It is probably too early to be kicking off 2018. But I’ve been enjoying the last of my vacation time from work here at Porchview getting up in the morning when I feel like it, and otherwise spending my days doing whatever happens to come to mind, and I am not sure if I will get around to another blog post in 2017.
It’s amazing that Trump has had 11 months in office and despite the predictions of Hitler style totalitarianism we’re all still free and still here (and more of us than otherwise, by the way). Perhaps those predictions were overblown by at least one degree of ridiculous. One thing that is still with us though, for better or worse, is ObamaCare after managing only to slip repealing the individual mandate into the tax reform bill.
After an announcement made the day after Christmas by Governor Andrew Cuomo that state and local taxes for 2018 can be prepaid now, New Yorkers have been lining up at town halls all across the state to prepay their local taxes for 2018 in order to be able to claim them as SALT deductions on their Federal returns for 2017. But today, the IRS said most people will not be able to claim SALT deductions for 2018 taxes on their 2017 returns.
Of course, this is just an example of how misled people have been by the recent demonization of the tax reform law in the press. The whole point of the reform was to eliminate the need to itemize for as many people as possible, hence the doubling of the standard deduction. Many of the people who lined up to prepay their 2018 property taxes this week will simply take the doubled standard deduction anyway, and they will be missing out on whatever interest their money may have earned if they had paid their tax bill when due.
By the way, the unemployment rate ticked up 0.3% from 4.8% to 5.1% in New York during the month of November after having held steady at 4.1% nationally. It would be interesting to see the reactions on the faces of the New Yorkers who lined up this week to pay their 2018 taxes when they find out they were duped into paying early; and with any luck, they will help take it out on Cuomo along with the newly minted unemployed at the ballot box next year.
There seems to be an unspoken ambiance of “anywhere but here” these days with countless New York companies packing up and locating elsewhere. Something needs to be done about this mass migration before more health care, higher education, and grocery firms replace productive enterprises on the listing of top 10 employers in the state. I really have nothing against Walmart that comes in at number ten. But my, how far New York has fallen as the cradle of capitalism just a decade or so ago to nursing sectors that thrive off the government dole while the rest of us are reduced in rank to Walmart-shopper. We can’t afford another sip of Andrew’s special Blue-State Kooliad (or rich-guy state income taxes masquerading as a payroll tax so wage earners can wear the weight of their station like a dirty diaper).
Just so you all know, on my list of New Year resolutions will be to approach nearly every situation with gratitude first. It’s more than likely to fail after about three hours. But it’s something I need to work on in order to lead a happier and more fulfilling life, or so my new digital life coach says. Really, I can’t imagine saying good-bye to cynicism forever. I just wouldn’t be the same.
PS: Scottland will be conducting a trail of universal basic income