Friday, March 22, 2019

My Post Card Must Have Gotten Lost In The Mail

Do you remember all the talk about our being able to do our Income Taxes on a Post Card? Go ahead and admit you forgot all about this vote getting promise. The people who ask for our votes count on us forgetting about such things. History has proven they know how to count.

 

This is the kind of promise that will always get out the vote. It got votes in the last election and it will get votes in the next election. That’s why in political circles it is called, A Never Ending Promise.

 

If it became a Fulfilled Promise it would quickly become a Forgotten Promise and it would no longer be effective in gathering votes. No one is going to get excited when a politician makes a promise to give you something that you already have.

************************

Here is how I came to remember this Post Card Promise...

Ø I was in Starbucks the other day and I took note of this Buckster who looked really beaten up.

Ø I asked him why he looked so frazzled and he replied, “I’m a CPA and it is Tax Season and, as usual, we are covered up in boxes of Raked Paperwork”.

I interrupted him to ask what Raked Paperwork was.

Ø He said that was where the American Taxpayer goes into his garage gets his garden rake and uses it to clear off his desk by raking all his tax documents into a big box and brings that box into his CPA, leaves it there saying as he leaves, “Hurry up”.

Having answered my interruption, he got back to explaining his frazzled state...

Ø He said it’s worst than awful this year because of the Post Card Promise various politicians had campaigned on (again) in the last election.

Ø The politicians had turned the promise over to the IRS for implementation and then they went to Happy Hour.

Ø The IRS had performed a vague swipe at the Post Card Promise which resulted in the 2018 Tax Return incorporating 5 New Tax Schedules into the madness that we have all come to hate so much.

 

The Bottom Line is, to put your tax calculation numbers on a Post card (if there actually was a Post Card) the Tax Payer must still make a Humongous Number of Calculations on Tax Schedules and 5 New Tax Schedules have been added.

 

The CPAs are being driven over the edge this year more than ever. They are feeling Betrayed, Put Upon, Beaten Up but one thing they are not feeling is Surprised.

************************

I tried to cheer my new CPA friend up. I cracked a few jokes but they all fell flat like, “It could be worse. They could have come up with 6 New Tax Schedules”. It was about then that I thought he was going to hit me.

 

I quickly ascertained that cheering him up was hopeless. I started backing away leaving him to his misery.

 

By the time I backed out of the door the poor fellow had actually started to whimper loudly and the Bucksters nearest to him were beginning to relocate further away from him and/or put in their Starbucks Logoed Earplugs that are displayed right next to the Baconless, Eggless, Glutenless Bacon and Egg Biscuit Display.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Governmental Protection or Governmental Confusion

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act stipulates that we (the minions of the Good Ole USofA) are entitled to an Annual Wellness Visit.

 

My Family Doctor likes me. (I pay him well to like me.) He performs an Annual Physical on me during my birth month each year and he follows that up 6 months later with a Mini Physical.

 

I am going to turn down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Annual Wellness Visit because I see it as overkill and at my age I avoid anything with the word “kill” in it.

 

However, after reading the letter my doctor is required to send to me by my Governmental Protectors, I am thinking I need to schedule a visit to my Well Paid Doctor to address a New Area of Concern that I now have. My New Area of Concern is I have now become Confused.

 

See if you can understand why I am confused...

“The components of this examination are detailed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. According to Congress, the AWV examination is considered a screening and preventive examination only. If a person has any specific medical complaints, symptoms or active problems that require evaluation outside the definition of the preventive nature of this exam, then the visit may not be considered preventative.”

 

Why do my Governmental Protectors do these kinds of things to us? Are they going to be laughing at Happy Hour tonight about how confused they have made us or are they just confused themselves?

 

I don’t know which it is but I bet they are not looking forward to phone calls from us minions where we say to them, “Can you explain this to me.”

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Friday, March 15, 2019

After Reading Darn Near Any Paragraph Of Darn Near Any Law Passed By Our 9% Approval Rated Congress This Question Is Sure To Be Asked... “Huh?”

I have done this kind of analysis in the past for Foolishness...Or Is It?. I am doing it again because you were not paying attention last time.

Point of discussion for today: Our Laws Are So Confusing They Can’t Be Understood

Send in the Regulators (or as Frank Sinatra used to sing), “Send In The Clowns”. These Civil Servants tell us what the laws mean based on their understanding of what the words say...

Ø Or is it...What they think they say.

Ø Or is it...What they are told they say.

Ø Or is it...What they want them to say.

We will never know. We just comply as best we can and, if we get it wrong, we go to jail.

I contend that the excerpts you are about to read below are Silliness That Even the Creators of this Confusion Do Not Understand.

------------------------

I promise you that the 3 paragraphs below were taken completely at random from...

PUBLIC LAW 115–52—AUG. 18, 2017 entitled

“FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017”

My completely at random first paragraph:

(J) in subparagraph (A) of such paragraph (2), by

amending the first sentence to read as follows: ‘‘Except

as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), each person

who is named as the applicant in a human drug application,

and who, after September 1, 1992, had pending before

the Secretary a human drug application or supplement,

shall pay the annual prescription drug program fee established

for a fiscal year under subsection (c)(5) for each

prescription drug product that is identified in such a human

drug application approved as of October 1 of such fiscal

year.’’;

------------------------

Another completely at random paragraph from the same law:

(G) scientific or operational challenges associated with

performing an investigation described in section

505B(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic

Act, including the effect on pediatric studies currently

underway in a pediatric patient population, treatment of

a pediatric patient population, and the ability to complete

adult clinical trials;

------------------------

The last completely at random paragraph from the same law:

‘‘(A) data, analysis, and discussion of the changes in

the number of full-time equivalents hired as agreed upon

in the letters described in section 301(b) of the Generic

Drug User Fee Amendments of 2017 and the number of

full time equivalents funded by budget authority at the

Food and Drug Administration by each division within

the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center

for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Office of Regulatory

Affairs, and the Office of the Commissioner;

All Regulatory Interpretations usually come down to one or all of the following...

Ø Trust us.

Ø We are smart and you’re not.

Ø You owe more taxes.

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Lagniappe: If you want to practice your Written Law Understanding Skills, click on the link below and you can read this Unable To Be Understood Foolishness in its entirety. You will then be able to hone your skills on the 38,241 or 39,917 words contained in the law (I took 2 different counts and got 2 different totals)...

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2430/text?format=txt

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Money Each Month Is Breaking Me!

I’m a sucker for Emotional TV Appeals and the effect on my meager resources is sucking me dry.

We are all being bombarded by appeals to donate money every month for all kinds of TV Appeals That Are Very Hard to Turn Down.

Who can forget those Shivering and Malnourished dogs out in the cold that have had their coats scuffed up with wire brushes?

You know of which I speak. These ads ask us for only $11 or only $19 or only $25 a month to make everything all better for whomever/whatever the ads are appealing to us about.

For example, the $19/month ones pull at our heart strings (actually they pull at our wallets) by asking us how we can refuse to spend only .6333333333333333 cents a day to make it all better for whomever or whatever is suffering out there somewhere.

If the average American multiplies .6333333333333333 cents a day times the number of such appeals they see on TV, they are going to stop being able to afford braces on their children’s teeth and then we are going to see ads on TV appealing for $19/month for Shivering and Malnourished Orthodontists.

************************

They do the same thing with Shivering and Malnourished Jews out in the deserts of Israel. (Silly me, I always thought deserts were hot.) Except for all those bombs bursting in air over them, I always thought Israel was doing OK but then the Shivering and Malnourished Jews Ads started and I was horrified. Those poor suffering people! They look like they are living in the South Side of Chicago.

************************

I am not impugning all of these Shivering/Suffering Ads. This blog is simply warning my Dear Readers that they better resist the temptation to contribute to all of them or they run the risk one day becoming Shivering and Malnourished themselves.

************************

Here is a partial listing of the Shivering and Malnourished Ads I jotted down while watching my TV over the last week or so...

Ø Dogs and Cats...Asks for our money for these poor creatures. The pictures they show are really hard to look at.

Ø Closing Gaps in Gap-Toothed People’s Gapped Teeth.

Ø Starving/Shivering Jews...It’s not the Israeli Government pleading for these poor souls. Actually it’s an American-Based Tax-Exempt Chicago-Based Group doing the pleading.

Ø St. Jude’s Hospital. This one got my donation more than once.

Ø Build homes for widows of soldiers that have been killed inaction.

Ø Removing tattoos from people who were stupid enough to get tattooed. Their tag line says, “Please help these Stupid Tattoo Covered People to no longer look like they were stupid enough to become Stupid Tattoo Covered People”.

Ø Wounded Warriors. This one makes me nervous about donating to it.

Ø Shriners Hospitals. This one has not gotten to me yet but I have to look away fast when it comes on.

I made up some of these...Or did I?

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Lagniappe: The TV ad that really has bothered me over these many years is the one that blamed for all of those Forest Fires. I hardly ever go into the forest, but every time a Forest Fire breaks out, I am told I was the only one that could have prevented it.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

I’ve Said It Before But I Gotta Say It Again

Taxation Without Representation Was Bad But Taxation With Representation Is Proving To Be Worse

One of our newly elected Governors who promised not to raise taxes during his campaign last year has now proposed a slew of new taxes to close a $3.7 billion deficit swollen by Labor Contracts and Pension obligations. This deficit was public knowledge while he was promising not to raise taxes. He now says he merely wants to “expand” the tax base (whatever that means) by raising taxes on...

Ø Newspapers

Ø Textbooks

Ø Magazines

Ø Wine

Ø Liquor

Ø E-Cigarettes

Ø Plastic Bags

Ø Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Ø All Cars and Trucks That Traverse State Highways

************************

Another Governor who was elected to his 3rd term last November (his minions must like higher taxes) is flexing his Taxation Muscles by proposing...

Ø A “congestion tax” of $11.52 for Cars, $25.35 on Trucks and $5 on For-Hire vehicles on every trip into his biggest city’s central business district.

Ø The above bullet comes on top of a dozen or so other subway taxes and a $2.50 to $2.75 surcharge imposed last year on Taxi and For Hire Rides that is raising only enough revenue to offset declining subway and bus ridership.

************************

Another Governor is getting into the act by raising taxes to finance “Free” College, Universal Preschool and Medicaid Expansion by extending the State 7% Sales Tax to...

Ø Netflix

Ø eBooks

Ø iTunes

Ø Interior Decorating

Ø Landscaping

Ø Shooting Ranges

Ø Beach Parking

Ø Re-Imposition the Obamacare Penalty for Individuals Without Health Insurance.

Ø Creation of a new $1,500 penalty on large “for-profit” employers for each employee who enrolls in Medicaid.

************************

Yet another Governor wants to...

Ø Refinance his state’s Pension Debt by Taxing Plastic Bags, Marijuana and Sports Betting.

Ø However, the above bullet’s revenue will only cover the Pension Debt Shortfall until voters approve a referendum next year replacing the State’s Flat 4.95% Income Tax with a Progressive Tax.

Ø To prove that they will say anything to get their new Higher Taxes Approved, this Governor actually dares to say the Progressive Tax will spare the Middle Class. How can this be?

************************

It could be worse...

We Could Be Taxed Every Time A Newly Elected Politician Proposed Actions That Are Directly In Contradiction to What They Said They Were Going To Do During Their Campaign for Office

I might say that this Lying Tax could be the straw that broke the camel’s back but I now believe that we are so Foolish that most of us probably believe that New Higher Taxes really can fix darn near anything.

 

We are so used to taxes going up that we will probably just keep saying to our collective selves, “I’m going to wait till the next straw and then I’m going to really get upset!”

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Saturday, March 02, 2019

How Dare You Believe Differently!

Making up things is one of my strong points. I will begin this Blog Posting by making up a quote that was not spoken in our Senate...Or was it not?

 

On February 3rd I published a Blog Posting about the very strong possibility that a Cure for Cancer will be coming out of the State of Israel within the coming year. Will we hear this said in the Senate?...

“Don’t get me wrong. I have all the sympathy in the world for those suffering from the ravages of Cancer. As strong as my sentiments and empathy for these suffering people may be, we cannot allow a drug with such Strong Religious Overtones to be released on an unsuspecting world.”

That’s Nuts! A quote of this Magnitude of Foolishness would never be uttered anywhere. Certainly it would not be spoken in our Senate...Or would it not?

************************

The fodder for this Blog Posting comes from an article written by Eugene F. Rivers who is a Pentecostal Minister and is a director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies.

 

The is the last paragraph of his article is:

We non-Catholics must also stand up, if not for courage then for survival. When first they come for the Catholics, we can be certain that all of us are next, and that the respect for faith and diversity of belief that made this country a beacon of freedom is now under severe threat—even from those we entrust with its defense.

************************

Brian Buescher was nominated On October 10, 2018 to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. Two Senators attacked him in the Senate for belonging to the Knights of Columbus an organization that has been “guilty” of doing good things for the past 140 years.

 

Here come the bullets...

Ø It has a long and continuing record of doing Charitable Work.

Ø In the past decade alone it has performed $1 billion of assistance and hundreds of millions of hours of service to Charitable Causes.

Ø For more than a century it bravely defended minorities.

Ø It ran integrated hospitality and recreation centers for troops in World War I (the only charitable organization that did so).

Ø To confront prejudice in the teaching of history in the 1920s, this organization commissioned books on Black and Jewish History in America.

Ø It stood against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, the height of its power, helping fund the Supreme Court case that defeated the Klan-backed ban on Catholic Education in Oregon.

Ø It spoke out against the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany as early as the 1930s.

Ø Today they assist victims of the Islamic State.

 

A Fella Question: Which one of the above bullets disqualifies a member of the Knights of Columbus from becoming a Judge?

************************

President Kennedy was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

************************

More from Eugene F. Rivers’ article...

If Catholics like the Knights can be targeted, what should members of my Pentecostal Church expect? We share traditional views on abortion and marriage. What about Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Mormons and evangelical Christians? Even the Rev. Martin Luther King’s biblical beliefs would be anathema to some currently serving in the Senate.

 

If certain senators refuse to see the good that people of faith contribute to their communities, perhaps they can at least recall the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion or Article VI of the Constitution, which prohibits religious tests for public office.

 

At a 2014 Vatican conference where I (Mr. Rivers) spoke, Pope Francis preached about the Catholic definition of marriage. The Holy Father said he hoped the conference would “be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, communities, and whole societies.”

 

Should anyone loyal to the church’s teachings be barred from public office? There is no reason to accept such political bigotry but this isn’t about anyone’s membership in a particular group. It is about silencing believers of any kind whose views differ from the views of certain Senators on social issues.

 

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Lagniappe:  Even though the two Senators who attacked Brescher have been rebuked by the Senate on January 16, 2019 (affirmed without objection)..."the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States", I could not find where his nomination has yet been approved.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Lesson In Higher Arithmetic

For this Blog Posting you ought to put down your beer because you are going to have to be at your best to follow this Foolishness.

Higher Arithmetic by Bullet Point...

Ø Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) any Washington D.C. forecast of how much money will be spent on anything is always too low.

Ø Forget bullet point #1 above. For purposes of my Higher Arithmetic Lesson, I’ll accept the current forecast for the Green New Deal at $93 Trillion.

Ø However, you should not forget that $93 Trillion is 93 Thousand Billion Dollars.

Ø A Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President was asked where the $93 Trillion is going to come from.

Ø The Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President did not like the question and he got snippy with his answer.

Ø The Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President pointed out that Amazon made $5 Billion in 2017 and did not pay any Income Taxes.

(It should be noted that Amazon avoided paying any Income Taxes through the legal use of existing Tax Law.)

Ø OK. I give up. This is a valid argument and I concede that the Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President has won this argument.

My surrender above was done with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek and, therefore, it was not a legitimate surrender at all but was only an attempt for me to catch my breath. Here I come again...

Ø Would it surprise you if I said that $5 Billion (5 thousand million) is not a lot of money?

Ø Actually it is not when it is compared to $93 Trillion (93 thousand billion).

Ø For the sake of argument I will concede that the Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President is right and Amazon must pay Income Taxes on its $5 Billion Profit.

Ø I will further concede that Amazon should accept the entire $5 Billion as its Income Tax Responsibility for 2017.

Here comes the Higher Arithmetic...

$93 Trillion minus $5 Billion leaves 92 Trillion 995 Billion More Dollars that the Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President needs to find from somewhere else to pay for the Green New Deal’s Total Cost.

Note from Fella to the Supporter of the New Green Deal Who Is Running for President:

You may not like the question and you may want to get snippy with me with your answer but I have to ask...

Where do you plan to get the 92 Trillion 995 Billion More Dollars?

Would I kid u?

Smartfella

Lagniappe: Oh darn! Here comes Senator Foghorn Leghorn stepping up to the podium. I know what he is going to say before he says it. He is so predictable... “Son, why son, don’t ya see it? 93 ain’t much! Why it’s only 1 more than 92. It’s not even 94. Now if you were talking about 95, you might have a valid point but, golly gee, 93 is only 93!”