Fedex CEO, Skull & Bones Member, Urges Obama to Pass a 15-Cent-Per-Gallon Fuel Tax Hike
By Martin Hill
December 5, 2014


Latest from Frederick W. Smith, CEO of FedEx, had a lengthy discourse with president Obama Tuesday at the Business Roundtable meeting and urged Obama to raise the nation's fuel tax by fifteen cents per gallon.

In their discussion, Smith referenced a law being sponsored by Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Republican Thomas E. Petri known as the UPDATE ACT (Update, Promote, and Develop America's Transportation Essentials Act of 2013). H.R.3636 was promoted by the bipartisan duo this week in Congress as they were flanked by a lifesize cartoon cutout of Ronnie Reagan, mile raised the fuel tax in the 1980s.

Being the CEO of one of the largest transportation companies, one might assume that the likes of Smith would oppose such a drastic increase in fuel tax, which would seemingly hamper the cost of doing business. Independent truck drivers would surely oppose such a measure, as it would cut into their profits substantially at a time when many drivers are already struggling to keep their business afloat. But that doesn't concern ivy league oligarchs such as Obama and Smith. Keep in mind that this fifteen cent per gallon tax increase will not just penalize commercial drivers, but will effect all Americans because it includes a fifteen cent tax increase per gallon on regular gasoline too, not just diesel fuel.

During the conference, Obama remarked about the consequences of NAFTA and so-called free trade, stating "We're not going to get anything done in this town until we're able to describe to the average American worker how at some level this is improving their wages, it's giving them the ability to save for retirement, it's improving their financial security... We have to be able to talk directly to the public about why trade is good for America, good for American businesses and good for American workers. And we have to dispel some of the myths... Some of those same anti-trade impulses are more ascendant in the Republican Party than they might have been 20 years ago."

Smith's Skull & Bones membership is conveniently omitted from his biography at the FedEX corporate website, but is referenced and documented on his Wikipedia entry, which also notes Smith's very shady past:
"On June 18, 1971, Smith founded Federal Express with his $4 million inheritance (approximately $23 million in 2013 dollars), and raised $91 million (approximately $525 million in 2013 dollars) in venture capital....In the early days of FedEx, Smith had to go to great lengths to keep the company afloat. In one instance, he took the company's last $5,000 to Las Vegas and won $27,000 gambling on blackjack to cover the company's $24,000 fuel bill.

Forgery Indictment and Fatal Hit and Run
On January 31, 1975, Fred Smith was indicted for forgery by a Federal Grand Jury. The suit was filed by Smith's two half-sisters, Fredette Smith Eagle and Mrs. Laura Ann Patterson. The lawsuit alleged that Smith had forged documents to obtain a $2 million bank loan and that he and executives of his family's trust fund had sold stock from the fund to a loss of $14 million. A warrant for Smith's arrest was issued for which Smith posted bond with federal authorities in Memphis. Smith was later found not guilty on the forgery charge. The same evening of his forgery indictment Smith was involved in a fatal hit and run whereby he killed a 54-year old handyman named George C. Strughill. Smith was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with an expired license. He was released on a $250 bond. All charges were later dismissed. This was not the first time Smith was involved in a fatal car accident. During his first summer break from Yale, Smith was back in Memphis driving out to a lake with friends when he lost control of the car he was driving, causing the vehicle to flip and killing the passenger in the front seat. The cause of the accident was never determined."

In October, California launched it's own Pilot Program To Charge Drivers By The Mile. The author admits that the law will "burden families." Carpool lanes in Southern California, which were paid for years ago by taxpayers, are now being turned into toll roads to fleece the people. Orange County, CA alone was issuing 15,000 photo citations PER DAY after motorists were confused about the new system.

Following is an excerpt from the exchange betwen Smith and Obama:

All right. In the back. Fred.

Q. Mr. President, you mentioned infrastructure in your opening remarks, and the BRT I think would echo the fact that our highways and bridges are deteriorating, and the lack of investment is creating congestion, which is retarding economic activity.

THE PRESIDENT: I want my FedEx package moving smooth through our infrastructure.

Q. '60 Minutes' did a very good piece on this problem the other day. So the Highway Trust Fund, which provides the funding for all of these infrastructure improvements ran out of money in August and it was papered over with a patch based on some pension accounting.

So now you have bipartisan bills in both the Senate from Senator Corker, a Republican, and Senator Murphy of Connecticut. You have, as of yesterday, a bipartisan bill in the House with Congressman Petri, a Republican, and Congressman Blumenauer, a Democrat, and you had the Chamber of Commerce and the head of the AFL-CIO jointly testify in Congress about the Highway Trust Fund, the gasoline and diesel tax, and you've got the entire industry supporting an increase in highway taxation to fund these infrastructure improvements. So why not, before the Congress goes home for December, just pass a bill that takes the two bipartisan bills that I just mentioned up and solves the problem? Because come May, it's going to run out of money again because the patch is over. I would think that would be a great opportunity for you and the new Congress to show some bipartisan success here.

THE PRESIDENT: I'll tell you, Fred, if I were running Congress, I'd potentially take you up on that offer or suggestion. I think I probably already would have done it.

In fairness to members of Congress, votes on gas tax are really tough. Gas prices are one of those things that really bug people. When they go up, they're greatly attuned to them. When they do down, they don't go down enough. And so, historically, I think there's been great hesitance.

So I guess what I'd do is separate out, Fred, a short-term problem and the long-term problem. Short term is we've got to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. And I will engage with Speaker Boehner and McConnell to see what they think they can get done to make sure that we're not running out of money. Because we've got a whole bunch of construction projects that are in train right now that -- set aside the stuff that we need to do, just keeping going on the stuff that is currently operating would be endangered if we don't replenish it.

The question is going to be, is there a formula long term for us to get a dedicated revenue source for funding the infrastructure that we need that is not so politically frightening to members of Congress that it's reliable. The gas tax hasn't been increased for 20 years. There's a reason for that. And if that's your primary source of revenue when the population has -- I don't know what it's done, but it's gone up X percent; GDP has gone up X percent -- we've got -- your business, Fred, has completely transformed over the last two decades, and yet we still have the same mechanism to try to keep up.

It's probably a good time for us to redesign and think through how do -- what is a sustainable way for us on a regular basis to make the investments we need. And this may be something that we can introduce into the tax reform agenda. It may end up being too complicated and we got to do something separate, but we've got to figure this out. We are falling behind.

Dave, you were asking earlier about China. I do not take potential competition from China lightly, but I am absolutely confident we've got better cars than China does. And I'd much rather have our problems than China's problems. That I'm confident about. On the other hand, the one thing I will say is that if they need to build some stuff, they can build it. And over time, that wears away our advantage competitively. It's embarrassing -- you drive down the roads, and you look at what they're able to do. The place that we stayed at for the APEC Summit was this lavish conference center, and it probably put most of the conference centers here to shame. They built it in a year.

Now, you've got an authoritarian government that isn't necessarily accountable. I understand we're not going to do that. But if they're able to build their ports, their airports, their smart grid, their air traffic control systems, their broadband systems with that rapidity and they're highly superior to ours -- over time, that's going to be a problem for us.

So, Fred, I guess the answer is, I'm going to talk to McConnell and Boehner to see what we can do short term and to see whether these bipartisan bills have any legs. They'll have a better sense of head counts. And I'll have to talk to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as well. But even if we were able to get something done, it would not be the kind of 10-year solution that we need. The best I suspect they could do would be to stagger through another year. And we've got to have a better way of planning and executing on infrastructure investment.

And I'll be engaging with the BRT and you, hopefully, and others who are interested to see if we can come up with something. And I've got to check in with Larry to see if he's figured out whether we can get all that global capital on the sidelines to start helping us fund some infrastructure projects here in the United States.

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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal,, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts,, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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