Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to Thunderdome Wednesday

Ahy Matie, there's pirates on land and sea this Tax Day 2009 as a gathering storm is brewing just over the horizon. It's all so surreal. Pirates in 2009? Yes, it seems that this is the reality on the high seas as well as on Capital Hill where their are some well connected pirates who are raking in the earmark booty for those special projects for their part of world. And the taxpayers are seething about it all as they are wanting to know what the hell is going on. President Obama in my opinion has made every attempt to "keep it real." He's stated that even with those "glimmers of hope," he tempered the news with the keen fact that there are still hurdles to be crossed. With all that said, I'm still a bit cynical about it all. Especially when I opened a recent credit card bill from Home Depot where my interest rate was raised despite my basically on time record and notices from other companies( Bank of America, AMX) of increases due to "credit risk environment indicators." If you ask me, those pirates on the Somalia coast are not the only pirates in the game.

Tax Tea Party: If you want to express your outrage this Tax Day you can do so around 3:45 t0 6 p.m. on the Capital steps in Little Rock via the local version of the Tax Day Tea Parties that are happening around the nation today. According to the Tax Day website there are sessions planned all over the state. In case you've been out of the loop, the premise of these demonstrations are to call out lawmakers about the ballooning deficit and budget busting spending. Much of the ballyhoo surrounds the recent Obama Stimulus package as well as those bank bailouts that have temperatures rising including my own. There was some tax relief which resulted in me getting an additional $12. Well, it's not much but it's twelve more than I had, which I can now pay toward those other increases. Where's does it end? So if you are mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore? Here's your chance to let it all out for FREE.

When I need a break from the soap box, I opt to use content from one of my favorite sites, QueerCents. They have some really great insightful articles and items that I love sharing with you. Here's another timely item for your consumption after your finish your taxes.

COP:24/7 Special

Marriage Penalty: Same Sex Couples Still Ahead by Helen Maynard

There are many good reasons for us gay folks to fight for the right to marry — to be able to visit your loved one in a hospital, to collect Social Security if your partner dies, and just because we want to (gosh darnit!). But if the Federal government ever gets around to recognizing our relationships, gay couples with two solid incomes will end up paying a lot for the privilege.
Like much of the American way of life, the tax code was set up assuming that a family = two adults + 1.5 children + a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence. It further assumes that one of those adults stays home while the other goes out to bring home the bacon.
Fast forward 150 years, and only about half of Americans fit this scenario. Today, a couple of professionals each with $120,000 in taxable income would pay a total of $55,158 if they file as two singles. The same couple would owe $57,989 if they file as a married couple — a “marriage penalty” of $2831. It also bumps them into the next tax bracket, changing their marginal rate from 28% to 33%.
Let’s say the couple has a newborn infant. If they invest the tax difference, $2831, every year for 18 years at 5%, they will have $79,642 — a tidy sum to help pay for college expenses.
So, if you live in a state where you can’t file as a couple, and you fall into this scenario, enjoy your “gay savings.” Isn’t it nice that Uncle Sam charges us less in tax? You might consider donating some of this hidden windfall to HRC or Lambda Legal as a thank you for all the work they do on our behalf.
Of course, not all of us fall into the “two professional incomes” category. For families where one spouse stays home to care for kin and hearth or where one spouse has a particularly low income, they would benefit by being able to count their spouse as a dependent.
Tax rates can be found on p. 80 of the IRS 1040 instructions.

The Thought of the Day:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.- Abraham Lincoln

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