Wednesday, January 18, 2012

INTERNET BLACKOUT

I just found out about the so called Internet blackout to oppose Congressional legislation that could ruin the Internet. Thus, I am off the Net for the remainder of the night. Sorry I did not know about it sooner and climb aboard sooner with the protest against yet more liberalism gone haywire.

All the best,
GB

HOLY MOLLY - WE HAVE US A WINNER

So my son goes to Atlantic City over the past few days. I give him 50 bucks to place on and around the 9 on the roulette table so each bet is at least partially on the 9. He just came home and handed me $850 bucks. Won on the first bet he made on roulette, but the last bet he made at the casino! He also played $50 of his own money the same way. I will not say if overall he won or lost on this trip, that is his business and I need not post his personal business here on the Internet even if I knew it when it comes to such things. He usually plays a poker game at a table against the dealer, sort of the way you play Black Jack against the house. He has been there 3 or 4 times now and has won each time. I told him, he would probably be better off playing regular poker against other players instead of a game against the house where the odds ALWAYS favor the house but he likes that game. I guess if he wins at it he should like it. Not sure he played it this time, only talked a few minutes, he went straight to work from AC and was just on a break when he stopped by home. He had to get back to work in a hurry but wanted to let me know about my winnings. I tokk cae of hm for his efforts, no need to say how here because that is our business and not Internet business.

The kid sure seems to have better luck than his old man. Better luck and better timing than a friend of mine too. my friend went to either AC or Vegas with some of my money for the same type of bet on number 9. He walks into the casino and head straight to the roulette wheel as I had told him to do for me. The number 9 was called out as the winner as he walked over to the table before he could place a bet. So, as I recall, he did not bother placing a bet for me but returned my money to me. Brendan , my son, waited until his last bet to place my bet; I did not tell him to make it his first bet as I had told my friend when he went.

Brendan said he and his friends watched the ball go round, then when it landed in the pocket, they tried to see what number it was in and he could not believe it was really the 9, he said it felt something like out of this world fantastic. As I had told him, he took off all the winnings and left the original bet for another try. That second try was a loser. To bad I did not tell him to put the whole 50 right on the 9, that would have been much more money, I think at 36 to 1, or maybe it is 30 to 1. Still though, he won on every way he spread the bet. It was spread some on the 9, then some on the line between 9 and 6 and some on the lines between the 9 and the other numbers that were adjacent to the 9, some of the corners of the 9, then some at the end of the row and some at the end of the column in which the 9 fell, that way you increase your odds of winning something even if it does not land on the 9 itself yet the 9 is always part of the bet. As it was though, amazingly he hit right on the 9. All I can say is HOLY SHIT MOLLY - WE HAVE US A WINNER! I asked him to play the 9 because my great grandmother once asked me to place that bet for her when I went to AC years ago. It won on the first try, first bet I made when I walked into the casino. No spreading the money, put $20 all on the 9 itself. Since then, if I play roulette, I always start with a bet on the 9.

Next time, I may have to go to AC with Brendan to jinx him, to show him what it is like to lose all his money. I want to assure he only bets the limit he sets for himself, the one he sets well before he gets to the casino and that said limit is always within reason. Of course, if I go along and we win, I may just have to keep going along and give up retirement. I could become a professional millionaire like Elmer J. Fudd. (For you Buggs Bunny fans, let me just say that one was the best Buggs Bunny episode ever since Elmer J. Fudd actually winds up the winner over Buggs in that one.)


All the best,
Glenn B

TAXES - IS PERRY OUT OF HIS MIND WITH HIS FLAT RATE TAX PLAN

What is wrong with politicians and voters today. People in America consider Perry to be a very conservative presidential candidate. Yet he wants to implement a 20% flat rate tax on Americans. Since when would a true conservative, who truly believes in long standing conservative principles, even for a moment, think that 20% of a person's income is a good rate to charge for federal income taxes??? I really have to ask, is he out of his mind or has liberalism crept into all of us so much so as to have corrupted our ideals and make us believe that such a rate would be within conservative principles!

Don't get me wrong, I am all for a flat rate income tax - that is if we have to have an income tax at all. The thing is though, I think Perry is out of his mind in that he thinks a 20 percent flat rate tax would be fair for all Americans. Get that, he wants to take 1/5 of your hard earned pay away from you and waste it on government spending. Now, I do not know about you, but when it comes to crunch time and I send in my income tax returns at the end of the year, I do not pay 20% of my income to Uncle Sam. For instance, last year, I paid just a tiny bit over 14% to the federal government for my income taxes. I am not rich like Romney (and probably like Perry too). Romney reportedly paid 15 percent of his income toward federal taxes and Perry is trying to make a big deal over it by implying that Romney got away with murder. I am no fan of Romney or Perry (I am a fan of Santorum but if it came to it I would choose Perry any day before Romney) but I have to ask Perry - what do you mean you think 20% is fair.

I have very few tax deductions and or credits. I file married/jointly. My wife and I earned about $150,000 last year - both of us working, my wife working two part time jobs and me with one full time job. That was our total income, not adjusted gross income (which, by the way, was only $2 less than our total income for federal tax purposes). We got to deduct NY state income taxes, property taxes (very high in NY), $812 of gifts to charity, $338 of capital losses, and a whopping $2 for college tuition deduction. (I paid thousands for college tuition and got to deduct a measly TWO dollars.) Yet, after all of that we paid a tad over 14% federal income tax.

Now you may think 14% is not a lot. Well, go and figure out your taxes to see how much you paid last year. I am willing to bet that if you own a house and if you paid state income taxes then you paid about the same as me. Sure, if you are single and made as much as me and had no deductions or credits then you probably paid more but, and this is a big BUT, if you are fairly typical of someone who makes as much as I did, then you had a bunch of other deductions or adjustments to income or capital losses that helped reduce your tax burden. Don't get side tracked here. The issue is we already pay too much in taxes, well at least those of us who actually pay income taxes pay too much. Even if you did not have any deductions or credits, even if you paid more than me in a similar situation as me, then you should agree - you paid way too much of your fair share for federal taxes. If you paid 15%, 20%, 25% or 30% of your income or more - you were robbed by those bastards in Washington, DC. I figure that a fair tax, a flat rate tax at that, would be no more than 10% of your total income for tax purposes (yes I said NO MORE THAN and that should be chiseled in stone forever) and there would be no deductions, no credits, no adjustments except for capital losses. If every American paid 10% of their total income toward federal taxes, well our tax coffers would be overflowing with cash.

As far as state taxes go, we paid another 6% of our total income, for income tax purposes, to New York State. On top of income taxes, NY State also figures that based on your income, you owe a certain amount of additional NY State sales and use tax for items purchased out of state either by you being in another state and making a purchase of something you bring back to and use in NY or that you buy online or through the mail and then use in NY. It is not a lot but it is MORE tax. Luckily we did not live in or maintain a residence, in New York City or we would have had to pay local taxes too. Thank goodness we did not live in Yonkers because that city also charges a local income tax. Yes, we did live in Nassau County and we paid for that by paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation. We had to pay general property tax and school property tax to the town in which we live. We also had to pay an additional tax to the village in which we live. In all, those taxes amounted to over 5% our total income. Then we paid 8.65% sales tax on most of the things we bought in the state. We also paid some of the highest taxes in the nation on gasoline (not the highest by far but way up there nonetheless).

Holy shit, was that momentary feeling that I just felt one that almost compelled me to want to pick up a rifle and get together with my fellow tax payers and then March on Washington, DC and Albany, NY. All I can say is I just thought I heard distant fifes and drums and the cadence of many men's feet and I smelled a whiff of gun oil there just for a moment as my blood began to boil with the realization that last year we paid 25% of our income toward income and property taxes on the state and federal level. If we would have had to go by Perry's proposed 20% federal flat rate income tax, well then we would have had to pay a total of about 31% of our income toward state and federal taxes. Now you can bet, if they pass a flat rate federal tax at 20%, after just a few years, that rate will be increased. You can also bet, that if it appears the federal government has found a gold mine in a flat rate tax that high, then state governments also will clamor to implement flat rat taxes, at rates that are excessive, yet that will slowly increase in amount over the years.

Yep, I think a flat rate tax is a wonderful idea but with some reservations. I see it as a very fair way to tax American citizens and legal resident aliens and legal non-resident aliens (screw illegals, make them pay 50% toward taxes or go to jail for 25 years for tax evasion and illegal entry). What I cannot agree with is a taxation rate that is set way to high (such as at 20%) and that will only feed the liberal, never ending, hunger of tax and spend politicians. What we need to do is to implement a tax rate that will force the legislature to reduce government spending while at the same time being a tax rate that is high enough to maintain essential government expenditures such as those for national defense, protection of our borders, payroll for essential government employees and so on. I think that such a tax rate, if all income earning Americans had to pay it, would be 10% or less. In fact, I believe that 5% would be a better starting point. Remember - no credits, no deductions, no adjustments to income except capital losses. My bet is that our tax coffers would have more money in them than they have had in the last century. Even without reduction in government services, I am fairly confident that if all income earning Americans paid 10% toward federal taxes, it would be more than enough.

Perry really needs to reconsider his ideas on taxation as do all Republicans. While it is probably way too late for him in 2012, maybe he will have a chance in 2016;. That would leave him plenty of time for some serious reconsideration, reconsideration that would get his ideas in line with true and long standing conservative principles, principles with which most Americans would be in agreement.

All the best,
Glenn B
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