I'm not entirely sure we'll get a tax cut but whatever. It is what it is.
That being said I'm sort of being pushed to buy our new to us car now this month because I think I want to capture the sales tax break since we itemize. I'm not sure how everything will shake out next year.
Is it worth it? I'm still contemplating. The only good thing is that we've been thinking about it and meaning to do it for 2 months now but haven't pulled the trigger.
I will say that I think the tax bill will have negative repercussions for charitable donations. I think less people will give. But until everything is signed I think we'll still have to see.
Viewing the 'Politics' Category
I'm not entirely sure we'll get a tax cut but whatever. It is what it is.
My thoughts on the tax reform? It appears the reform is going to hurt all families with more than 1 kid. If you had 2 kids before and took the standard deduction you had $12k standard deduction and $16k in personal exemptions for $28k. Now with the standard deduction raised to $24k but personal exemptions gone by the way side it appears to be less than the $28k the family with 2 kids had. Assuming a larger child tax credit is $600/per child for $1200 in tax credit.
It really depends on the bracket but if I had to guess most families will end up paying more in taxes with more than 2 children. The $600 tax credit won't offset the personal exemptions.
As far as the SALT I think they should keep it instead of the mortgage deduction to be fair. After all it's a double taxation. And honestly they should probably do away with the mortgage deduction period. But that's impossible with the lobby groups. I also have seen a lot of elderly people use the medical deduction and if you are in nursing home care the bills for that are astronomical and easily fufill the 10% income minimum to write off.
Something that does bother me is that estate tax going away. Seriously so $22 million tax free inheritance is not enough? And the middle class needs to give away inheritances above that tax free? And it's inherited at a step-up basis? Really those 5000 people who have enough to leave more than $22 million need the tax break?
I have to admit I'm pretty liberal. But I'm a bit stunned these tax cuts have come without really cutting the budget. That republicans are okay with increasing the deficit so much? I thought it was supposed to be cut taxes, shrink government and deficit? Seems resonable and responsible budgeting. But instead we're cutting taxes and still spending wildly?
I am curious what will pass. It'll be an interesting sell.
Laugh I did. My redfin touring realtor yesterday "leaned in" and told me I voted for trump. She is a college educated, white, 45-55 woman living in the suburbs divorced with kids. She leans liberal but couldn't vote for Hillary because she's corrupt and establishment. She said doesn't like anything Trump said or stood for but she pulled the lever because she wanted a change. She said she hasn't told coworkers or other friends, because she was embarrassed. Why'd she tell me? I said I didn't vote for Hillary and Trump. I refused. But then I'm registering as an independent because my values mostly align with a certain independent socialist.
The second was a stay at home mom who also is white, college educated, 30-40 married suburbs. She is pretty conservative and was horrified by Trumps racist bigotry but his stances more aligned with hers. She also was embarrassed to tell people she voted for him.
Both women said he offended them and they don't support his views on race or women or religion. But they just couldn't support Hillary for one reason or another. Neither would have told a pollster they'd be voting for Trump.
So these two women whom pollsters "should" be Hillary supporters were closeted Trump supporters. It cements in my mind that Trump supporters that aren't all racist or bigots. Rather probably a small segment is. Many don't agree but still voted for him for other reasons. People who really disagree actually with his words.
Either way I found it interesting that people are hiding they voted for him. It appears that's why polling was off. Because even exit polls people didn't admit to voting for him.
In an aside a couple of our friends are considering moving and leaving the country. We're saddened by their fear. Praying they make the best decision. Both couples are muslim and I asked recently the moms why did they set aside the niqab? The answer was after they had children they were afraid of being physically assaulted and both had been verbally assaulted while walking with their babies. It had been easier when they were single and younger. But pushing a stroller made them reconsider how they appear and they wanted to fit in more. I wonder if we aren't regressing in our ability to accept people of another race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Just kidding. I am not surprised. I think of myself as probably an independent in the mold of bernie sanders. I'm more liberal than the democratic party. This entire year I've said I get why Donald Trump wont he republican nomination and I can honestly say I get why he won the presidency.
I didn't think it would happen. But I think that more moderate democrats voted for him than moderate republicans voted for Hillary. I do believe there is racism and hate and sexism in this country. But that's not what propelled him to victory. She didn't lose because she's a woman. She lost because she's a terrible person. I believe if Bernie had won he'd have won the presidency because a lot of people turned off by Trump's message of hate and divisiveness would have voted for Bernie as a outsider (ie independent caucausing with Democrats).
He won Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, the same states Bernie beat Hillary Clinton. How? Because I think people hate establishment and they feel the elites of both parties have left them behind, and they have. I will admit I LOVE his "drain the swamp" bit. I hate the establishment and feel they've lost touch with the regular people and Hillary represented the swamp. Him promising to drain the swamp was great. I think it won him the election.
The democratic party deserved this loss. They cleared the field for her, they didn't give Bernie a fair shot, they deliberately gave her the opportunity she missed in 2008. So she's done stick a fork in her. I think she deserves to go to jail. I also hope she does to prove that NO ONE is above the law because that's what pisses me off. It's why I wouldn't vote for her. I didn't vote for Trump either and yes I voted. The truth is she acted this entire race that she was above the law. She made the rules and didn't abide by them. So she deserved this loss and everything that went with it.
I disagree with Donald Trump policies and what he stands for. They aren't what I believe. But I'll respect the opinion of others who want to disagree. Some of the people I know best are republicans and I can still respect the opinion. FWIW they were horrified by Donald's views.
What I still stew over is the fact my vote doesn't matter. That only a small percentage of people in the US get to pick the president. That only people living in swing states matter. That if you live on the coasts and south you might as well not even show up to vote. I am appalled that the popular Hillary Clinton won. I don't like her but I question whether it would have been more legitimate if she had won by popular vote? Then wouldn't every vote everywhere be equal?
I understand the tyranny of the majority is the reason for the electoral college. But now it seems like we are under the regime of the minority (which we are since Donald lost the popular vote) rather than the will of the majority.
Where is the parity of one vote one person? I think the electoral college is antiquated and we need to switch. It's completely unfair that large swathes of the electorate is COMPLETELY ignored and only people living in areas considered swing are worthy of picking.
But maybe I'm biased since I've never lived in a swing state. Do swing state people feel it's fair? Do they see a problem with being a swing state and that their votes are more important than other citizens?
I don't like Donald Trump. I still haven't reconciled voting for Hillary either. I don't want to write in Gary Johnson, but I would write in Bernie Sanders.
Anyway this past week after watching the Donald Trump video and his words. It came up in a group of moms. I am disgusted and his words on the video definitely helps perpetuate rape culture.
More than one mom talked about rape on their college campus and having a friend go through it. I am unsure if it really was "friend or themselves" and they were hiding behind the words. Truth is that many guys talk like that especially guys with money and privilege. I mean look at the Stanford swimmer. The more expensive universities tend to have more kids born like Donald Trump to privilege.
I think that Donald did many actions that definitely were suspect in proper behavior. Because he thought he had the money, right, and power. And women don't talk about it because they are embarrassed and many times feel like they were to blame. I had a college roommate who was "date" rape but she never reported because she was drunk. She couldn't give consent but felt shame because she "brought it on herself". I wasn't there it was a sorority/fraternity party. Yet how much has it changed?
Now do we believe women? Do we say that being drunk is not consent? Or do we still bring up the victims past? My favorite line is Michelle Obama's a strong mand doesn't have to put down women.
I'm disgusted by Donald Trump. It just shows his total disdain for people in general. Actually both candidates do. I don't think either people have any sort of moral fiber. Arrrgh.
Do you think he did sexual assault all those women? Or is it the media? I wonder if more come out if it's really all made up. It's falling into the same line of more women stepping forward like Bill Cosby.
I was told in a conversation that by not voting for Hillary Clinton I was voting for Donald Trump. What? Why couldn't I vote for Hillary? And how can I turn my back on the Democratic Party? I nearly lost it. I very politely said I will vote but I'm going to write in Bernie Sanders or I'm going to vote for any independent.
Apparently I'm crazy to think that the democratic party basically gave the nomination to Hillary Clinton. Apparently that being a Bernie Sanders fan means I'm a democrat instead of an independent. And I'm a female suppressor.
No to all of these things. I think I'm actually more a liberal counterpart to a Donald Trump supporter. I mean in the sense that I get anyone supporting the Donald because they hate the establishment. I am not fond of the democrat establishment and I don't want to vote for Hillary.
I could care less if she's a women. She's dishonest and thinks she's above the law. And I was told how is she any different from GW, Colin Powell, etc who had private servers? It wasn't illegal when she started doing it, but it became illegal. Um okay yes but she continued doing it and I believe it's because she thinks she's above the law. Apparently everyone who runs for president thinks they are above the law. I don't think so the only other one I feel like who thinks that way was Nixon and we saw how that ended up.
Yes both liberal and conservative people are beholden to special interests. But why can't a person who supported bernie not support hillary? I don't like donald and what he stands for at all. I am not in support of his comments or platform or him. But I don't want to vote for a woman I despise and think is lying every step of the way. And I see nothing wrong with saying I'm probably less of a democrat than I've ever been and turning more independent as I get older. I hold more liberal views than what the "democratic" party holds. But I have a ton of friends who were republicans but now would call themselves liberaterians. Because republicans are not the party of smaller government anymore, but rather the government of spend more money on their agenda. So how can either party wonder why people are fleeing them?
Do you think both liberals and conservatives aren't in sync with the big party elites?
Have you read this twitter post by Elizabeth Warren? I had to laugh. I don't think her points only apply to Ted Cruz, they probably apply to all the candidates in the presidential race. The only thing is Ted Cruz was the only one who whined and complained about it.
He complained about campaigning and being away from family. I wonder did he consider what being president will do to his family? That it's not just a 9-5 job?
That from photos I don't know if other's noticed but GWB and Obama both looked really haggard after 8 years in office. They had a lot more white hair. They both looked extremely drawn and tired and aged. I mean if you look at 2000 and 2008 campaigning photos they looked energized and ready to go. But by the end both look worn, weathered, tired. I can't blame them. The job is exhausting, stressful, and extremely difficult. Every decision is difficult not to mention scrutinized.
But seriously Mr Cruz? You are complaining about running for office but you know that's what everyone else does everyday? That everyone else trying to make a living is probably living like that now.
I'm losing faith in the political parties. I don't get it at all. I may not vote for Donald Trump or like him but I think he's right for once. He said both political parties are corrupt. That he's been winning and Bernie Sanders (I support) are winning but yet everyone says they can't be the nominees. That in a contested convention Donald Trump will never win.
I don't get it. If Donald gets the most votes, and people like Marco Rubio suspend their campaigns, then their delegates should be up for grabs right? I think if Donald leads why shouldn't he win the nomination?
As for Bernie well I think superdelegates are ridiculous and have always thoughts so. It should be solely based on the voting delegates. And he's won the last 7 of 8 states and has tremendous momentum. I don't get why he can't win and look at his fundraising! Oh yeah because the establishment doesn't want him to win like they don't want Donald Trump to win.
I think the cards need to fall where they fall and the politicians need to stop interfering. Ridiculous.
I'm disgusted. If I were a republican I'd probably consider voting for donald trump just to thumb my nose at people in DC for deciding what the rest of the country wants. I feel like voting for Bernie (I did) at least I contributed to the "political revolution." But it seems like the establishment on both sides just wants the average joe to fall into line with what they want.
Hillary or Paul Ryan. Who cares what anyone else wants.
I found this a very interesting article. One of the biggest republican donors Charles Koch acknowledge that the US political and economic society is rigged. It's the one thing he agrees with Bernie Sanders and yet he's part of the 1%. Probably more like the 0.1% actually. Yet here is talking about the fact that there is a lot of cronyism, control, dependency, poverty and the government isn't entirely to blame.
No it isn't. But this anger people are feeling is coming out. I was surprised my mom who is very liberal, said she was going to vote for donald trump when I was visiting her. I blinked twice. She said she hated all the corruption but didn't think Bernie Sanders could win. So she decided she'd pick donald trump because he's going to be different. He's not taking money from special interest and isn't beholden to anyone (unlike hillary). She said she may not like all his positions but at least he's not a politician.
Trust me I nearly fell off my chair. He's not my cup of tea. I'm not sure I could vote for him or Hillary. I don't know what I would do at that point, except I always said not voting means you can't complain. UGGH.
What are you going to do? Unless you think Trump isn't going to win the nomination. That could happen, but I think if he doesn't then I'd feel like again the establishment elite are rigging it.
Happy Valentine's Day! We had a great steak dinner at home and are prepping to leave for vacation. We leave tomorrow morning and I'm almost packed.
Couple of thoughts I read that Kanye West is $53 million in personal debt. Is that even possible? I mean isn't he married to someone extremely wealthy and they make a fortune selling themselves on reality tv? Am I mistaken that I think I read they made $30 million last year alone? How can he be in debt? I mean yes they live lavishly but I thought they pretty much get everything free to "try" and sell for the merchant and they are constantly selling products? I wonder how that all ends? Bankruptcy?
RIP Justice Scalia. I hate to say it but it's a little ridiculous that the Republican party wants to wait a year to fill his position on the supreme court. They need to suck it up and accept the fact that he passed and let the nomination go through unless the person is completely horrible. If Obama is smart he'll nominate someone quickly that is already a judge that had a fast and smooth vetting previously. I wonder if he'd dare put another woman on the court? I know the front runner is the Indian judge but I wouldn't mind another woman.
I am annoyed I'll be honest with Gloria Steinam and Madeleine Albright. They are calling out all young women to support Hillary Clinton because of her gender. They suggest that women are going to hell for not supporting another woman. They also suggest that young millenial women are supporting Bernie to get a boyfriend.
I don't get it. I thought feminism is the idea of supporting any woman's choice. The woman's right to choose. Like the idea that women can choose to stay at home instead of working, even though boomer women and older struggled for equality. They believe that young women don't appreciate it.
We do. But maybe the idea is that Hillary isn't the candidate meant to be the first president. Who knows. But why aren't Albright and Steinam criticizing the conservative women for not voting for Carly Fiorina? Because she couldn't win? Or because they are liberal? So only liberal woman have to support a woman for gender but conservatives get a pass?
Yes I'm annoyed women get paid less than men. Yes I think there is gender discrimination. But trying to guilt people into voting by gender seems like a worse idea. Do these older women realize they are treating younger women exactly the same they were treated? Do they realize that women fought for the ability to make their own decision instead of listening to father/husband? And now they want women to "fall" into line again?
So much for feminism if all what it means is to fall into line what is deemed "acceptable" instead of getting to choose what you want.
I watched online segments of the Republican debate. I found it interesting. I am curious do most people support the idea of de-linking health insurance with jobs? Are conservatives and republicans for this idea or do most people want to preserve their employer provided health insurance?
Obamacare is actually a republican health policy idea started by republican conservatives in 90s in response to Hillarycare. Personally I would prefer socialized medicine. I like the premise of pre-existing conditions not influencing insurance. Obamacare is the idea that everyone has insurance. We already have single payer insurance in the US it's called Medicare. And no one appears willing to give it up. So I'm wondering if that's the case why are people against single payer over everyone?
I'm very curious and willing to give de-linking health insurance a try. I think we should do it for a 4 year stint and see what happens. Personally I think that the divide between the rich, middle, and poor will become cavernous and people will realize those who can afford health care will receive superior care to those who cannot afford to pay. I also believe that quality of life will fall a lot. That crime and people in poverty will increase tremendously.
Why? We currently pay $700/month for insurance HDHP plan with a $6500 individual, $13k family deductible health plan. This is basically only to prevent BK situations, but everything else we're footing the bill. Previously we were paying $120/month biweekly or about $130/month for a PPO plan provided by DH's company with $20 co-pays.
Now they claimed the benefit was $20k/year for a family, since we paid 10% or so of the premium. Now will the company give us a $20k/raise? I have my doubts. But if they did it wouldn't cover moving to a HDHP unless of course they covered the deductible or a portion of it too. I suspect highly coveted employees and fields will have their premiums covered and deductibles into HSA, but the lower wage earners will not.
I think health care will entirely benefit those who can afford it. Can you pay cash? Then move to front of the line. After all if we were all on HDHP, wouldn't the question arise how are you paying for seeing the specialist? Can you pay in full?
Do you think we could move to a true capitalistic health system de-linked to employment and we all pay our way? Would it work? It would be a very interesting experiment. And one which I think would either supremely work and prove capitalism or flame out and prove healthcare can't be linked to money. Either way I think the US needs to try this out and determine if the value of a human healthcare can be priced. What an experiment.
Go bernie go! He's doing better than I thought he would in Iowa. Okay admittedly I'm very liberal and I like Bernie Sanders. I like Elizabeth Warren. I don't like Hillary Clinton and I certainly wouldn't vote for her because she's female. I don't know honestly if I can stomach voting for her even in the general election. Perhaps I'm on the extreme side of the party. Or maybe I'm just disgusted with politics in general.
Something this month got me wondering, especially now that Ted Cruz won Iowa and Donald Trump came in second. OMG. Ted Cruz I thought okay sure the guy knows how to be a politician and run a campaign. He's going to collect a lot of votes and is a solid contender. But until today I really wondered who the HELL would support Trump and what is the reason? Well he's got supporters and they are real. I was wondering if the polls were a bunch of crap (much like the polls saying Bernie had real support!)
Honestly I figured that Donald Trump was riding the wave of being a celebrity. Now I don't think so. Now I am starting to feel the Bern and believe there is a political revolution and revolt on our hands. I think that there are many liberals and conservatives who are disgusted by the system and want something different.
Much like any liberal supporting Bernie those supporting Trump don't want an establishment candidate and feel DC is corrupt. I am sort of getting excited at that prospect. Maybe there is some sort of change coming.
I'll be honest I couldn't vote for any of the Republican leading candidates, I could vote for Kasich if he were nominated. However I would be super excited to see something crazy like Bernie versus Trump or Cruz. I'd love to see the establishment politics tossed on it's backside and neither candidate have big money behind them owing everyone else. If it were one of those two against Bernie I'd like to see which way the US leans and I'd feel the average joe had spoken up so even if Trump or Cruz won I'd be okay.
Who do you support? Do you think they'll win? I am cheering as we speak for Bernie. I'd love him to give Hillary a tough race and WIN.
I have to admit I like the fact Paul Ryan admits his hesitation for taking on the speaker of the house job is his family. That he reluctant to give up weekend family time. That he feels time is short. He gets it.
What I don't get is how he could vote against paid family leave for government workers and in general be against paid family leave for all workers if he values family? If his family is important to him, isn't our families important to us?
I am also impressed recently that Microsoft and Google have changed their paid maternity leave. I have met people who adored the paid 20 weeks of leave Microsoft had and now with the 1 year paid leave every woman I've talked to is EXCITED and feels empowered. The idea that a company understands picking between work and family is HARD.
And the truth is Paul Ryan is privileged. That he gets to tell the republican party his family is important and not lose his job. That he can afford to fly back and forth and see his family every weekend.
When I had my first I was back in 12 weeks to finish up work. I worked another 12 weeks before staying home permanently and because of it I was under tremendous pressure with childcare. I used temporary measures and family (my mom and MIL) came back and forth to help. I worked nights while my DH worked days because we knew it was temporary and I couldn't find a daycare for short term. But my 12 weeks were unpaid and I was GRATEFUL to even get that. I had met during my time off women who were going back after 6 or 8 weeks. More than a few quit rather than go back. One teacher went back after 4 weeks because she needed the money.
I didn't think it fair then and I don't think it's fair now. I would say about 20% of the women I met had paid leave and 80% had unpaid. But the 80% were just happy to have anything and those who were paid were thrilled even more.
Can we change our policy? You know the Canadian elections just occurred and they voted into a majority the liberal party. I am curious what will happen. As of right now women and men get up to 1 year paid maternity and paternity leave. They are able to split it between parents or just one. It makes for happier workers I can say because everyone I've met whose got it has been thrilled.
And interesting side aspect is that it allows often new college graduates a chance to get experience because they often get hired on a 1 year contract while a person is on "family leave." It's how my friend Mrs D got her first job out of college and parlayed that into a full time position. Then when she moved she landed another 1 year contract and again parlayed that into a full time position. I wonder if this would help new college graduates in the US if they were able to land 1 year contract positions for "experience"?
I now wonder will Paul Ryan push for paid family leave since he's expressed his desire for his own family time? Does he get it now? Has having children changed him? Does it make him more sympathetic?
We need massive reform in the country on both health care and gun control. I'm liberal and I don't deny it. But right now my DH and I are experiencing life as "poor" in this country. We are watching our pennies like we never before.
Never before have we been on the type of a high deductible health insurance. Never before have we ever been worried about going to the doctor. Never have we considered the cost of a dr visit. Never before have we wonder what will happen if we have to hit the deductible. Have we been priviledged? Absolutely. DH grew up with socialized healthcare. I grew up with a mom who worked for the state so primo for the US. The idea that we worry about visits for our kids now worries me. The fact we don't have prescription coverage worries me a lot. I've always supported single payer socialized health care and never more than now.
Look the truth is for a healthy family of 4 it's costing us $560/month for basic HDHP premium. That's with a $6500 individual/$13k family deductible. Until now DH and I have had jobs that has always provided health insurance. Great health insurance. In grad school DH had premium coverage no costs as did I. His job was superb, best of any industry but the premiums were skyrocketing as I've mentioned. But we've never been without or lived looking at deductibles. We are now. It's not a pretty feeling. It's not an easy situation to asses. I know we are blessed more than others because we can financially manage, but at the same time I am looking at part-time work solely to get group health insurance again.
What does that say about our health care system? USA is the WORST in health care for 1st world countries. We have cutting edge technologies but for what? Most people can't afford it or go broke trying to pay for it. BK are caused medical bills and I can easily understand how. So people who don't want a single payer system please explain why?
I will lay out I believe health care isn't something people "afford" it should just be something everyone should have. And just moving to a single payer would probably cover the costs of it because our system is so INEFFICIENT and expensive that it costs more than all other single payer systems in other countries. So the argument it'll cost more is moot. Americans spend more on health care for less care than other countries. So why are people against it?
Second if everyone against socialized healthcare doesn't believe in it, then I hope they aren't using medicare or plan to. We have single payer socialized medicine and turns out EVERYONE over 65 is on it, it's called medicare.
Turns out everyone in the military is on TriCARE. If it is so horrible then all these military people should be turned out and given cash and they should buy their own policies. Why don't they? Because it would cost even more than what it costs now. They probably couldn't afford to buy matching health insurance for what the military costs to run Tricare. And don't tell me not. If it wasn't needed and used, then the military would probably give people money to buy health insurance but they don't.
So let's ask the question if health care should be capitalistic then everyone 65 and over and military should BUY their own insurance. All capitalistic health care supporter should put their money where their mouth is and not use Medicare or Tricare. Prove it by giving up the safety net.
And I think gun control needs regulations. I think it goes hand in hand with reforming mental health issues. But other countries don't have so many mass murders that have stricter gun control. Why is that? Is it the health care? Is it the laws? Is it a combination? Can we keep have semi automatic and automatic weapons so easy to come by?
By the way I think the "democratic/liberal" congress people are as much in the pocket as conservative republicans in congress. Neither party has anybody with backbone instead they are too busy pocketing money to do anything. Probably because they are rich enough to afford protection and rich enough to afford private schools. After all Jeb Bush and Donald Trump didn't even give lip about the sorrow, rather "things happen." Yes it happens but does it have to keep happening? Of course call up your bodyguards and private planes while the rest of us go about living.