Like a slow motion wreck

Seventeen Percent.

I was calculating my 2018 taxes after the GOP tax plan goes into effect.  Seventeen percent.   That’s not the amount of my “tax cut” …. that the amount my taxes will go up.

As a single middle class parent, I was able to itemize deductions and include personal exemptions for myself and my children.  Honestly, it wasn’t a lot of deductions, and they fell well short of the new “doubled” standard deduction.  But now that the GOP has taken away the personal exemptions,  the taxable portion of my income will rise significantly.

I don’t have a lot of disposable income.  Now I will have even less.  I will have to buy less, I will have to participate less in the economy.  Those corporations, whose bottom line will swell from the massive tax cuts they will receive, will see less customers now, will see the demand for their products decrease.

They wouldn’t miss me, but there are 22 million people just like me, who are single parents.  They too will be buying less, and demand for products will decline.  Demand for products fuels job growth ….. a business owner doesn’t add employees because his tax rate declines, he adds employees when the demand for his products increases.  This is the reality that highlights the GOP lies behind “trickle down”.

Lets be honest.  This is what the GOP has done this year for my children and their future.

  • Slowed research and funding to minimize climate damage going into the future
  • Dismantled the rules that gave us a free and open internet
  • Damaged and possible destroyed protections we had to acquire fair and affordable health insurance
  • Promoted the idea of white supremacy and religious bigotry

 

They have kids too, right?  So why would they work so hard to hurt American society and America’s future?  I think it is simple – they are willing to take as much short term gains from their donors as they can, and relinquish their responsibilities as stewards of America to some future politicians.

There is the barest glimmer of hope, though.  Alabama voters – mostly non-GOP voters – rejected a pedophile as a senator, and voters in Virginia chose people over party in their recent elections.  There is hope.  Perhaps it takes a storm to make us appreciate the sunshine.

 

Lost Promises

Thirty five years at this job.  Thirty five years.  420 months.  Hmmm … just noticed the 420 … no more drug tests for me.

For thirty four of those years I was promised health insurance when I retired.  They promised that because it made the job more valuable and made me less likely to take another job.  It worked.

It wasn’t a free ride.  I still had to pay my share of the health care and I was ok with that. It was still cheaper and better then publicly available insurance.

Now that I have reached the time in my life when I am ready to enjoy that perk they have taken it away.  They tell me “We never guaranteed it would be there for you when you retired”.

Does that seem right to you?  Can you make promises to people and then not keep those promises?  I know I can’t.  The courts say businesses are people when it comes to religious freedom, but I guess they are not people when it comes to morality, to keeping a promise, to paying a debt.

Welcome to the new age of the worker.

 

 

 

 

15 Days and Counting

I believe I have found the secret to life extension.  Some 4 weeks ago I submitted my notice of retirement from my job of 35 years and I swear that time has slowed to an almost glacial creep towards those final days.

What should one feel looking towards the abyss of retirement?  Excitement? Trepidation? Resignation?  I feel all of these, and more.  I never gave retirement a lot of thought, assuming it would be a peaceful, relaxing affair to shed the responsibilities of work and un-shoulder the grindstone, but one task I can’t set aside is the desire to DO something, to BE someone, to MAKE a difference.

I do have “projects” I am assigning myself.  Lose weight, exercise, fix up the yard and the house.  Tap into some as yet unimagined  talent I never knew I had … to say “All this time, and I never knew I could …..”.

But these are solitary things and when you leave behind your work mates you wonder who you will share these projects, these new talents, with?  As a divorced introvert with (almost) grown kids, I have considered rounding up those work mates that have gone before me to the land of the unemployed, to meet for coffee or margarita’s.  That’s assuming I can find them, for they have slid off the edge of the earth and disappeared.

Am I sailing to the abyss as well?