Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Uncle Sam's Turnips

I told you a few times last year that Uncle Sam taking over healthcare would be the tax man cometh. Word is that 16,000-17,000 IRS agents will be hired to be sure you are paying your portion of Uncle SamCare.

Refunds will be the first the IRS can grab. After that, if you own property, the feds can place a tax lien on your property. But lets say you don't own a pot to pee in and work a low wage job and have a small to no refund - then what can they do.

They can put a wage levy on you. According to a quick search - the amount of income that is exempt from an IRS wage garnishment is figured by adding the standard deduction you can claim on your taxes and the amount you can claim for exemptions, divided by 52. A family of three subject to a wage garnishment will only be allowed to keep about $325 per week. But if you're lower on the totem pole, say making $900 a month living on a friend's couch, they can still take about $140/mo from you. That's because the folks who write these rules consider $140 chump change, as they spend that amount on a healthy salad lunch with wine. Surely Joe Couch can cough up lunch money.

Business, big and small, will also create ways to hand Joe Blow the messy end of the stick. If the small business cut off penalty is 50 employees - hire 49. Hire only those who appear to have a somewhat favorable BMI. Many low wage employees are transient or do not stay at one job any length of time - let Uncle Sam pay or collect the healthcare tab like he does now.

Don't worry though, Uncle Sam and IRS will enact new methods and laws to extract the blood out of your turnip. And the most painful effects of the bill won't happen overnight - although faster than you want. Is mandatory life insurance next? Or do we get the ID card first? Grinding poverty may be the new cool class - having no turnips, Uncle Sam will give you a little one.

This bill also will offer, supposedly, beginning "... in 2010, a variety of new loan repayment and scholarship programs kick into effect. But more importantly, in 2011, the government directly expands primary-care training programs and sends a 10 percent increase in payments to primary care doctors in the Medicare program (which makes being a primary care doctor relatively more lucrative)."

Now that Uncle Sam and BigDaddy government have taken over the student loan industry (passed Sunday in the healthcare bill), they will have more revenue to create more doctors, or so they say. And here again, those students who default or have trouble repaying, will turn their turnips over to the IRS - and/or take that post in the hinterlands to repay it.

Here's where we will see more women enter the primary care field, as in the old USSR (see Uncle SamCare link above). And, like it or not, when mass numbers of women enter a field of work, contrary to it being "more lucrative," wages are lowered. For all the decades of suffrage, economically the average woman is little better off, and in the lower classes in worse shape since she's been liberated to have a pack of kids without a helpmate (other than BigDaddy or Uncle Sam).

Next up will be blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants so they too can contribute their turnips to the IRS. Won't stop the stream of folks crossing the border illegally but will add a few dollars to Uncle Sam's coffer, until the next round of blanket amnesty, and the next.

So ... I guess the fix is pretty much in. Federally controlled health, education, welfare, taxation, employment, life regulated and registered. Fortunately, the government's media minions will make it all sound good even while it feels bad. Will Kill the Bill fade to the place-of-lost-chants as Bring the Troops Home did?

I sometimes grieve about the future my grandchildren and their children will live in as adults. But I suppose by then they will be accustomed to all this legislated "progress" and if still around I'll be the grumbling nana talking about the old days, because I didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

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