Sat. July 31, 2021 – early to bed, early to rise….

Perhaps not quite as hot today? Maybe we’ll get some of the rain that threatened yesterday but never got to my house. Still in the T-storm ‘possible’ zone according to the national weather liars… we never got more than a spatter, although we did get the delta T and the wind.

I spent the day messing about indoors for the most part. I was wiped out from my day shifting tradeshow booth from storage to dumpster, and my back and hands hurt, so I took it easier. Had the kids at home so my options were limited anyway. Mostly I did maintenance stuff around the house and yard. Not much of it, but some. I also did some auction stuff, and while everyone else watched a movie (Jungle Cruise), I put a repair project back together.

It had been sitting apart in my office for a LONG time. Didn’t work when finished. There was a part that was completely rotted away that I hadn’t noticed, but it was obvious that something was missing when I got it together. Oh well, it takes up a lot less room together than apart, and I may sell it for parts.

Everywhere I clean, organize, or move stuff, I find more stuff that I’d ‘tucked away.’ It’s ebay stuff for the most part, but it never got listed. Some is stuff I wanted for myself, but never moved to its final location. And a lot of it is books. I would really like to have more bookshelves, but I’ve run out of wall…

Today I’ve got two pickups then I’m headed back to my secondary to continue plugging away at it. I need the space so I can do the auction, to start getting more space… and summer is running out. School in about 2 weeks or just a bit more. When school starts I’ve got the big rip and replace for my client to do, as well as the auctions. And all the house stuff.

I better get to it.

Stack something! You know you wanna.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

35 thoughts on “Sat. July 31, 2021 – early to bed, early to rise….”

  1. What I think he’s trying to avoid is having the last page of his 1040, showing taxes paid (legally) as zero splashed across the front page of the NY Times and the Washington Post. His base may not grasp the nuances, especially after they’ve dropped some of their hard-earned dollars at HR Block, only to be told they owe the IRS. 

    Do you think that Trump paid less than Gates? Buffett? Bezos?

    (The Legend of Jeff … And MacKenzie drove the Bronco ….)

    What I think the press wants to see are clear deductions for things like “Gold Plated 757 Toilet Seats”, payback for the revelation of the used underwear charity writeoffs the Clintons took in the 90s. However, I think they will be disappointed when they see the layers of text involved to justify the legality but incomprehensible to the general public.

    Most people don’t have patience for a sentence anymore. Even “Look here’s a writeoff for Ferguson #453REC1298G which differs from the regular version #435REC1238 since … over here in their catalog … the ‘G’ suffix indicates the electronic finish enhancement process for this plumbing fixture involving gold … and as we all know 435 is the company’s internal code for 757 plumbing fixtures …” won’t fly.

    Two pieces of paper? Fuggedaboudit.

    It is a dangerous game. We are 15 months out from a Midterm that could swing control of the House back the other way, and I’m getting the panicked emails from the Mark Kelly campaign in Arizona seeking donations since he knows his sympathy vote gig is up.

    (BTW, how did I end up on the Dem mailing list?)

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  2. I have used every legal loophole I could over the last 5 years to avoid paying income taxes. Tricks to keep my income just a couple of dollars under the dollar amount that would have triggered taxes. Staggering property tax payments. Manipulating dates to have medical items done. It is my duty to do so within the convoluted and confusing tax laws.

    Perhaps Congress looking at Trump’s return will show congress the insanity they created that can be manipulated. Congress created the loopholes, not Trump.

    I know several people who are excited about the child tax credit advance payments. These same people were ecstatic at tax time each year with the lump sum. Some even getting a refund having paid nothing in taxes. I fully expect a lot of wailing when they find that tax refund cut in half. They will complain their taxes “doubled” and it’s not fair they have to pay more. Failing to realize that “refund” was distributed during the year.

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  3. I know several people who are excited about the child tax credit advance payments. These same people were ecstatic at tax time each year with the lump sum. Some even getting a refund having paid nothing in taxes. I fully expect a lot of wailing when they find that tax refund cut in half. They will complain their taxes “doubled” and it’s not fair they have to pay more. Failing to realize that “refund” was distributed during the year. 

    But the letter from Plugs — on White House letterhead but inside an IRS envelope that looks like an audit summons —  clearly states that the child tax credit money is an advance. What’s not to understand?

    🙂

    I had friends who exercised the first time home buyer credit/loan who didn’t understand the implications of the repayment process or that the PMI portion of their 3% down mortgage wasn’t deductible. No refund? Well, soooprise!

    The widespread assumption around here is that Dell -er- Williamson County will get its own Congressional seat in redistricting … assuming it happens in Texas this year … which will automatically go Dem. I’m starting to doubt that being a lock absent another February-type freeze event once the tax bills are tallied next April taking into consideration the “advance” and Trump’s SALT deduction limits still in place.

    Some of the folks around here must be paying more than $20,000 in property taxes.

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  4. Int serv err ate my homework—twice.

    ADDED:It did it a third time and I truncated the ISE words and it worked. The phrase that must not be posted?

    Reconstructing:

    Good news on puppy progress.

    Re: deconstructing adventures

    “I can do two of the containers before I’m stumbling and starting to not be coordinated and graceful. Working alone with saws and moving stuff, not a good idea when you get weary.”

    Use PPE even in the heat. Long pants, hat, and gloves..Cut ends off glove fingers if you need dexterity. Cooling towels work. So do ice cubes in pants pocket.

    Push fluids in the heat. My rule of thumb is 1 pint water and 1 pint G2 Gatoraid every 45-60 minutes. If you don’t have to pee twice a day, you are dehydrating and your work is suffering.

    Have you thought about finding some help? Two guys on that sort of project will typically get a 50-100% productivity increase above the simple 2x labor, 2x work done. You save a lot of time by not having to reposition, hold without three hands, put a tool down to pick up a screw, etc. No one is going to give you more time, but you can get more productive.

  5. Do you think that Trump paid less than Gates? Buffett? Bezos?

    There needs to be serious tax reform. It’s not only the USA, of course, this is a worldwide problem. If you are a $zillionaire, you may genuinely pay close to zero taxes. There are two tricks that I am aware of:

    First, you put your money into a non-profit foundation (Clinton, Gates, whatever). That foundation gives you an executive position, and pays your expenses. The foundation, meanwhile, can be investing your money nicely – but they’re non-profit, so they don’t pay the taxes that you would.

    Second, you put your money into a trust or fund. Or, heck, just hold stocks that you never intend to sell (like Bezos and Amazon). If you never sell, you have no capital gains. Meanwhile, you borrow to cover your living expenses, securing the loans with those assets. That security means that you can borrow essentially for free. Nowhere is there any sort of income to tax.

    These are not games for normal people, because of the setup costs. But for a $zillionaire, it’s not even pocket change.

    One solution worth considering is a direct wealth tax, applied to the net worth of individuals, corporations, and even (especially!) non-profit/not-for-profit foundations. This could be miniscule at lower levels, but it should scale rapidly at higher levels.

  6. Dammit. That time there were no quotes and I started on the text tab.

    Got the 500 error.

    88F and sunny, 70% humidity.

    Daughter’s cut looks fine this am.

    Headed out.
    n


  7. What I think the press wants to see are clear deductions for things like “Gold Plated 757 Toilet Seats”, payback for the revelation of the used underwear charity writeoffs the Clintons took in the 90s. However, I think they will be disappointed when they see the layers of text involved to justify the legality but incomprehensible to the general public.

    Most people don’t have patience for a sentence anymore. Even “Look here’s a writeoff for Ferguson #453REC1298G which differs from the regular version #435REC1238 since … over here in their catalog … the ‘G’ suffix indicates the electronic finish enhancement process for this plumbing fixture involving gold … and as we all know 435 is the company’s internal code for 757 plumbing fixtures …” won’t fly.

    Exactly! I can only imagine Trump’s tax returns (plural, one for each legal entity) in total run to thousands of pages, smothered in obfuscation, with inter-company transfers and the like. Not aimed primarily at the public, but at the IRS, twisting every nuance of the tax code into pretzels for maximum benefit.

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  8. But the letter from Plugs — on White House letterhead but inside an IRS envelope that looks like an audit summons — clearly states that the child tax credit money is an advance. What’s not to understand?

    First these people need a basic understanding of how the tax withholding process works and what they put on their W4 affects the size of their refund or tax payment on April 15th.

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  9. All they care about is the refund they get at the end of the year. They think it is free money from the government not even close to realizing they have been giving the money to the government all year long.

    The other excuse I hear is that “I don’t want to owe money to the IRS and get in trouble”. That is horrible. No one should be afraid of the taxing authority to the point of giving them too much money. The IRS because of some of it’s antics has instilled a level of fear in the heart of the taxpayers.

    People should not be afraid to challenge the IRS. Of course the IRS never admits it made an error and any response to a correction still leaves the door wide open for the IRS to try again. Tick off an agent and it is almost guaranteed that the taxpayer will be a target. Revenge is not unfamiliar with the IRS.

    Regular citizens, trying to obey some of the most confusing laws in existence, should not whither out of fear of the IRS. Comply because they are afraid to challenge. That needs to change.

    For the majority of people with one or two jobs, house, common lifestyle, the IRS already knows the money earned, and what has been captured by the IRS. Unless the deductions are extreme which for most people are not, the IRS should calculate the refund or amount due for the persons. They do know if a filer made a mistake, only they report it three years later after interest and penalties have accrued. Thus more extortion.

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  10. First these people need a basic understanding of how the tax withholding process works and what they put on their W4 affects the size of their refund or tax payment on April 15th.

    Put ‘0’ dependencies on the W4 and get the refund. What more is there to understand? 🙂

  11. Picked up a ham radio for $2 along with some other household stuff.   Stopped in an estate sale and prices were 3x what they should be.   Seller’s got angry when I mentioned that prices were high.  Oh well, show me sold comps and I’ll apologize.  Otherwise, there’s a reason the house is still full on the third day.  And the stuff will still be there on the last day.

     

    n

    –added, took a quick look at ebay SOLD comps and I’m right about pricing. Looks like they were looking at ASKING prices not sold. They were ‘antique store’ prices- high, hangs on wall for a year or two, then sells for 1/3 tag price.

  12. Best by.  Cracked open a package of Nabisco Good Thins that we keep around for glutton free friends; three years out of date, Mylar inner package. Crisp, no more off taste than usual, especially considering I’ve never been a fan of them to begin with.


  13. Back to the salt mine.

    Could be worse. Imagine mining bird poop on one of those guano islands. Lol, Mike Rowe would have gotten a kick out of that, I’m sure!

  14. Could be worse. Imagine mining bird poop on one of those guano islands. Lol, Mike Rowe would have gotten a kick out of that, I’m sure! 

    Harvesting birds nests for Birds Nest Soup.

  15. “A Civil Campaign: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel” by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Campaign-Lois-McMaster-Bujold/dp/0671578855/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number fourteen (in chronological order) of an eighteen book space opera series. However, some people call this a military science fiction series. There are several other books and short stories in the Vorkosigan Universe. This series won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best series in 2017. Also, several of the individual books in the series have either won awards or been nominated for awards. This book was nominated for the 2000 Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. I have read this book at least twice. I reread the well printed and well bound new MMPB published by Baen in 2000 that I just rebought on Amazon (the second printing !). I have rebought the rest of the books in the series in MMPB.

    Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan has sent his sights on Ekaterin Vorsoisson, a widow whom he met on Komarr while investigating the soletta space mirror destruction. She was not a widow when he met her and her husband died while with Miles, chained in the deadly Komarrian outdoors when his breath mask ran out of oxygen and power.

    Unfortunately, due to the influence of interstellar technology, the people on Barrayar elected to have more male children than female children instead of the natural progression of nearly 50:50. The resulting 60:40 split of men to women has left many young men desperate to find a mate. The resulting confusion and one-upmanships has even affected the widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson during her mourning year when she is supposed to be left alone. Not so and even Miles has joined in, treating the pursuit of Ekaterin as a military campaign in his desperation.

    Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) by Lois McMaster Bujold
    https://www.goodreads.com/series/98254-vorkosigan-saga-chronological
    1. Dreamweaver’s Dilemma
    2. Falling Free
    3. Shards of Honor
    4. Barrayar
    5. The Warrior’s Apprentice
    6. The Borders of Infinity (The Mountains of Mourning, etc)
    7. The Vor Game
    8. Cetaganda
    9. Ethan Of Athos
    10. Brothers in Arms
    11. Mirror Dance
    12. Memory
    13. Komarr
    14. A Civil Campaign
    15. Diplomatic Immunity
    16. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
    17. CryoBurn
    18. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

    My rating: 6 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (439 reviews)

  16. “Ken Hoffman digs into his controversial breach of basic dining decency”
    https://houston.culturemap.com/news/city-life/07-26-21-eating-etiquette-when-to-start-manners-maralee-mckee-ken-hoffman/

    ” I almost started World War III last weekend. I’ll set the scene.
    I was invited to a barbecue, kind of a lunch thing, a little like a party, at a lake house in Montgomery. There were adults and kids. The host made burgers and hot dogs and macaroni salad — the usual.
    When the food was ready, we were told to “come and get it.” I did. And that’s when I caused polite society to go to hell in a handbag. (A knockoff handbag at that.)
    I grabbed a burger and chips, sat down and surveyed the situation. I sat at one end of the table. A couple of kids already had their food in front of them. In the kitchen, adults were standing, plates in hand mulling which to choose, potato salad or coleslaw, like they were buying a house.
    So, I started eating. The kids followed my lead.”

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  17. Some of the folks around here must be paying more than $20,000 in property taxes.

    Wow. In CA, that would mean a $2M house, or what you call a McMansion. Easily doable in NJ. The most expensive house in our area is somewhere around $1M, and it set the tongues wagging when it was built. I don’t get out much.

  18. What I think he’s trying to avoid is having the last page of his 1040, showing taxes paid (legally) as zero splashed across the front page of the NY Times and the Washington Post. His base may not grasp the nuances, especially after they’ve dropped some of their hard-earned dollars at HR Block, only to be told they owe the IRS.

    Do you think that Trump paid less than Gates? Buffett? Bezos?

    Nobody paid less than Gates, Buffet, and Bezos. Zero is a quantity all of its own. None of the super billionaires pay any taxes. They do not take a salary and borrow money to live on from banks with their shares as their collateral. No taxes and 100% legal. Their debts will come due at their deaths.

    Trump cannot play this game. First, he is not one of the super billionaires. Second, he is mortgaged to the hilt already.

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  19. Do you think that Trump paid less than Gates? Buffett? Bezos?

    There needs to be serious tax reform. It’s not only the USA, of course, this is a worldwide problem. If you are a $zillionaire, you may genuinely pay close to zero taxes. There are two tricks that I am aware of:

    First, you put your money into a non-profit foundation (Clinton, Gates, whatever). That foundation gives you an executive position, and pays your expenses. The foundation, meanwhile, can be investing your money nicely – but they’re non-profit, so they don’t pay the taxes that you would.

    Second, you put your money into a trust or fund. Or, heck, just hold stocks that you never intend to sell (like Bezos and Amazon). If you never sell, you have no capital gains. Meanwhile, you borrow to cover your living expenses, securing the loans with those assets. That security means that you can borrow essentially for free. Nowhere is there any sort of income to tax.

    These are not games for normal people, because of the setup costs. But for a $zillionaire, it’s not even pocket change.

    One solution worth considering is a direct wealth tax, applied to the net worth of individuals, corporations, and even (especially!) non-profit/not-for-profit foundations. This could be miniscule at lower levels, but it should scale rapidly at higher levels.

    Direct taxes, other than an income tax, are unconstitutional. You would need to have a constitutional amendment for a federal property tax. And, federal income taxes would not be reduced in reality.

    https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/article-i/clauses/757

    And, the zillionaires would figure out how to get around the new federal property tax. They could just get Congress to simply exempt them from it using some arcane measures. After all, they have managed to get Congress to write the federal income tax regulations so convoluted and arcane that no one person understands the regulations.

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  20. First these people need a basic understanding of how the tax withholding process works and what they put on their W4 affects the size of their refund or tax payment on April 15th.

    Put ‘0’ dependencies on the W4 and get the refund. What more is there to understand?

    Both the wife and I put single and zero dependencies on the W4. That way we do not have to do the quarterly withholding payments. After all, half of our income is rental payments.

  21. “Some of the folks around here must be paying more than $20,000 in property taxes.”

    Wow. In CA, that would mean a $2M house, or what you call a McMansion. Easily doable in NJ. The most expensive house in our area is somewhere around $1M, and it set the tongues wagging when it was built. I don’t get out much.

    The Chinese in-laws who live in San Carlos pay $32,000 in property taxes on their house which is assessed at $2 million since a near total rebuild.

    Around here, just outside the Austin city limits, $10k is not uncommon in unincorporated areas. Inside the city limts, just 800 yards away, the same house would be $15k or more.

    About half of my tax bill is schools, but our ISD only has one HOK-designed football stadium and one performing arts complex. Bond issues to build more are always defeated … for now.

    Interestingly, Apple’s new campus backs up to the performing arts complex. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

  22. Direct taxes, other than an income tax, are unconstitutional. You would need to have a constitutional amendment for a federal property tax. And, federal income taxes would not be reduced in reality.

    The ABA has a paper online arguing the point about direct taxes, specifically a wealth tax. The Dems aren’t going to try it right now, but they will eventually.

    A Federal property tax is easy if spun as an “imputed income tax”.

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  23. Home.  Broke down two more containers.  another pickup load to the dumpster.

    Soaked to the skin, but not from rain.  I was indoors for that and missed it completely.

     

    n

  24. And, the zillionaires would figure out how to get around the new federal property tax. They could just get Congress to simply exempt them from it using some arcane measures. 

    The Post Office workers’ union got them exempted from the pending requirement for mandatory vaccines for all Federal employees.

    The vaccine mandate at the VA is *NOT* sitting well.

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  25. I ran into my once-per-decade need for a chainsaw recently. No more Sears means no more $40 Craftsman 12″ plug-in chainsaws like the one I borrowed a dozen years ago.

    12″ electric chainsaws are now all rechargeable and $200.

    I opted for a 14″ Black & Decker saw on sale at Home Depot for $60. Every few months, I encounter a situation where I really miss being able to run down to Sears.

    Yes, I live in Texas and only just bought my first chainsaw.

    And my wife used to work roughly where the house from the movie was located in Round Rock.

    I’m almost caught up with the damage from the February freeze in the yard.

  26. Direct taxes, other than an income tax, are unconstitutional. You would need to have a constitutional amendment for a federal property tax. And, federal income taxes would not be reduced in reality.

    The ABA has a paper online arguing the point about direct taxes, specifically a wealth tax. The Dems aren’t going to try it right now, but they will eventually.

    A Federal property tax is easy if spun as an “imputed income tax”.

    Not with a strictly constitutional SCOTUS. With John Roberts, who knows which way they will lean though.

  27. About half of my tax bill is schools

    Are you getting your money’s worth? </snicker>

     

    Switched to T-Mobile today on Rick’s hand-me-down (thanks again) . AT&T has now officially osculated my fundament. Their latest trick started a few days ago. They would suddenly cut off cellular data and it would take a reboot of the phone to restore it. Buh-bye!

  28. @ray, I looked in 3 places for that BNC c onnector tool yesterday and didn’t find it.  I’ve got two more places to look.  I haven’t forgotten!

     

    n

  29. Tomorrow, it will be two months since the Social Security Admin started reviewing my application for benefits. The web site says it takes “two to four weeks on average.” It took about three for MrsAtoz last year. I guess I’m special. Can’t send a message, no online chat, bankers hours M-F. I guess I’ll call Monday with a WTF, over.

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  30. @ray, I looked in 3 places for that BNC connector tool yesterday and didn’t find it.  I’ve got two more places to look.  I haven’t forgotten!

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict it will be in the last place that you look…

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  31. There needs to be serious tax reform.

    Will happen only as part of the treaty that ends CW II.

  32. Laugh of the day: T-Mobile crapped out on the data connection about an hour ago. I had to manually select 3G/2G instead of LTE/Auto to get it working again. Of course this wasn’t mentioned when I called tech support… in the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, it’s always something!

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