Tuesday, February 22, 2011

H.R.3590 sections 9003 and 9013 Really grinds my gears

That's right H.R. 3590. Not familiar H.R. 3590? Well, I'm almost 99.5% sure that you are familiar with this bill. I'm 99.9% that you are aware of the act that was approved based on the provisions encompassing this bill. H.R. 3590 is officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This act is also known as Obamacare. I'm not going down the path of a political debate of republicans vs democrats and who's right or wrong. I'm going right down to heart of issue and how this issue effects working Americans. In fact my issue is not with the entire Act that is intended to provide a better quality of life to Americans. I'm all for providing a better standard of living for the people of this great country. Who wouldn't be the Preamble reads "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,... promote the general Welfare".

My issue is with section 9003 and 9013. This is a section that meant nothing to me until January 1, 2011. That was the day this section starting having a negative impact on my wallet. This section actually increases that cost of administering medical, health and well being services. This section of law may have effected, the way in which you manage the cost of health care for your family. Section 9003 effects that way we use Health Care Accounts(HSA) and Flexible Spending Arrangements(FSA) accounts. As of January 1st you are no longer able to use either of these accounts to purchase Over the counter(OTC) medications without a prescription. Meaning you have to see a doctor before you can use your FSA account to pick up a bottle of aspirin from CVS, on your way home from a long day at work.

FSA and HSA accounts are not some form of elaborate instruments created and used by the wealthy to avoid taxation. These funds are used by working Americans to plan and pay for medical expenses by setting aside pre-tax payroll earnings. Funds deposited into these account can only be used for medical expenses. These accounts we meant to ease the burden of medical expense placed on the backs of working American. Now if you need a Tylenol for back pain you better see your doctor first and get a prescription. Let's count the cost time off work, plus cost of doctors visit, plus the cost of the Tylenol. Yeah I guess that makes sense to me. Increase the hurdle and reduce amount of people using FSA and HSA accounts brilliant. This is yet another example of a system that is failing the people who need the care the most. You can put pearls on a pig but it's still a pig.

During the frenzy and debate around this act it was always about helping hard working Americans. Reducing interference from medical companies, but here we are increasing the cost of obtaining OTCs and increasing medical related taxation. Section 9013 increases the adjusted gross income threshold for claiming the itemized deduction for medical expense form 7.5% to 10% beginning after 2012 and this is called the Affordable Care Act.

Well the only thing that I can say is get involved contact and members of Congress. Remember these people work for us, but they only do what they are asked. A few bills have been proposed to repeal this section of law. I am not proposing repealing the entire act, I am proposing that each of us take a closer look at a law that effect us all.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Image of middle class America

Welcome to a place that is called middle class America. In fact you might already be home. More and more it seems like everyone is for main street and the working class family. It's the family right next door. It's Joe the plumber or Bob the butcher, right? Hard working seemingly blue collar americans. Who work with their hands and just want to come home to a cold beer at the end of the day. That's the image that is pandered by the media and politicians. There is nothing wrong with coming home and having a beer if you are responsible adult. But this imagery seems kind of cheap. It's like a poorly thought out marketing campaign.

When in fact a large percent of the middle class don't drive a pick up truck they don't have a gun in the back of their truck. Oh wait because they don't own a truck and are not a gun owner. Note: I do own a truck and a shotgun, but more the exception not the rule. Over the last 20 twenty years the face of America's middle class has changed. We are less likely to be employed in occupations that require the use of vocational skills. More and more people are working inside of offices with year around climate control, even though is likely to colder or warmer than what is desired. We are more urban than ever before. We pound keys on a keyboard rather than nails with a hammer.In fact most people don't even know a plumber anymore other than the one the found online.

So why are we being sold a bill of goods that is not relevant to us? The current set of politicians have lost touch with reality of the changing times. However they do understand marketing and advertising. In fact they know what buttons to push in order to get us to swing this way or that. Their tactics are much like the movies that we watch action packed but light on substance. Who elected these people anyway? We did. We saw a couple of thirty second commercials or went to a four page website and made our decision. We have to be diligent about what is truly good for American. This is not about being a republican, tea party or democrat party member or support. In fact each of these parties impedes any progress that can be made. They attempt to sabotage the other only showing the folly and selfness of their ways.

If we don't take off the shades of consumer politics we will end up with another stimulus package to build more roads, highways and sidewalks. Yet most Americans have little if any thing to gain other than increased tax burdens from these activities.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Taxes, Taxes, Do you understand Taxes?

Taxes, taxes, taxes. The mear mention of taxes and the IRS in the same sentence is enough to send chills up the backs of many in this country. How is it that a single organization can inflict such fear? It because of their seemingly malice and unjust use of the laws against seemingly innocent Americans? Is it that fact that a single organization can ruin families by placing husbands and wives under such direst, they cannot see a future together. Is it their ability to bankrupt businesses? What is it then, is it the fact they are known to lack common sense and fair judgement, instead acting in the best interest of no one. Or is it simply we fear what we don't understand? I believe the fact is the law is so complex that normal Americans are unable to understand the laws which the are governed by.

Our tax system is equivalent to driving across country and having to know the speed limit and traffic laws that govern each state, county and city which you travel trough. Imagine not having the speed limit posted on the highway, county road or city street, each state is different, each county is different and each city is different. Imagine having to know and abide by all laws and regulations on your journey. Now image that before started your drive, you suffered amnesia and you forgot all of the basics rules of the road except, green light go, red light stop.

With the set up listed above you are destined fail and receive tickets, fine and possibly jail time before you reach your final destination. Our current system has to change and we have to become educated about taxation. Taxes are vital for our country to run, that's a plain and simple fact. What needs to change is enforcement and education.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

FLT Back to the basics

"weakness and divisions at home, would invite dangers from abroad.. nothing more would tend to secure us from them than union"

John Jay - Article #5 The Federalist

America is not about parties but central ideas and values. It's time to get back to basics.

God Bless America and forgive us for our sins.