Taxing Issues

Okay, this is NOT funny, who sent me this email?

Mr. Smith, I just wanted to read you something from the Internal Revenue Code. It is the last sentence of section 509A of the code: “For purposes of paragraph, 3, an organization described in paragraph 2 shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501-C-4, 5,6, which would be described in paragraph 2 if it were an organization described in paragraph 2 if it were an organization described in section 501C-3.”

Now “that” was not funny. No sir.

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I’ll Drink To That …

Last week I noticed a lot of traffic on my site directed to the bus related items (over there on the right) so it appears that some bus guys are wandering around the garden, grabbing the low hanging fruit and taking some of it home, which is okay, that is what it is there for.

It is a lot better reading than this tripe I discovered quite by accident on Craig’s List the other day.  A poorly written missive and a testament to the stupidity of bus drivers in this country.  This sadly is often read by the public and helps no one in particular.  

 Here is the cleaned up version.

Yesterday after reading that I got to thinking about how stupid bus people appear to be.  Right now there is a huge concentration of them in the desert out in Arizona, Quartzite, a little burg that no one ever heard of, but once a year swells to a population of well over 100,000 people.  The majority of them bus owners.  A rite of passage, some people never miss it, kind of like the “Burning Man” for the well equipped or resourceful, desert dwellers of the Stainless Steel variety.

All of them dry-camped in the desert, gathering around campfires at night, lying about how much money they paid for their bus, what good fuel mileage they get and flea market shopping under a huge tent during the day for the latest Chinese Junk.

Having just finished Arcadia, Florida (another famous once a year bus rally), they are all set for the Bureau of Land Management Experience.  Which I find somewhat amusing, sitting around in a dust bowl and doing mainly nothing.

 Here is another stupid thing bus people do.

 They all get on the Internet boards and announce essentially to the world “where they are, where they are going, and when they will return.”  Not very smart, very convenient if you are a bus person burglar, you have just told everyone you know (and quite a few that you do not know):

 YOU ARE NOT HOME … COME ON OVER AND GET MY STUFF.

Why people do this is a true mystery to me.  With the Internet it seems that there are no secrets left in society anymore …. full disclosure.  So in the spirit of the post … Here is a little more.

Another club we used to belong to would hold one or two meetings a year.  I found it somewhat curious that members from the East coast would show up with “fresh moonshine whiskey” and they would distribute it to a few members in attendance.  

Of course they never referred to it as “shine” or anything like that, it was always called “spring water” or some other misnomer.  Later on they regaled in announcing to the entire world on their respective blogs and websites their indulgence in a practice that is clearly illegal in most states and nationwide.  

 Bootlegging.  

A strange part of the bus culture, is that bus people also have this other quirky thing they do, they get on the internet and tell everyone how the trip home went, and announce to no one in particular that they are now safely back at the abode.  (They also comment on other buses on the road … calling these reports sightings … and wondering who it might be?)  Which brings us to this interesting fact, everyone seems oblivious to.

If you were a “government Revenue man” as they put it back in the hardwoods of Tennessee, Kentucky, and West – By – God – Virginia, it wouldn’t take long to figure out the members were indeed drinking shine, distributing it and transporting it all across state lines, tax free.  Which would raise up a red flag quickie pronto.  

 Someone of course “has to be making it” and that friends is a tad bit illegal.

You could be looking at a considerable jail time and fines, varying specifically by your state. But you are looking at a fine of $10,000 and up to five years in jail for only one offense of making moonshine (even if you don’t sell it). Doing a little research on the subject I found a GA man faced 35 years in prison for making and selling moonshine.  

 (Well, what else are you going to do while she is watching American Idol?)

The reason the fines are so steep is because the federal government strictly regulates the process, and gets over $2 worth of tax for every 750mL bottle of liquor, as opposed to 21 cents for a bottle of wine and 5 cents for a can of beer.  So do you really want to attend a meet, drink some shine with your buddies, and then go to jail?  

Not very smart, kind of makes me wonder if “membership is worth it” and is my attendance at some kind of function like this necessary or even considered a good idea?  Most of this simply does not apply in our case, as we gave up drinking a long time ago, because of alcohol sensitive prescription medicines.

Bottom line is I find it somewhat scary the whole idea.

As stupid as current government in this country seems to be here lately, I could be found guilty just by the mere fact that I am associated with this kind of nonsense.  So if you are new to the culture and you are looking around for a place to hang, might be a good idea to check out the people you are associated with at these things.

Don’t get me wrong, I freely leave you to draw your own conclusions.  Might also note that there are plenty of good bus groups out there, that operate just fine.  Just remember this … You lay down with a dog, you are going to come up smelling like one, and it makes no difference to the government.

They want your cash, your a**, your bus, and assets, you in turn, get bunk beds for the next five to ten.

Watch those right-handers

OOO

Taxing Issues

PSA:  First off, yesterday I hit the publicize button on WordPress.com and after going thru all the procedures I discovered that the various sites had sent out all of this material (emails) to invite people and all this other crap.  Not that I am the sharpest knife in the drawer on most days, I did not know this was going to happen.  If it seriously inconvenienced you or caused you unnecessary concern, I apologize for that.   Please accept my sincere apologies if it did. (One of these days I will figure all this technical ____ out and all will be fine) erThis cartoon I came across this week has to me the “wrong flavor” to it.  It is misdirecting the information to reflect badly on people with income and I do not find that a fair representation of the facts.  For my part in it, I will tell you there are a great many people in this country that are worried about possible new taxes and asset taxing to generate income for all these pig’s in Washington who do not have the guts to take the hard steps necessary to end this mess (cuts in spending, start with defense and work your way down).

It is just not the rich that are worried, it is ALL OF US we all have a dog in this fight.

er-1

A good first start might be to get our priorities in order.  Define what is truly important and what is not.  Take a hard look at what is hanging us all out to dry and what we need to do in order to get by.  Media pundits call the state we’re in the “new normal.” What they mean is that we get used to things as they are. And if we don’t exactly get comfortable with the status quo, we feel like David in a battle against Goliath. 09-05-12 MadeInAmerica The numbers will bear me out.  We are 17th in math scores, 24th in the world on Health Care, we just okay’ed $155 million per year to Afghanistan for diesel, gasoline and jet fuel (for the next five years), this in a country where most of the population rides a !@#@# donkey to town.

You get a vote on that one … didn’t think so.

All we produce is debt … we are not going to get a second chance in Silicone Valley and everything we drill and bring to the surface, goes oversea’s to light up someone else’s house.  We are slowly eroding into nothing but a lousy third world debt ridden Democracy of losers.  Trust me, no one will be willing to follow a parked car, but they will all line up to pick our bones in the end.

er-3

As the fiscal showdown continues—with a little more than a month before a series of onerous automatic federal spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect—our national values and priorities are once again being tested. On the campaign trail, the president repeatedly called for directing to infrastructure the federal spending saved by ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, asking for those funds to support “nation building right here at home.”

Only one week before the election, he laid out his legislative agenda for a second term: addressing the federal deficit first, then moving on to infrastructure improvement and immigration reform. It’s clear that the president and many members of Congress understand that at the heart of the world’s largest and most innovative economies are advanced infrastructure networks.  So why do we continue to pump our assets and what little cash we can borrow and send it overseas?

When it all comes tumbling down because of apathy and neglect by our elected officials and the general public, all the rich people in the world will not be enough to save your sorry ass.  Let’s get honest and start reporting it the way it is, and not the way “we believe it to be.”

Tax that.

OOO

Thanks to American Progress Online for the cartoons. What folks have been reading this week at Creative Endeavors:

Home page / Archives
The Worry Tree
Bikinis (The reason men are pigs)
Good Decorations (audio)
Clear Blue Sky
You Don’t Smell Like Flowers (audio)
The End Is Near
Eagle Bus Project Files
12 Days Of Christmas (audio)
​Ramblings of a Retired Mind

Five Bucks A Day

The wife walked into the kitchen and announced, “The mail is here … You are the big winner!”  She picks up the mail from the mail box on the road each day on her way home from work.  On some days, when the weather is agreeable, I will make the walk out there to get it, but most of the time, I leave it to her to bring it in.

The usual assortment of crap was there, I had won several hundred thousand dollars even tho’ I had never entered anything.  (While we are at it?  Does anyone miss Ed McMahon?)  The pile is on the kitchen table in no particular order.  A small assortment of free calendars and catalog’s for Made In China at greatly reduced prices if I act with great speed and haste, I could have it all … Right now!

Baby!  Have you seen the checkbook?

And then I spot it.  Hidden in the stack.  The Tax Bill.  The Tax Man Cometh yesterday, like a snake in the grass he reared up and showed me his ugly head, and I was not all that happy to see him (specifically his missive or bill).  I don’t know, but I kind of think most of us are in the same boat when it comes down to it, no one in their right mind, likes to pay taxes or get a letter from any government entity.

One thing in my life is a constant.  I have never adjusted to a lifestyle, that includes an envelope with a window on it, and there it lies on the table, in big, bold letters, “my legal name or Credit Card Name” as I often refer to it.

The only people who use all three of your names in one sentence, are your mother when you are in trouble, (Mister you just wait until YOUR father gets home!) and the credit card folks or someone who wants money from you.  Envelopes with a window on them are never a good deal.

It is a fact of life.

Opening it up I see the taxes on my home and property for the year.  $1,844.00 … This is what I owe for the privilege of living on my property in the State Of Oklahoma (namely Canadian County).  If you want to look at it from another perspective, it costs me five dollars and a nickel per day ($5.05) to live here on my little place in the sun.  My sanctuary on this big old green globe hurtling thru the dzark vastness of the universe … racing thru space and making one full orbit around the sun every 365 days.

There it is … YOU owe ME $1844.00 or $5.05 per day.  Pay Up!  If you don’t have it now, don’t worry pal, you can send in “half of it” and we will not come get your stuff or your first born male child.

Which to me, even tho the sum is paltry by most comparisons this bill rankles me.  I mean hell, I own it, this is my little spot on the planet, why should I have to pay them (you) to live here?

In a small way it is a mystery, of which, I have never really figured out.  When then you stop and consider what is in play here, you don’t really own anything in this life.  You are simply a caretaker of it all, taking care of it, so it will be in good shape when you pass it on to the next fellow coming down the line.   And while you are doing this … The government instead of paying YOU for doing a GOOD JOB charges YOU a fee to do it.

$5.05 per day charged to your account for payment to them for doing a lousy job on just about everything.  I really miss what my grandchildren refer to as the “Olden Days.”  When I walked around mostly in a gentle fog and life was good to me.  All is not lost, there is a rainbow here folks, as my dear old Grandmother used to say to me, “Look for the rainbow Donnie, every cloud has a silver lining.”  And bless her heart, nine times out of ten, she was right as rain.

So here it is for all of you that have stuck around this long.

Next year I turn sixty-five and I will get a “free driver’s lic.” for the rest of my life!  Most likely will not be able to afford gas or diesel, but it is something.  Doing some quick math, I figure that will save me about fifteen dollars cash, so that means the first two and one-half days of 2013 are already paid for.

Is this a great country or what?*

OOO

[#1168]
 
* 800 words and when I hit the spelling checker it beeped (no errors) looks like I am getting better at writing my “Internet Spam.”
 

Old Frog

It just has to be Monday.  Internet is acting up this morning, this may or may not get posted.  I am a little bit irked, you see the county went and raised my taxes again, some 12% this time.  Now here is the catch, “I didn’t get any kind of raise in MY income, have not had any kind of raise in a couple of years now.”  Why is it that we are constantly feeding this monster, and at the same time, receiving nothing in return?

You can take a frog, dump him in a pan, turn on the heat, and he will stay right there and eventually fry in the scalding water and die.  But you take the same frog, toss him in hot water, and he will hop right out.  You see frog # 1 his environment changed a “little at time” and he didn’t notice the change until it killed him.  Frog #2 noticing the immediate change, took evasive action at the very beginning.

Now I am just a little frog, swimming in a big pond, but I gotta tell you, I am starting to relate to croaker number one right now, the water is heating up in my pan and I am ready to get out.

It is hard to say how much more the American Consumer can take as a whole.I  t seems to me that the new catch phrase in this country seems to be “passed onto the consumer” and personally, I am getting awfully tired of it.  I really do not have a clue as to what can be done about it other than lament the fact, but I am so tired of taking it in the shorts on just about everything, it is far beyond funny anymore.  It is beginning to become tragic.

I Pledge Allegiance has been changed to … Bend over and take some more.

Gasoline comes first, no rhyme or reason to it, but it continues, unabated.  While I am at it, “I am tired of this rant over and over, on the environmentalists, and the tree huggers being the problem.  ”Drilling in Anwar, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, isn’t going to meet one year of our petroleum needs.

IT IS NOT THE TREE HUGGERS.

Why doesn’t someone ask them why there are no new refineries, why the refiners are only running at a small percentage of what they are capable of? Why we have an “artificial shortage” of motor fuel in this country.  The numbers are in, people are driving less, consumption is down, so why isn’t the price going down.  No, it increases.  It defies logic.OkieCity is a virtual Ghost Town any night of the week after eight o’clock.  We are shut down.

So if we are using less, much less, why are we still paying more?Bad math.  Even I can see that, and I wasn’t always the sharpest knife in the drawer, when it came to math.

Stop blaming the tree huggers … Last year during hurricane season, this stuff was increasing on a daily basis on the “speculation of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico that never really materialized.  But in America, what goes up ….. stays up … it doesn’t always go back down.

No profit in that.

Cops in Atlanta this week started adding a $12 fuel surcharge for speeding tickets, airlines are weighing customers, where does it end.B  ig change in breakfast items.  Grain cereals have jumped on the bandwagon and are now giving us less in the box for more money.  Weights are down, check it out the next time you are in the store, and you will see what I am talking about.  They are selling us less product for more money.  With the high price of diesel (which is a waste product of petroleum by the way) farmers are going to have to have more to cut even a marginal profit this year.

Beer is being served in smaller glasses, ice tea and other refreshments have gone to smaller sized glass.  I note that the plates in one place we usually frequent, over night, shrank in size.  Not necessarily a bad thing for the American Consumer who is face it, a bit on the tubby side.  We used to go to this place, and we would split an order of Fajita’s the wife and I, now I find out that they are charging me $2 for the second plate, which of course, “used to be free.”

They can now call me the hacked off Old Gringo and say Adios, I will go somewhere else.

Electric service is up, why not, everyone else is doing it.But there has to be a point at which this will cease to be realistic.  We cannot keep absorbing all of these price increases, over and over, there comes a time, when the glass is full.  We are quickly reaching our point on the scale, it has come to where push meets shove around here and sadly it has reared its ugly head a lot sooner than I thought it would.

Today I read but one more credit card article, this couple in hock up to their ears. $16,000 on one credit card, owed $106,000.00, on a house that had an appraised value of only $63,000.00.  I still see the big screen televisions going out the door at China Mart and the new paper tags on the cars (new cars) all over town, and frankly, I wonder how it is that they can still do this?

It is a lot different at our house … The wolf is baying at the backdoor and we have nothing to toss out to satisfy him.  Old frog number one is really getting tired of this —- .

How about you?

OOO

The Fix

It is our policy to shy away from political material, it is usually explosive, always leads to some kind of flaming and unruly discourse, but I found this email we received this week kind of interesting.  It is political in nature, so be advised.

So we are breaking with tradition and skirting the arena of American politics this morning.  As always, the comment section is open, if you feel the need, let it go.

America is such a grand experiment, it is so nice to think that this once great country could rebound from our present lousy situation and once again be in the forefront of the good life.

Jury is still out on that one, there are some schools of thought that believe the glory days are over, and it appears that if we don’t solve our problems, and soon, they are going to be our demise.  In typical American fashion we tend to “throw money at our problems, hoping to solve them” instead of rolling up our sleeves and dealing with the issues.

One of the more interesting emails we received this week, was this one.  It is called “The Fix.”

It was supposed to have been written from the viewpoint of a senior or retired person.  As it was presented to me it was from a senior citizen around 80 yrs. of age.    It also had the following notation:  We aren’t useless yet.

Ironically, it carries the very same message, “throw money at everything” and that will be the common denominator to the problem.  It must be ingrained in the American psyche or something?  This piece or idea was spawned by a recent article in the St. Petersburg, Fl. Times.  The business section of that paper asked readers for ideas on: “How Would You Fix the Economy?”  The email went on to explain … I think this guy nailed it!  (Which I think is kind of debatable)

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN car. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.
It can’t get any easier than that!!
P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes.  Mr. President, while you’re at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I’ll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
(At this point is the almost always present “Pass This On” to all your friends, etc, etc)

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Okay!  Uh wait a minute, back the truck up.  Oh, if it were just that simple, eh?  Unfortunately we do not live in this kind of world anymore, we have the elected elite and they are not interested in what we have to say about any of this.  Past experience has clearly shown us that throwing large sums of money at a problem, never makes it go away.  Ethanol fuel … does that ring a bell, anyone?  Anyone?  Six billion a year to corn farmers, nothing for the economy or the environment.

Now let’s look closely at this modern day solution to our dilemma.  Of the forty million, there are surely those in the workforce who are NOT going to want to retire, they love their jobs, they love what it is they are doing and they are firmly entrenched into the daily routine. I retired early (before fifty) and I can assure you, there were times in my life, when I would have paid $1,000 to have a job to go to, it got that bad.  But I eventually learned to adjust to it and moved on.

As for the 40 million replacements, who is going to train them to fill the vacancies, the experienced hands just took the money and ran.

Giving people money is no real fix, not all people will respond in the same fashion, some will spend it and others will “sock it away for a rainy day.”  Most people of that age group have a house that is already paid for and could care less about buying a new home, it is the younger set that needs the housing.  Those folks just starting out in life currently are the people who need a hand up, the middle class is pretty much screwing the pooch now.

About the only thing that truly seems workable in all of this, could be the part about putting Congress on a diet with their unsatisfiable lust for pay raises and the medicare issue. 

But you know and I know, that dawg just aint gonna hunt.

It is a nice thought, a quick easy way to claw our way out of the hole and get back on solid ground.  Maybe we can talk the government into printing some MORE money to back this plan.  Now here is the reality, where the other shoe drops, “there isn’t any kind of quick fix.”  Like Ronald Reagan said, “Ask yourself, are you any better off than you were four years ago?”

Have a great weekend.

OOO

Possibly Related:  Not Raising Hogs

Frozen Entree

Snowed here yesterday, big time!  To hear it from the local news channels it was tantamount to the end of times, but we survived.  Kind of hard getting out of the front gate this morning, good thing I have a gasoline loving four wheel drive and one good credit card.

Just returned from the CPA (which I believe stands for Cough-Up Pretty-Much-All of it) and he says that I owe the fed’s some money (big surprise huh) and that the state owes me, so it is Peter pays Paul this year. (Not to be confused with the sixties folk singer bunch that used to play at the Hungry Eye in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco)

I used the short form this year.

It said, “Stick to me, I don’t have no receipts!”

We are getting a modest refund and paying out of one account, into another. God Bless the I.R.S. So it appears that we will have heat and light this month, which is a good deal, I hate trying to read by flashlight.  Life can also get very scary when you live the majority of it in the dark.

Bought a new album, George Straight, on the Troubadour CD .. Title cut is “I Saw God Today”. Lifts me up, makes my heart soar.   Not bad if you are a twanger. One definition of the word “Troubadour” is a person who walks around a restaurant singing. I tried that once at Denny’s at about three in the morning, they asked me to leave. I guess they are not music lovers, or it could have been the getting up on the tables, I forget.

Now I just sing in the shower … Opera mainly …. I NEED A HAIRCUT! I NEED A HAIRCUT! I NEED A HAIRCUT! But I am only allowed to do it when Cup Cake is at the Super-Center buying groceries.  I have a voice that is so loud, that wild animals have been known to stampede when in my immediate vicinity, it has gotten me banned from at least three zoo’s nationwide.

Best Email of the week: “My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods. We’ve discovered that when I am in a good mood, it turns green. When I am in a bad mood, it leaves a big frickin red mark on his forehead! Dumb butt.”

Now a woman like that usually doesn’t have a nickname like Cup Cake.

You might be able to find her behind the cash register at the local Truck stop or working in the tire changing facility. She be the rather attractive lady with an arm full of tattoo’s smoking a cigar, can of Skoal in her right rear pocket of her over-alls. Lo-Retta sounds like a good name to me ….. Hey, Lo-Retta, you got any lug-nuts?

While we are on the subject?  Someone I haven’t heard from in a long time also sent me an email this week that read, “I see you are still writing. I hope you keep it up?”  Which I thought was kind of a suggestive thing to say of a man of my age and physical attributes … But this is a clean site, so we will now move on.

 

 

At least I am not required to go in to work today, that is a plus.  I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I had to do that.  I need to get outta here, I hear the word counter police hammering on my door again. They are coming to take me away!  Please excuse me, I have to go out to the barn, fire up the tractor and move some snow.  Like I said, the Weather God’s delivered a copious amount of it yesterday even though I did not order it, I have to stack it somewhere other than our driveway.

OOO

This Old Spouse

The news says that foreclosures are up again, they laid down for awhile, and now they are back on the rise.  As I understand it, the average American owns three homes and/or moves three times during his lifetime.

  1. The first house, is the love nest, the little cute cottage, just right in size for a loving couple to start a family.  The starter home, usually what you can just barely afford.
  2. As the family grows, the necessity of a bigger house, and the process of raising one’s family goes to what they refer to as the “empty nest” when they grow up and move out.
  3. Then it is house #3 what I lovingly call “The Roost” where you go to sit and cackle to yourself or complain to no one in particular and go to bed with the chickens at night.  This is the last house, the lonely old place the grand kids do not want to go, and where the kids never seem to find time to visit.
  4. I suppose there would be a fourth category, it is called Assisted Living or The Home, but most of us are reluctant to talk about that at all

We have been considering moving, this would be our third move and hopefully our last.  Our neighborhood is slowly making a transition from neighborhood to ghetto and it is time to move.

Life in the barrio is now what we had envisioned when we moved in here back in the spring of 74.  We never thought we would see spray painted ownership on the walls of the homes or the street on which we live (in a language we cannot read nor understand).  We didn’t know it was going to turn into a repository for trash, old used up automobile tires, and an apparent training ground for baby gangsters who prefer to not speak English and only aspire to pillage and terrorize instead of add to society.

So we are seriously considering a move in these bad times, we have found a house that both of us agree on, the price is right, but we cannot get the dog to move out.  This is proving to be a problem.

Home ownership has sort of been a right of passage in this country, “revered” in American culture.  When you buy a house you sort of enter into an agreement with society, you are now showing the world that you are stable, secure in your dreams and ambitions, and ready to deal with adult life.  You now have a place to store your stuff, and you have lots of stuff if you are an American, so therefore you need a house.

Face it.  You have too much stuff. If this is not acceptable, then just walk down your block on any Saturday and count the number of cars sitting on driveways because the garages are too chocked full of stuff, they cannot put them inside.

I rest my case.

So buying into the dream or the fantasy, you buy a home.  Now the state is happy, because they have a new place to charge you a tax in order for you to store your stuff, ad valoureum tax or property tax.  In reality the state is always a big winner.  You see they charge you a tax on it when you buy it, then they get a tax from you for owning the place to store it, and if you ever decide that you have too much of it (stuff) they charge you another tax in order to sell it.

The state does just fine.

They (those who are always named but never seem to be around) now can coach you into believing that because you have a house, you are all powerful and they will “allow you a tax deduction on the house to store your stuff” encouraging you to go even deeper into debt.  Too good to be true?  Quite possibly true, and there are numerous reasons why.

It appears with the current recession that seems to be demonstrating with painful clarity that this is in fact, not all that good of a deal, it is kind of a myth.  Buying a home is a financial risk, not a surefire investment for the future as you have been led to believe.  Take a look at the buying and selling process, for example.

A full 10% of the sale price of the property is paid out to realtors, various agents, taxes and other transaction costs (paperwork mainly) and then there is the upkeep issue.  Our house last year suffered a serious decline in worth (dropped $16K in value) but our taxes went UP try and figure that one out.

If you are a homeowner, there is a significantly increased chance that you will receive a lot of unexpected bills.  Most of us, who ever bought a brand new home erroneously assumed that nothing would ever wear out or deteriorate.  Actually, one can safely assume that anything that has moving parts will eventually break down and any part of the house that is composed of one or more of the known trace elements will deteriorate.

This is where you get to make the voluntarily stipend or contribution to Home Depot, Lowe’s, the plumber, the air conditioning guy, the person who sprays your lawn a false green color and insures you that the weeds are gone, for a little while anyway.

Now the reality should be setting in, “You are never a home owner, what you are is a caretaker, a janitor, a keeper of the property” and that is all.

So you work hard, you hope and scheme, you dream, and then you lay your hard earned bucks on the table for a property.  But in order to purchase an “affordable” home, you have to live way out in the suburbs, away from the urban centers of employment.  You spend hours every day locked down on some concrete parkway or thruway that is long over due for improvement, obsolete and overcrowded.

You are just another statistic, adding to the problem of urban sprawl and traffic, and of course, a pawn of the oil companies.

Time is running out, bottom of the page rolling up on me, we have to go and we didn’t even get to the category of home improvements and “meeting the General Contractor.” (Run out to the truck boy and fetch me some more zero’s for this estimate!).  Interesting topics in their own rights, we didn’t even cover the ground concerning “unexpected bills” that occur when you own a home.

You ever notice that you frequently get unexpected bills in the mail, but almost never ever receive unexpected income?

So this morning I am thinking about homes, the average American, doing his level best to get by in times so tight that most of us don’t have a pot to piss in, yet alone a window to toss it out of.  As we are forced to rethink our position on stuff, shopping at the mall, consumerism run amuck, we need to reevaluate our concepts and beliefs on home ownership too.

Oh well, that is Monday.  One thought seems to keep coming to the front burner of the stove, over and over and that is ….  renting is looking better and better each day.

OOO

Survey results on the Burger King commercial our survey:

  • Too adult 50%
  • No big deal 25%
  • Harmful to children 12%
  • Offensive 13%

HOME ALONE


Find myself looking at my tax statement on the house this morning, and of course, “it rubs me wrong.”  I have been accused of talking too much about issues that are not of Oklahoma and of course, being boring.

So this morning, I have something different as your every day surprise.  There are confirmations of an inter-connectivity and synchronicity which inspire, titillate, and confirm the inherent comedy of the Washington DC but I am not going to address them.

We will instead venture into the murky area of Oklahoma home owners advalorem taxes, which is extremely interesting, if you are into say, “Oklahoma home owners advalorem taxes.”

My kid came home one day with some math problems to solve and he was experiencing some difficulty with them so he asked me to help him with them.  So I did.  We sat down at the kitchen table and read the problems, and slowly and methodically, worked our way thru them, and after awhile, we found ourselves done.

A day or so later I inquired of him, “How did you do on the math thing?” And he said, “Boy!  I am NEVER asking YOU for help again, I got a D.” So I said, “Why?  I thought we had them nailed.” He replied, “Yeah, they were right, we only missed one, but the nine that were correct, she said they were NOT correct because we did not use the NEW METHOD in order to come to the answer.”

Well Smack My Butt and call me Judy!  Go figure (pardon the pun).

What difference does it make if the answers are right?  That is how I look at it, but then again I am rational, sane and somewhat pragmatic.  Here is another math problem.  “Groceries go up, because the price of diesel went up and therefore we have to pay more.”

Question:  “If diesel fuel and gasoline go DOWN IN PRICE how come groceries stayed UP in theirs?”

I just do not understand this new math that is floating around the country, I don’t understand it at all.  The county in which I live has raised my taxes again, this is something like the fifth or sixth straight year for these tax hogs.  And I just do not understand.

The value of my home, because of the current mess in the rest of the country has decreased some $10,000+ dollars but my taxes increased on the property.  I have at this time considered jumping on the telephone and calling them to ask “Is this an offer to purchase my property for this accessed price?”

If so … I am going to inform them that I am definitely ready to sell.

If this is considered “an offer on this little piece of America” at this price, they can have it.  I will go out and purchase another house to live in or at best find a second job in order to stay in the one I am currently living in.  But I understand that second jobs are not all that easy to come across these days, and the sky in no longer the limit anymore.

As I understand it, the Sky’s the limit is not correct.  How can that be?  The sky if you study it (and believe me in my dreamy world this is often a practice I indulge in for hours at a time) never ends.  What kind of limit is that?

The earth it seems would be the limit, which my mother never understood as she would always say to me …. “Don!  What in the earth?” … and of course, I answered with the preliminary head nod and shoulder shrug, obvious 12 year old answer of “I dunno,” which always seems to work on mothers.

That is what we need …. More earth … The earth is the limit.

Looking for another second (or third job if you have the time to spare) always has inherent problems.  There is the matter of the job resume, which I am not all that good at to begin with.

  1. Could you please leave your resume for ten years and let us get back to you.
  2. Would you mind taking a polygraph, we don’t quite believe you.
  3. Can you work nights, weekends, and of course, double shifts.
  4. What size you take in a paper hat, apron, and frilly bandanna.
  5. Do you drugs and do you currently have any Viagra.
  6. Now repeat after me …. “Fries and a Shake with that today?”

Give them enough time and they will tax you out of existence, take your food, your home and your lively hood.  I don’t know which of the two is the lesser evil anymore … The State or The County.

Tax you to the grave … The American Way … Any way you look at it, it just doesn’t add up.

OOO

Rangel Wrangling

uncle-sam

We want

YOU

to pay

YOUR taxes.

Here is an interesting question for you this morning.

“If powerful, all knowing, politicians do not pay interest or a penalty on NOT paying taxes, then why should you?”

Think about it.  When they are cornered and taken to task on it, the most frequently used excuse is “I forgot.”

What we call in this neck of the woods, “the Okie Defense.”

Here is an example:  Judge:  “Didn’t you know it was illegal in this county, to rob a bank?”

Okie:  “Uh, I forgot, your honor.”

That should clear it up pretty quickly.

Rep. John Carter a Texas Republican has introduced legislation calling it the “Rangel Rule.”  It was named after Charles Rangel, the powerful Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel failed for years to pay taxes on rental properties that he owned in the Caribbean; after he was exposed, he apologized and paid up, but has not had to fork over any interest or penalties or suffer any kind of prosecution.  Did Daschille pay a penalty, get any legal hassle?  How about some recent examples that quickly come to mind, take a minute now, think.

See what I mean?  Now if this had been you, well, I am sure you would agree the circumstances would be much, much different.

The new treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, recently came clean about his own failure to pay taxes and master the art of using Turbo Tax.  He failed to pay federal taxes and he too, “has now paid up with no penalties and no prosecution.”

Now make no mistake about it, if these “oversights” as they are prone to describe it, would have occurred or happened to you, do you for one second believe they would have said, “Oh, don’t worry about it.  Everyone forgets every now and then, go back to watching your the Best Of Sonny & Cher DVD’s and Have A Nice Day.”

Most likely you would have been offered some kind of plea agreement or threat of jail, a hefty fine, and a serious decline in your quality of life statistic’s for some time to come in the near future.

Now I did not set out to depress or discourage, so I guess I should inject at this point the good news.  At this point I guess I should definitely say there is good news.  So here it is, this is the good news:  You can take solace as a convicted tax-cheat that “federal prisons are a lot nicer than state prisons”

I don’t want you to think all of this is “bad news.”

So as you can quickly realize, for a tax-cheat or a wanna-be tax-cheat, this “Rangel Rule” is a good legislative item.  This is a good deal, stop and take time to consider it, put all this non-sense about economic stimulus, building new schools, buying computers for Social Security, bridges and roads, and streets, wrapping the Golden Gate Bridge in Toliet Paper (the arts), and poor old Aunt Martha who is shut down in Miami eating dog food ….

Put this and all this other crap on the back burner, and take into consideration the implications this pro-posed legislation could have on your sordid, rotten, miserable tax bleeding existence.

You could for instance, if this passes, write on your next income tax return, “Rangel Rule” across the top of it and be done with it.

You would be by this one gesture, find yourself exempted from federal and state taxes owed at that time.  Not only would this “restore equal treatment for working Americans, it would also keep more money in the hands of the taxpayers.”

Give the taxpayers the money, which is a novel concept that everyone in Washington DC seems to have not grasped at this time — the most efficient way to get our economy moving again.

And remember … Start the day with love … Live the day with love … End the day with love.

After all, it is about the only thing left in this country that is still free.

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