Category Archives: life

Tax Plan Stuff

The bi-partisan tax plan Ballyhoo wails on, with self-proclaimed social media pundits choosing sides and using well thought phrases to poke at the opposition, such as nitwits, crybabies, storm troopers and fascist monkey overlords. I actually kinda like that last one.

Anyway, I decided the only way to get some real insight was to read the damn thing – a task I’m sure 99% of the people bitching about it – haven’t done.  And with good reason.  It’s 1,097 pages long – and has to be read with a copy of the current tax code available as a great deal of the new tax bill is just references to the existing tax code.  Reading the bill alone is like trying to read a Thomas Pynchon novel without a massive dictionary nearby.

For those tuning up slings and arrows – here’s my agenda:

I am not a Trump Supporter.

I was not a Hillary supporter.

I was not a Bernie Supporter.

In fact my belief is that there is not a single member of the federal government, in all branches, that hasn’t been fucked, bought and paid for by the business powers that be.

As for the mass media – don’t make me laugh.  It’s all pure horseshit – every network, every news show , every newspaper.  Garbage.

So – here we go – I spent a few hours and am happy to say I made my way through about 5% of the text – just scratching the surface I know, but here’s what I read – so far – and the news is not all bad – I’m sure there are plot twists to come.

Tax brackets –

I ran an excel sheet comparing the current tax brackets to the proposed new plan for 2018.

For those  married filing jointly, if your taxable income is under $500,000, the amount of taxes you owe will DECREASE 14-15%.  Over $500K, the amount of taxes you owe will DECREASE 9-12%.  These are pre-deduction, pre-tax credit numbers so the bottom line will change based on how you’ve got your finances set up.

From my reading I was able to glom the following – again, remember I’m on page 66 of 1097 pages – still a long way to go.

Basic standard deduction increased from $4,400 to 18,000.
Any other case deduction increased from $3,000 to $12,000.
Adjustments for inflation to standard deduction updated to use current calendar year data.
Child tax credit gets a boost raising the threshold amount from $110,000 to $400,000 for joint returns ($200,000 for 55-75,000 for other types of returns).   The reduction rate is raised to $50 per $2,000 over the threshold instead of $1,000 over the threshold.
Cap imposed of $1,400 credit per child.  Extensive cap formula in place today.
Charitable cash contribution base raised from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income, with any excess eligible  to be carried over to future years.
An increase in the ALBE account cash contribution amount – currently $10K, now $10K plus formula.
An amendment to treat, for tax purposes, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt as a Hazardous Duty Area and therefore subject to Combat Zone tax laws.
Extension into 2018 of the medical 7.5 percent rule (as opposed to 10%) as the base for people 65 and over.

This is kind of a hoot –

Section 56(b)(1)(B) of the current tax code, in reference to computing an Alternative Minimum Tax, reads as follows: “In determining the amount allowable as a deduction under section 213, subsection (a) of section 213 shall be applied without regard to subsection (f) of such section.”  Your tax dollars paid many people to write, approve and vote for this sentence. Anyway – whatever it means, it’s being amended to say it’s not applicable for the tax years 2016 through and including 2019.

to be continued….

 

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Foamy to the rescue

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Be Prepared

If Donald Trump is elected President, and he could easily pull it off because the Clinton campaign is in total disarray and Johnson’s campaign just doesn’t have the steam, there will be a revolution in the streets of the United States that will make the February and October Russian Revolutions of 1917/1918 look like popping into a chalk pavement picture in Mary Poppins.

Don’t think so?  Look at what Anonymous has been able to pull off in recent years.  One would hope the american people would take to the streets prior to the damage being done, but that’s not going to happen in any significant numbers.

The people voting for Trump believe that America should be the international schoolyard bully.  That America has the right to go into any country, pillage their resources to maintain a slothful way of life and murder a few thousand people along the way – including our own sons and daughters.

I am certain there are a significant number of people voting for Trump ONLY because of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s shenanigans going all the way back to Whitewater.  I’m not pushing Hillary, god knows, but that will be a large block of people.

The people voting for Trump believe America can be made great again – what that really means is that they believe America can have the clock turned back to early 20th century white male dominance in all matters, and that women and minorities should be “put back into their place” as chattel.

The people voting for Trump have no qualms whatsoever about using nuclear arms.  Anywhere.  Against anyone.  Including the US or any allies (if we have any left after November).

Neither candidate carries anything close to the moral compass needed to be the head of state.

It is true that the moral consciousness of the world must recognize the importance of removing injustices and well-founded grievances; but at the same time it must be aroused to the cardinal necessity of honoring sanctity of treaties, of respecting the rights and liberties of others, and of putting an end to acts of international aggression. – FDR

FDR’s words speak to the need of ending terrorism, but they also speak to ANY nation who plays the aggressor. Our glass houses will not withstand much scrutiny.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. – Confucius 

Haven’t seen much of any of those qualities in our candidates.

The battle has yet to begin.  The race to November is the preamble.

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Good point

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Twisted Ties Book Signing !!!!

This Sunday September 11th, 11 AM – 4 PM

Bekky’s Village Workshop, Peddler’s Village – Lahaska, PA

Come out and say Hi.  I’ll sign any existing copies and will have plenty of new copies if you do not have yours yet!

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Deep dive

I’m in the midst of writing my second book and it’s bringing up some old but heavy shit.

Where the first book was fiction, this one is non-fiction, a journey through care giving a loved one battling cancer.  In examining some of my beliefs and reactions through the process, I’ve gone back to examine how those beliefs and opinions were formed, which takes me back a long ways – to the age of two. I remember as if it were yesterday, a fall foto_westfield_101958_OakAve_Jimmy_front lawnOctober day in 1958.  My father was burning leaves (allowed back then) and Mom was doing whatever she was doing, one of those things being taking pictures of the 23 month old brat sitting on the steps playing with the carved pumpkin and sitting on the lawn watching dad burn leaves.  He wore a black and white plaid peacoat and brown lace up work boots that looked more like army issue that fashionable, utilitarian footwear.

At one point my Mom went back inside and Dad walked back to the garage, out of my sight, to get something.  He wasn’t gone but a minute or two, but I will never forget the feeling of loneliness and abandonment that washed over me, as if some invisible shroud of sadness drifted in and covered me.  Sitting there on the grass between two giant maples, feeling like there was not a soul left in the world. I was two what did I know?  Eventually these feelings would lead to all sorts of nonsense in later years, primarily paralyzing panic attacks that plagued my into adulthood.

I’ve done enough therapy to know where all this comes from and it’s not something I hold on to or get angry about, it’s just an old video tape I can put back on the shelf, realizing that it has no power – that was then, this is now.

This things I do for art’s sake…

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Flirtin’ With Disaster

I’m travelin’ down the road and I’m flirtin’ with disaster
I’ve got the pedal to the floor, my life is running faster
I’m out of money, out of hope, it looks like self-destruction
Well, how much more can we take with all of this corruption

We’re flirtin’ with disaster, y’all know what I mean
And the way we run our lives, it makes no sense to me
I don’t know about yourself or what you want to be, yeah
When we gamble with our time, we choose our destiny

Speeding down the fast lane, honey, we’re playin’ from town to town
The boys and I’ve been burnin’ it up, can’t seem to slow it down
I’ve got the pedal to the floor, our lives are runnin’ faster
We got our sights set straight ahead, but I ain’t sure what we’re after

Flirtin’ with disaster, y’all damn sure know what I mean
You know, the way we run our lives, it makes no sense to me
I don’t know about yourself or what you plan to be, yeah
When we gamble with our time we choose our destiny

Yeah, we’re travelin’ down that lonesome road
Feel like I’m dragging a heavy load
Don’t try to turn my head away
I’m flirtin’ with disaster every day

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