So, How’s That Tax Break Working Out For You? #GOPTaxScam

Last year everyone was so flustered, excited, taken back, so in love with the 2017 Trump Tax Break for the “middle class”.  (Really????  3% is all it takes to get you excited?????). I quickly criticized it for what is blatantly was, a tax cut for the mega rich that was to be paid for by the middle class.  I further pointed out the great tax break you were getting would slowly disappear after 5 years.  Well, I’ll be the first to admit it when I’m wrong.  You see it won’t disappear after 5 years.  IT DISAPPEARED THIS YEAR.  Essentially, you were tricked by a scam artist whose only interest is in himself and his mega rich family and friends.  Already, millions are taking to social media blaming Trump and the GOP.  Most use the GOPTaxScam hash tag.  You got screwed in that you didn’t realize a tax cut has nothing to do with your tax liability on your return.  In fact, your LIABILITY WENT UP !!!

That’s right, already hundreds millions of middle class tax payers OWE MORE THIS YEAR (or, in some cases, are getting significantly less back). The IRS is reporting for 2019 the average tax refund check is down 8 percent ($170) this year versus last.  The number of people receiving a refund has dropped by 25%!!!!!  How can that be????  You were supposed to get a break in the taxes applied to your pay check and you were supposed to get a higher standard deduction on your actual tax return calculations.

The most significant changes to the U.S. tax code in decades created lower tax brackets and higher standard deductions.  However, it took away personal exemptions and limited the amount middle class taxpayers could deduct for real estate taxes and state and local taxes.  More or less a break even calculation.  Essentially, you got screwed.

Here are the 9 most popular deductions you can no longer take (that is, you got screwed).

  • Personal exemptions.
  • Home equity interest
  • Moving expenses
  • Job expenses
  • Tax preparation fees
  • IRA account fees – wow, if you ever got screwed, it’s on this one!!
  • Parking and transit reimbursements
  • Casualty and Theft losses
  • Certain college donations

So, let’s review.

  1. If your standard deduction went up, great.   But, if you then lost one of your write offs (this year you can no longer write off a home office if you work for someone else, and next year you can no longer write off medical expenses) then, you essentially got screwed.
  2. If your pay check was a little higher (the average is $24) because less taxes were taken out, then great.  However, the combination of larger paychecks and smaller deductions are leaving some middle class taxpayers that usually get a refund owing hundreds — even thousands — of dollars on April 15, 2019.  If you were then told “you forgot to file a new W4 and have additional amounts taken out”, then, you essentially got screwed.
  3. The Government Accounting Office is reporting 4.6 MILLION fewer people will receive a refund.  That means 4.6 million people GOT SCREWED.

I Voted Gray

I saw a lot of stickers yesterday, one this morning (in fact) declaring, “I Voted Republican” or “I Voted Democrat”. I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of. If your sticker said, “I voted intelligently after understanding the issues and the ramifications of my vote” (Probably too long of a sticker) then I would be impressed.

Just to click off the switches in the Republican column or blacken in all the Democrat boxes in their column is not impressive. It says you really didn’t care what those people or those issues stood for. You just voted for them because they were “Republican” or “Democrat” or what ever. That’s not something you should brag about. All it says is that you’re a follower who will believe what ever propaganda is put in front of you. All it says is that your not intelligent enough to see through illogical arguments, lies, and exaggerations. It tells everyone you’re not an independent thinker who can, for example, believe in the death penalty while also believing in right to life (not actually my believes, just an example). Finally, it’s a further example of why we need to make sure education in this country is properly funded and provided.

All sides, I’m afraid to say, are depending on an intellectually weak constituency. This way, they can just put what every they want in front of you, and you’ll buy it. I challenge you all, for the following election cycles, to remain current on the issues; know who your public officials are; and read your pre-vote booklets thoroughly. Make intelligent, well thought out decisions. Don’t just vote blue or red or purple for that matter. Vote gray. (As in gray matter, as in – with your brain.)

Trade War Taxes

Tariffs are an interesting phenomena.  At first glance, one thinks the “bad guys” have to pay to get their product into the country.  Actually, it is the local IMPORTER who has to pay these taxes and he / she / it simply raises prices and YOU end up paying for it.  So, in the end, you, the consumer pay these taxes.

Unless, that is, you decide to buy American.  Now, the problem is America is not known for its manufacturing prowess anymore.  In addition, there are some countries that are putting out electronic products (think Japan and South Korea) that we could never duplicate (not because we literally couldn’t, but because we’re too lazy to do what it takes to learn a trade and get our hands dirty).

In today’s paper of record there is an article suggesting China is running out of ammunition in the trade war.  They simply can’t match the monetary amount of tariffs our administration is placing on them.  Do you know why?  Because 1) we don’t manufacture as much as the Chinese, 2) there is a significant trade deficit between our two countries, and 3) they don’t want to buy our stuff anyway.

As we seem to fall deeper into our protectionist, America First (which I really don’t have too much of a problem with) and tariff policies, we have to realize all those great tax breaks we think we received last year are getting absorbed by the taxes we’re now paying on imported goods.

Taxing imports is not the answer.  Forcing companies to manufacture here and forcing companies to recruit and / or train the labor force should be “first”.  By doing so we get the following: lower unemployment / increase in a skilled workforce; an increased tax base; more factories and resources necessary to protect ourselves in the face of threatened war (think WWII when car companies quickly converted to machines necessary to support the war effort).

If we’re going to pay taxes, let’s get the taxes working for us !!!!

There’s No Such Thing As Objective Truth – WTF????

Can the world actually believe the absolute insanity that is coming out of Giuliani’s mouth lately. Truth isn’t truth. Everyone has their own truth. Oh man. There’s no such thing as objective truth. This guy is losing it too.

No Rudy. Truth is truth. Period. Alternative facts are lies. Period. Objective truth is exactly that – objective, verifiable, proven. Objective truth is fact. Period.

Again, only the uneducated are falling for this garbage.

Deal Maker – My Ass

Trump says there were no negotiations.  Putin says they had a good negotiation session.  So, what was negotiated?  We don’t know.  Trump wouldn’t let anyone in the room.

Trump says they discussed many things.  Like what?  Name one.

The only deal we know of is this:

Trump is to hand over an American Citizen to Putin for interrogation.  That citizen – a former US Ambassador and Putin critic.  What???  Are you fucking kidding me??  Oh wait, I’m sorry, I forgot the other end of the deal.  Putin will allow American investigators to go to Russia and sit in on the “interrogations” of the 12 Russian spy and hackers indicted by Mueller.

What??  Our guys get to “sit in”??  If this were a real exchange of “criminals” why aren’t those 12 being sent to the US to face charges?  Meanwhile an American patriot and outspoken critic of Putin is being handed over by Trump.

Trump’s horrendous news conference with his Russian handler by his side was treasonous enough.  But, to hand over an American diplomat, to the enemy, is far beyond giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Trump has gone even lower.  He’s gone from moron to traitor.

Are We Really Up Against The Ropes?

From the NY Times

Above is a link to an article from today’s paper.  Well, online content.

We hear, almost on a daily basis now, about digital attacks by the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Iranians, not to mention the daily emails and phone calls we get from the (fake) IRS warning us of our pending arrests by agents named “Joe” who speak with the thickest Pakistani-like accent.  We, as individuals, are bombarded daily by email attempts  for us to “re-set” our password so hackers can get into our computers.

Don’t we have anyone, any company, any secret government agency that is fighting back?  I hope so.  One would have to wonder why some of tech nerd heroes aren’t setting traps for potential hackers so that WE can then go hack THEIR systems.