Guest Posts on County 10 are provided by contributors and the opinions, thoughts, and comments within are their own and may not necessarily reflect those of County 10.
The American Dream, “A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage,” so read the 1928 presidential campaign of one of the most maligned Republican presidents in history, Herbert Hoover. A scant six months after inauguration day on March 4, 1929, the USA experienced the worst financial collapse in its history, leading ultimately to the Great Depression.
No, that’s not a mistake. Inauguration day used to be March 4, “read that as March forth…” a play on words intended to send hope into the next presidential regime. It reflected a time much more naïve than our own era of constant (well-deserved) cynicism in the working of our state and federal governments. Some would include local and county government in that equation as well, but in our scarcely populated segment of the world where everyone knows everyone else, the city council, mayor, and county commissioners don’t get much wiggle room from their friends and acquaintances.
We’ve moved the inauguration to January 20, just to get rid of the “Lame Duck” aspect of a congress or presidency trying to grab as much as they can in their final weeks in office before the new crew moves in to rip off the public.
If you’re as cynical as I am about federal and even statewide politics, you know the graft never stops, no matter what day you swear in the new gang of crooked “public officials.”
Starting today, a case in point on who actually runs the country becomes the rule of the land when the new regulations concerning credit scores and interest rates take place.
The page 11 story in most major newspapers and the totally absent lead in social media-based news is this little gem that takes place May 1, 2023.
“Mortgage borrowers with good credit may face higher costs under a new scheme from federal mortgage associations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
May is never the operative word when the fat cats find a new way to milk the American consumer, at least the middle-class consumer, who has worked to play by the rules, worked hard, paid their bills on time, and tried to be good citizens.
The heck with that nonsense, we’re not making enough money off these clowns is how the financial institutions view those of us naïve enough to play by the rules.
The logic was spewed as it always is on a steep political slant. There go those liberals again, trying to punish good, hard-working, honest people by lowering the interest rates of those slackers on the lower end of society. By slackers, you can insert whichever racial, economic, or religious group you’re favorite fanatical talking head has currently labeled the ultimate threat to democracy as they try to deflect the true target of your wrath.
People with credit scores above 780, formerly known as having not just good, but great credit, will now pay more for home loans, car loans, consumer loans, and business loans. The lower credit score group will still pay higher rates, since so many of them default on their loans and have their cars, boats, motorcycles, and homes repossessed, but it won’t be as steep a rate as it was last Friday under the old rules.
The idea is to charge both ends as much as you can, by increasing the rates on good credit holders. This increases the overall revenue the fiscal thieves make.
It does get tiring after a while. No, we don’t have any loans out and don’t plan on applying for any in the future, but for youngsters trying to live by the rules of the mythical American Dream, it is robbing their future.
Before Ronald Reagan took office, social security was not taxable income. You paid tax on the money you paid into your social security account when you were working, and rightfully it was exempt from being “double taxed.” But Ronnie, the first real darling of the far right fringe changed all that. If you collect social security, you pay income tax from every paycheck in your working career, and when you’re retired and collecting it, you pay income tax on it again.
It is the new “American Way” to tax those that work into submission. It’s the same logic as taxing savings accounts at the highest rate possible.
Before you think this is a left-wing rant, it is far from that. They don’t care about the working men and women of America either. As long as they can get preferential treatment for left-handed men singing soprano, rainbow coalition extremists marching for the right to burn cities, or mediocre guys competing as women, they’re happy. Nope, they’re not going to help you, but neither are the politicians on the payroll of the ultra-wealthy on the far right. We’re on our own and no one in either political party gives a rip about how we’re trying to survive, whether we pay our bills on time or if we need medical care. There is no money in it for them.
I had a little gem arrive in the mail in February as I was finishing my corporate taxes. Before we can do our personal income taxes, we have to file for our S Corporation.
A corporation, like a farm, LLC, or any business venture is a great way of deducting expenses for the self-employed. My earlier summer construction business, my ongoing agricultural operation, and the growing number of freelance writing contracts all fall within this business. It’s complex, but if it works for Bezos, Gates, and the other big-timers, it can work for you as well.
The gem I was speaking of was a 1099 DIV. If you’re like me, you lost a lot on the stock market last year. As a whole, we lost about 16% of the value of our portfolio in a single 12-month period. If you cash in, you take the loss and you pay a huge tax burden, so your only option is to “ride it out.”
This 1099 DIV indicated a dividend of $7900 on one of our accounts. In reality, the account lost $22,000 last year.
Since we had no intention of closing the account, we just let it ride, only this time we had to pay tax on the $7900 we did not receive. The institution rolled it into more losing shares, but to the IRS it was income we had to pay additional tax on the money we lost. There was no break on the $22,000 loss, but a little extra insult on the $7900 we did not earn.
Ahh… the American Way in its present cynical persona.
Can you tell your kids with a straight face to save, invest and put a little away for the future when an army of well-paid MBAs and fiduciaries are working diligently to find yet another way to cheat them?
At least gasoline prices match the current $75 a barrel price for crude oil. Wait, you mean regular isn’t $2.27 a gallon as it should be according to historical ratios between crude oil and the price at the pump dating back to the 1930s?
Must be the Democrats’ fault, no wait, it must be the Republicans. In reality, it is the tax-free billionaires in the upper tenth of a percent income bracket who own the federal government and run the world.
There’s nothing to see here, just enjoy the scam and continue to blame who you’ve been told to blame.