percent and all above ten billion, the rate would be twenty five percent. The richest – and there were more than several dozen that were two hundred billion and above – would send the Treasury a chunk of money. A few years of that and they would be a lot poorer.
I had the IRS commissioner, his experts and my White House staff write up the bill. That way Congress couldn’t put loopholes for the billionaire benefactors. I had an ace in the hole to get it passed this session and make it applicable to this tax year.
Congress had still not passed a final stopgap bill for the budget and were rushing to produce a bill I would sign so they could go home for the Christmas-New Year’s holiday.
I called the House and Senate leaders and told them that I had a proposal and if it was included in the budget bill along with the already agreed upon cuts unchanged, I would sign it immediately.
They could – if they wanted to – waive the readings and committee hearings and add the bill as an amendment to the funding bill. I would find out how badly they wanted to go home.
I was just finishing lunch when the leaders were led into the dining room. They could join me for coffee and dessert. The attendant had just set a slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top. If I was going to spend time in the gym, I could just as well make it worth my time to go there.
The leaders were happy and unhappy, if such a thing was possible. The progressives and liberals were happy with the high tax on the rich, something they had always wanted. They didn’t know the reasons I wanted it done for. They had plans to spend it for the liberal wish list by putting spending back into the bill but they were soon disappointed.
I went back and read the base list from the DOD and highlighted several of them. Then I had a thought – if the DOD was serious I would give then something to think about. Dover Base, which was on the list, was four hundred and sixty eight acres bordering the marshes of the Delaware Bay.
I could imagine the fight the developers would go through to fill the bay marshes to make water view condos. Nothing seemed to stop developers in Delaware.
I wrote a bid to give to the DOD to influence their thinking – a little.
JBG bids five hundred million for the Dover Air Force Base. With the following conditions:
JBG will maintain the air base for a period of no less than fifty years.
JBG will back lease the DAFB mortuary to the DOD for the sum of one hundred American dollars per year.
JBG will allow the Air Force to staff and operate the Doppler radar site to maintain defensive monitoring of the coast in conjunction with other military radar sites. The radar must supply vectoring to all JBG aircraft as needed by FAA regulations.
JBG will allow the Air Force, Air Force reserve or retired reservist to operate and maintain the Museum at the base. JBG must approve the removal or transfer of all historical planes and exhibits. Should the Air Force decide to close the museum, JBG must approve the closure and assumes ownership of all artifacts, exhibits and planes of the base museum.
JBG will allow the Air Force to hold the traditional Dover Air Show without cost to the Air Force.
JBG will allow the base to be used as a training facility for the instrument landing system and touch and goes and as an emergency field for military aircraft in distress.
JBG will maintain the fuel farm, runways, selected barracks, mess, maintenance hangars and repair shops for fifty years.
‘That ought to give them something to think about,’ I thought as I finished the letter. I would let General Ingram read it first and judge his reaction.
I emailed a copy to Lorrie and Marcy. It took all of nine minutes for my cell phone to ring. Then there was a thirty minute three way conversation while I explained my thinking and the intent behind the letter.
I called it a day and went to the gym. I needed two hours to work off breakfast, apple pie and ice cream. A light supper was called for after the gym.
Congress was burning the midnight oil with reports of great progress being made on the final legislation push for the year and the budget. After ten minutes I had had enough and turned off everything. I wished that one of my mates were here, I could use some TLC.
Tomorrow night Ching Lee and Vicky were both coming over; I was ready. Ching Lee was bringing some of the toys from the basement.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.