Tax season rant

My Current Rant

 

 ….your paycheck should cover basic expenses if you are working fulltimeei2

Ok please no hate mail. I love you, love me back! No? Ok bite me then. I am getting ready to piss a few folks off. Sorry in advance. Sometimes the voices in my head demand I write things down.

 

Rant of the day… I may change my mind tomorrow but today…

I think that the Earned Income Tax Credit should be removed

What? I can feel your stare already. Let me explain.

The Earned income tax credit is a credit. That is code for free money. I don’t really believe in free money. I do not believe in a welfare state. I am a Christian. I do believe in helping the less fortunate. I promise I do. I am, however, into the whole “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for life”.

ei3

 

 

 

 

Punished for working harder?

What am I getting at? You want the specifics? I do not believe in giving a credit to people that is unearned. No, I have thought about it. I am not talking out of the side of my neck. I have had foster children and got that big juicy check at the beginning of the year. It helped, a lot. It was like Christmas in February. Uncle Sam saw I was struggling taking care of my siblings and hooked me up!

However…

Many poor people, especially single moms depend on income tax refunds. There are people all over America who use that money to get into a new apartment, buy a used car, pay off credit cards, and take a small vacation. It usually runs from 1k to 6k, depending on how much you earned and how many kids you have. If you make over a certain amount you get nothing, if you have no kids you usually do not qualify as well.

…Here’s the rub

  1. Why should the government reward you for having kids you can’t afford? People who made sure they had good work and good partners don’t get it why should you? Yes we have all had hard times to different extents but it is kind of an award for irresponsible behavior.
  2. Why is the cutoff so low? A single parent who busted his or her tail feathers making 50k should get the freebie from Uncle Sam – same as the chic who works part time or not at all. You have to make something but not too much… this helps further forward the welfare mentality. I have associates who actually DO not do extra work because they know it will knock down their earned income check… seriously.
  3. It supports big business and creates a corporate welfare state

Let’s get into #3 more because I don’t stress about 1-2 much.

Large super corporations get to pay low wages in the name of “Shareholder value” aka screwing small guys for the benefit of a few rich guys

Low wages means now these folks, some who actually work full time, qualify for Medicaid, SNAP aka food stamps, section 8 housing vouchers, and yeppers, the Earned income tax credit, and child tax credit.

My thought is, and I am not the first to have it, instead of the government allowing the taxpayers to be pimped by large corporations ( which hold many of the legal protections as a human and in some cases better protections) we should have a nationwide minimum wage. Let’s say 22.00. Knock out all of the extraneous taxes like taxes on food and that is enough for you to take care of a small family humbly in America. (Well outside of NY and San Fran)

Whoa!!!! You don’t want to pay 20 bucks for a McDonald’s hamburger? You won’t because no one will.

The stock exchange may show out a bit but it will be ok. Companies can make a profit without creating a working underclass.

ei

 ( You shouldn’t only be making 14k working full time )

Walmart, McDonalds, etc.,  should extend their health care to all employees. I certainly want the folks flipping burgers to be fully vaccinated and healthy. Let’s have them buy more items from American vendors who manufacture in America. I know my Chinese brothers and sisters have to eat but they can create jobs for their economy, we need to create jobs for ours.

Decent wages, lower prices, and local good trade and manufacturing  jobs (because everyone can’t afford to spend 100 k on college) will help us all much more than a check in February that is spent in weeks.

Let’s do a little math. According to the IRS the average low income family receiving the child tax credit and earned income gets @ 3k back on tax returns. The income on average for these families is @17k.

Let’s use 15 an hour, because no one is trying to hear the 22 an hour spiel. 15 an hour times a 40 hour week times 52 weeks equal 31,200. Let’s say we eliminate taxes on food and have a flat rate of 5% because hey even Uncle Sam has to eat, leaves about 29,640 in the pocket of that low income family. If they have employer sponsored health insurance ( or state funded that’s a different rant) and budget just right, they can get by in most places. It is better for the country that a healthy, able bodied adult works for 29k and take care of their family vs earn 17k and hope to get 3k at tax time. Companies that pay good wages get to have lower turnover, which saves them a lot of money, they get a better trained workforce, happier employees, and can even end the day profitable. Google Costco vs Walmart. Cheaper pay is the lazy way to run a business. It is irresponsible corporate citizenship and should not rewarded.

New York State has a program where it is almost paying companies to come to the state and create jobs. Tax breaks up the wazoo! The state should make sure those employees are making at least 20 bucks an hour for full time work. Someone has to pay the taxman and if you let the company slide the employees will have to ante up. They should make enough to do so. That way the end result is jobs and a good tax base for the state. Otherwise… well, there is just more folks on the government teat.

And while I am ranting, yes President Obama, force companies who take American jobs out of the country to pay an extra tax. Instead of living wages here, they help create a working poor under class elsewhere. Let’s call it the Foreign Manu factor tax. I just read how a company laid off 2,000 folks in their American Plants in rural Virginia and Kentucky and are now getting the work done by child laborers and poor women in third world countries.  Again, I know those folks have to eat too. However instead of 2k folks with good union jobs paying taxes and living reasonably well, you have 2k folks on unemployment, many of whom will be unemployed for long periods of time. You can spend 17 years working in a plant and suddenly the job is gone, your pension is a joke or worse you didn’t make the 20 year cut off so you get nothing, and your work was so specialized you have to start from scratch with new job training. To me that means 4,000 folks are being duped, here and there.

Am I mean, have I gone all “Stacy Dash “on you ? No I still love you guys. I just want the little guy to be able to earn a comfortable living and not have a welfare mentality where he sits and waits for the government to hand over free loot. Free money should be reserved for the ill, the elderly, and for college and trade school. Sometimes we all need a helping hand. That should be on a case by case basis not an annual giveaway for individuals or corporations.

 

Give me some input on this… its a rant, but we do need to take better care of our working class people.

I am at MsLissa@melissaweblog.com

Love and Light

Lissa

 

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That feeling… like someone kicked you in the back?

That feeling, like someone kicked you in the back?2015-02-01 00-43-23.256

It may be kidney stones. Kidney stones can be a minor little nuisance or a major problem requiring surgery. It depends on the size and location of the stone, the health of the individual, and how quick the problem is caught.

Your kidneys are awesome

When you think about your kidneys you generally think of two things: protect them in a fight and well… urine. The kidneys are so much more.

  1. Kidneys filter waste from blood – the blood not the water you drink, not directly
  2. They create urine ( I know you know but it’s on my list so I had to say it)
  3. They help regulate calcium metabolism
  4. They help regulate electrolyte metabolism
  5. Kidneys help regulate salt
  6. Kidneys help regulate potassium
  7. Kidneys help with the body’s acid balance
  8. Kidneys create chemicals that stimulate red blood cell production which helps regulate blood pressure

So as you see, kidneys have a lot of work to do. Yes you can live with one really healthy one but two are best. I say don’t mess with the architect’s design but I would also hand one over to my sister or brother readily.

Kidney Stones

Are fun! –Ok I am being silly. I apologize to anyone who has ever had them. They are painful and “passing a kidney stone” is the closest many men will ever get to the pain of childbirth. They develop from an overload of salts and minerals in the kidneys.

Causes:

  1. Hereditary risk factors – no one knows the gene per se but they do run in families often
  2. Low water intake, dehydration
  3. High salt and mineral intake … the jury is still out in regards to calcium over load but when the liquid ( water) and the minerals do not have the right balance, crystals form resulting in stones
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Obesity ( a risk factor more than a cause like HBP)
  6. Excessive protein diets
  7. For some, high Oxalate foods like : Chocolate, tea, dark leafy greens, oranges, tofu, instant coffee, sweet potatoes, blue berries, blackberries, These are healthy foods but there is a certain group of people who need to be more careful in over doing them. Remember, everything in moderation so the body can regulate it. No berries only diet or anything outrageous like that. If kidney stones run in your family, ask your doctor about a blood test that can see if you have a high amount of the precursors in your blood.

Signs:

  1. Pain in abdominal area, lower back and sides of back ( see doctor that is a sign for several serious illnesses)
  2. Pain in groin
  3. Frequent or painful urination
  4. Bloody urine
  5. Vomiting and nausea ( usually accompanied by pain in groin or back)

Kidney stones can be as small as a small piece of salt ( which still hurts by the way) to the size of golf ball ( extreme case) They are usually just a few millimeters  or less and even then may require surgical procedure to remove.

Treatment:

  1. Sometimes the doctor just makes you increase you fluid intake to wash them out, maybe with muscle relaxers ( for ureters the tubes where urine leaves the kidneys) and pain meds
  2. Sometimes the doctor can go up the ureter ( I will not be graphic) and use a tool to grab the small stones
  3. Surgery through small incisions in the back
  4. Extracorporeal Shock wave therapy – shock waves!!! It sounds cool as heck but it can leave bruises, cause internal bleeding, and really hurt

So if you have the signs, go in for a checkup. Ask your family has anyone in the family had kidney stones and let your doctor know. The doctor may do a CT scan, X-ray, or ultrasound to see the stones. They may also do urinalysis and blood analysis to see the mineral content of your body. These tests are simple and for the most part not very invasive. The quicker you see why that pain is with you the better off you will be.

Have you ever had a kidney stone? What happened? Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

Love and Light

Lissa

 

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Let Me Clear My Throat….

Let Me Clear My Throat…

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Who sang that in a song? It was an old school rap. Ok I will look it up later. It is cold and flu season and hooray! I haven’t gotten sick yet but between my vitamin c and teas and oranges and zinc… I should be covered. Are you? What are you doing to protect yourself? I hate being on the train because everyone around me is coughing. They did not get the memo where you cough in the crook of your arm and not in your hands. You know the hands that touch everything on public anything? I am not a germaphobe, but geesh.

Let’s chat about coughs. Yes I know you are an expert but hey, since we are both here.

Issue number one. What causes you to cough? If you said cooties, you are only partially right.

The biggest contributors are:

  1. Smoking cigarettes
  2. COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( oddly enough a lot of these folks smoke)
    1. Including emphysema
    2. Chronic bronchitis
  3. Acid reflux
  4. Flu and Common Cold ( viruses not bacteria)
  5. Sore throat, chest infection ( can be viral or bacterial)

 

All of these warrant a trip to the doctor. However if you have a little cough due to, let’s say shoveling snow without a scarf for 2 hours. You can do a little home therapy before sliding down to the local internist.

 

Issue two… what to do or use before getting the hard stuff ( pharmaceuticals)

  1. Cover throat with warm towel and sit down and relax
  2. Cover nose and mouth with warm and moist towel and breath in warm moist air
  3. Warm , not hot, green or herb tea with a tablespoon of brandy, rum, or whisky no milk
  4. Vicks vapor rub on your neck, chest, and under your nose with warm clothes on
  5. A cool humidifier is good after maybe a little steam ( face over sink of hot water cover head with towel for five minutes, breath in deeply, a little eucalyptus leaf and mint leaf in there is awesome, but Vick’s vapor rub is handy in a pinch)
  6. No milk or milk products, many say they help produce mucous
  7. No or very little sugar or starchy foods, warm tea, broth, a little lean meat for protein
  8. Warm water with lemon and orange peels in it (unless your throat is sore then ouch…)
  9. Fresh ginger and peppermint in hot water, made like a tea with the cover over it for five minutes to release the natural oils into the water
  10. Licorice root tea
  11. Spoonful or raw, organic honey
  12. Thyme infused herbal tea
  13. Honey, pepper, in mint tea ( I haven’t tried this… drinking pepper? Hmm only fresh cracked 1 tsp to four cups but still)
  14. Turmeric, warm water and honey

 

A cough that hurts your chest when you cough and one that last more than a day or can’t be calmed within a few hours is cause for concern. I always say check with the doctor first and if she says it’s just a cold then look up home remedies. Most of these you have to go to a natural foods store to find but raw organic honey, lemons, turmeric, Vick’s vapor rub, and green tea are all over.

If you want more specific information on natural remedies, speak with a naturopath or herbalist. They can tell you what the proper “recipes” are for the various natural home remedies are.

 

Issue Three: Prevent problems

 

The best defense is a good offense. (Sorry that last Super Bowl has me whacky) Prepare for the worst. Just like you buy salt before the snow, get a few remedies and home health aides before you need them.

A vaporizer, cool or warm, is good. Bottled water is a good idea if you tap is funky, while vitamin C and Zinc lozenges are tasty and handy and come in sugar free. Just make you a list of stuff to just put in the house. Nothing elaborate or expensive is needed. You know if you have kids and they walk to school in the snow, to have cold and flu medicine and herbs ready.

 

One should also dress properly for the weather in layers, cotton or material designed to wick sweat away from the skin on the layer nearest the body is recommended. Ok and you should try hard to not smoke or at least not smoke in the house. The kids and the animals don’t want to suck in that poison. Yes, children do get infections from second hand smoke. And eat healthy food high in nutrients so that your body has the energy to fight off diseases. These are all basic no nonsense things you need to do.

 

Ok I found the song, it was by DJ Kool and Biz Markie with Dougie Fresh, can’t get it out of my head

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54yIMKjG048

 

Here is a new song set by GlobalMusic4 Life founder Kiki Hurt, Check it out and buy it. The funds help support yours truly J  Do me a favor and share the link with your friends!

http://globalmusic4life.com/store/?ms_collection=searching

 

We sell our music and books directly to make them more cost effective and eliminate the 50-75% taken by middle men.

 

What do you do to avoid a cough and cold in the winter? Any remedies I need to know about?

Let me know!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

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