Monday, September 19, 2011

My Side of the Fence

Once again, my hub is in Washington fighting the good fight. Frank Dodd (not sure of the spelling or exact name)is the latest opponent. I don't begin to understand what the legal issues of the bill are, but my hub does, and apparently he doesn't agree with the bill and is fighting for his side. Like I said, I don't pretend to understand, but I know my husband understands the business ramifications of it and is willing to have his voice heard.

I got a glimpse of his passion just recently and for once, I actually understood. It involves the language of the DC game. He is quite put out with the language being used in the media concerning just good business practices. It costs money to run a business. These costs are part of the operations of the business. The costs impact the actual profits made and finally the tax liability. Personally, I don't care about the jets of corporate America. The guys who use these aircraft are in the air more than they are at home. If my husband's job is an indication of air time, then I am happy for the flying CEOs. They would never have a family life if they traveled commercially. Hub's concern is with the labels now being carefully interchanged by the news sources of our land. At this time in space they are costs of running companies, not subsidies and not extravagant lifestyles.

Another example is social security. While some are receiving benefits and have never paid this tax, most Americans have paid their fare share based on income for 30 years or more. Most wives of my mother's generation had husbands who paid and paid and paid. This is not a subsidy. Personal taxes paid for this distribution. I don't know the history behind social security, but I know that not all present pension plans are equal. Many have 401K opportunities, but most do not. Many hourly employees social security taxes will someday become their only pension. The social security is the pension that most people paid into and deserve to receive. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. Again, language is confusing the issues. Social Security that has been paid by every participant is their pension, not their subsidy. I even payed Medicare taxes for 40 quarters. So folks, I too, am entitled to this benefit.

I have a disabled sister who receives SSI. This isn't the same as SS. No, she never paid her 40 quarters, but her husband did. She receives SS widow's benefits and an additional SSI benefit. Why? She is learning disabled, has tried for years to just hold a job, any job, and just can't do it. Just like she can't manage her money. My mother does this for her and will pass this torch to her children. Some people have needs that they personally could never meet, ever.

I have a friend who has adopted special needs children. She gets SSI for these children. Why shouldn't she? America should take care of its own first. We are guaranteed certain unalienable rights by our, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness....Just because pursuits do not match our own personal goals, what is the government becoming when it would choose to deny the basics to those in need.

Now, I will get political. I don't pretend to understand business, but I do understand threats. Twice now with this President, senior citizens have been warned that their social security checks might be late if this or if that does or doesn't happen. How dare he and how dare the government of the people and for the people threaten its very contributors.

I know that there are a lot of problems, and many people who should pay taxes (all of them) do not. OK then, fix that. Make company penalties so stiff, that financially it would be only advantageous to report and record all incomes and taxes. My husband and I run a small business on the side in hopes of having an additional income when he finally does retire, if ever. I didn't enjoy learning all of the bookkeeping involved for the business, but I did it. I also reported all income payments to the various workers who put in their time and energy for us. Whether or not these people owed taxes based on their bottom line is between them and the IRS. As an employer, I held up my legal end of the bargain.

To be honest, we hired an accounting company to make sure that we got all of the business deductions the tax laws allow. If that displeases anyone, then work to get the laws changed. We may or may not get a government insurance subsidy based on the drought. It is a subsidy. We bought the natural disaster insurance for crops just like anyone buys for rising water. We payed a little, but may receive at least the chemical costs for this year. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the actual costs to us. If a hurricane floods my house, then we will qualify for that subsidy as well, and why shouldn't we. My tax dollars should go to take care of Americans first. I am an American.

Let's do away with funding foreign governments. Now, that is subsidizing and big time. I'm not talking about humanitarian aid. All modern countries of the world should contribute equally to take care of the third world nations. Even these efforts should be monitored closely. I am sick and tired of American tax dollars being used to support governments that oppress their people. I am sick and tired of our American soldiers being killed for people who will turn their backs on us in an instant. I am sick of the thinking going on in Washington these days. I want to shout take care of Americans first, then use whatever is left over to continue taking care of Americans.

I do know that I am very thankful for a husband who doesn't just sit on the sidelines and gripe. He gets out there and gets heard. The expenses for this are deductible to the company he represents, and why shouldn't it be? It is a tiny part of the business of running America, and these dollars are well spent even if the costs help the bottom line of a major company. Running America costs money, and as long as the tax payers money takes care of us, it is well spent.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Time for a Rest

Richard and I had a great time in Las Vegas. We aren't the late nighters who creep in at the break of day, but our time was well spent. I had my usual spa day, enjoyed the pools, and of course the tables. Would love to tell anyone that I won, but that is never the case, and I never take more than I can afford to lose.

I am all about views, and I must admit that in spite of the casino being geared to the 21+ age groups, our service was excellent. We also got to enjoy the fountains at the Bellagio from our Cosmopolitan balcony. Our casino was very ethereal with emphasis on restaurants and designer label shopping. We did enjoy a variety of foods with very different twists of flavor and my idea of great eating. We actually lost a few pounds probably because we got some walking in every evening.

A couple from our neighborhood was staying at their condo for the week. I joined them one afternoon and enjoyed shooting craps with them Downtown. Again, I would love to tell you I won, but I would lying. I did finally win on roulette later in the evening, and actually played the slots for a while on my winnings. I still love the one armed bandits the most. The video game appeal I think, but one armed bandit is definitely a great nicname.

Met a lovely couple on the way back and discovered that they hit Vegas about 4 times a year. I am just not up to the plane travel to do that. The worst part of traveling is the flying. Flying used to be fun. The jets had more room, and the airlines were there to serve you. Not so anymore. We have all become statistics who are closely monitored each step of the trip. However, the scanners at security do make it less irritating.

I was amazed at a spectacle I saw at the counters. A couple were really yelling and screaming about the baggage fees necessary for the next leg of their journey. If it had been this blond-haired American granny making the complaints, I am sure security would have been called immediately. The angry couple were obviously of eastern descent, so they were placated over and over again. Just made me mad to see it go on. We kiosked, checked our bags, and went for a drink, and the couple were still making complaints. Only in America would this be allowed to go on and on and on.

I wonder if this country is ever going to wake up........