It’s Work, Avoiding Work

water board wall street

Get a job!

Below is an example of someone who “works” at avoiding work, see the Ad below and the email response.

The Mainstream Media (MSM) and the White House (WH) brand their own heroes, like the entire Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. No matter what type of movement OWS stands for, including bowel movements, they get a pass.

If you watch the MSM and believe their version of the story, you are being “programmed” for failure. If you are under-privileged, disadvantaged, abused, down on your luck, to the MSM, you can be a hero. You can be on the Front Page. If you do something the MSM programs as good, it erases everything else that’s bad.  Bad doesn’t matter.

MSM says… Out of work, good, successful, bad.  Pacifist good, warrior bad.

Chris Kyle

Chris Kyle

There are many everyday heroes, who go about their business, tirelessly, day in, day out, giving it all they’ve got, not giving in, or giving up, to make this world a better place.

If you are up at 4 AM, at work by 5, slinging hash by 6, you’re just another working stiff, chances are, exit Stage Left, no one is interested.

The MSM, they don’t get it. They’re not up at 4 AM. If they are, it’s not to share donuts and coffee with the local cops, or to understand who the real American are.

The real heroes are the everyday, every time, everywhere kind of people, who pay their taxes, to take care of those of you who are on unemployment, those of you on food stamps, those of you on welfare, and those of you with your Obama phones.

If you are, say over 50…? you’ve heard the jingle, “The best part of life, is Folgers in your cup!” It’s a jingle embedded in our lives. We may not live the jingle, but we won’t forget it. Great advertising!  What if the White House came up with a less than forgettable jingle of their own?

How about, “The best part of life, is people giving it all they have.” or “The best part of giving, is not giving up.”

Instead the WH advertises dependency (see a Craig’s List job’s ad response below).

Granted some of the “heroes”, are real life heroes, but only in a moment in time, and like most ordinary folks, they’re just giving it all they’ve got.

If you are on any government program and deservedly so, , you should be very concerned about the freeloaders who make it their job, to thwart the system. Case in point, a fellow small business looking for an office manager, placed an ad on Craig’s List.

Here’s an example of a freeloader “at work avoiding work”, the Ad and the email response (below):

Office Manager Ad

Response Office Manager Ad

Plain and simple.  If you are on Federal Unemployment, you are required to seek employment, right?  Is this is how you apply for a job?

Many Americans work very hard.  Many start early and work late into the night.  Many of us are tired of the lies, and of people taking the easy way out.

We’re tired of the MSM giving lazy, shiftless people a pass, especially Harry Reid and the US Senate.

We’re also tired hearing commercial snippets on NBC (owned by GE) where Brian Williams, tells us to “go green” and turn off the lights. when we leave a room.  No problem Brian. We’ll turn off NBC.  Exit Stage Right.

All Obama Can Do Is Ask Us to Look in the Rear View Mirror

Cadillac One -We Can’t Afford! to Go Forward!

Obama has been in the driver seat for four years with a majority in Congress for two years prior to his election and two years after his election, four more years than many presidents and the Democrats held the majority in the Senate for six years.  And yet his campaign is all about telling us to look in the rear view mirror, a.k.a. “it’s Bush’s fault.”  Since January 2007 and for four years, the Democrats were driving the bus.  We get Obamacare and 6 trillion in debt.

If you like this president and you believe in this president, just read Chapter Five of the book, Throw Them All Out.  If you still vote for this president, that’s on you.

Obama’s campaign slogan is “Forward.”  Frankly we can’t “afford to go forward, four more years with this president.  Obamacare alone will sink many small businesses and put us deeper and deeper into debt.  We have already spent more resources, more time, more energy, millions upon millions of dollars in personnel, administration and legal fees to shape this law.  If Sarah Palin had one amazing quality it was to tell it like it is, and Obamacare as it pertains to a solution to our healthcare’s rising costs, is like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

Highly regulated, healthcare is not free market capitalism and competition has been stifled.  Big insurance companies thrive on a highly regulated government subsidized system.  They want it.  They own the politicians.  The lawyers on both sides can pretend to fight for their constituent’s, then club it after work.

Obamacare is a politicians dream and a lawyer’s wet dream.

Now Obama’s campaign is about raising taxes on the high income earners.  That’s all well and good.  What he doesn’t understand is small business owners pay their taxes as ordinary income.  This is a legal structure setup to help small businesses to compete with large corporations.  Small businesses don’t need to pay more taxes.  The higher our personal tax rate becomes, the less we can invest in our small business. Raising taxes on ordinary income is raising taxes on small businesses. Lower the corporate tax rates for all businesses and more small businesses will follow.

High income earners are willing to pay more if big government spends less.  If big government didn’t pick favorites and simply lowered taxes on all businesses, we would have a chance to prosper.  Reign in regulation, stop subsidizing green energy companies and stop playing to the unions, a.k.a. Government Motors (GM), GE and Chrysler.  Stop subsidizing the oil business, but to be fair, stop subsidizing all big businesses.  Leave it to the states, counties and local governments to compete for and attract business.  Businesses will do better to choose a location and flourish where it is best for them, their employees and the community.

Bottom line, less big government, to the tune of $16 trillion in less than four years, less big union, like the takeover of GM, less big business influence, like the stimulus dollars paid to failed green energy companies, including Ted Turner and GE and less unemployment and welfare to us, as individuals, will follow.

Like Alan Kay says. “The best way to predict the future, is to invent it.”  Big government, get out of the way, let us reinvent ourselves.  We have the uncanny ability to prosper through free market competition.  That’s what’s best for our future.

Footnote:  Many conservatives may wonder why Governor Christie is pandering for Obama five days from the election.  Many say it is because he wants what’s best for the State of New Jersey.  I cry “Bullshit!” Obama came out and said he was going to do what’s best for all victims of this hurricane and I believe him, not because he cares, but for political expediency and his failed policies that left 4 American’s dead in Benghazi.  Christie is embracing Obama after this storm because he knows the door is wide open for him as the presidential candidate in 2016, if Romney is defeated and Obama is re-elected for another term.  Christie better hope the door is wide open, because what he had better understand. That at 69 years old, Romney will still be in better shape than Christie to win the next election.

Alien Nation a.k.a., The Obamacare Nation

Alien, the movie was all about spreading spores and breeding aliens to prey on mankind, should the spores reach our planet.  Obamacare and its spores are already here.  Come 2014 the invasion will begin in earnest.

In Alien, Sigourney Weaver is the much larger than life heroine who thwarts the Alien invasion, at least until Aliens…  Who can stop Obamacare?  Maybe Pam Bondi, our larger than life Attorneys General for the State of Florida and the case she and attorneys generals in 26 other states have filed against Obamacare with the U.S. Supreme Court?

I’m just a small business owner.  My concerns as a small business person and employer need to be amplified on a scale much bigger than fiction.  We’ve already been invaded.  The spores of Obamacare have already been planted. Officially, Obamacare is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Senate passed it on December 24, 2009.

Beginning in 2014, when Obamacare explodes on to the scene, small business as we know it will cease to exist.  In its place will be big government running a significant portion of small business, literally.

The heroine (or hero) in the real life movie Obamacare is the entrepreneur, the small business owner.  The enemy is SHOP, the Small Business Health Options Plan.  Big government is betting small business owners don’t have the time or the energy to sit through the movie, but as right-brained as many entrepreneurs can be, myself included, navigating SHOP is a must see.

The entrepreneurial spirit will be crushed by the most egregious of government actions since the payroll tax increase in April, 1983 which was cause and effect, the catalyst for U.S. manufacturers investing in jobs overseas.  There will be nothing to prevent another government subsidy, Obamacare, to balloon out of control, as have Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid and chase more jobs overseas.  To illustrate, below is a paragraph from HHS regarding Obamacare and the SHOP program.

“Consistent with the scope of the Exchange establishment and eligibility proposed rules, this final rule does not address all of the Exchange provisions in the Affordable Care Act; rather, more details will be provided in forthcoming guidance and future rule making, where appropriate.”
 

From what I have read in the 644 page document, Final Rule State Healthcare Exchanges, from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), how the final rules address small business, capitalism and the entrepreneurial spirit and the heroine in this movie may die.

Let’s look at the subplot, lawyers and paperwork. It takes a lawyer to spawn a comment like this, “The final rule does not address all of the insurance exchange provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and additional rules will address those, according to the rule.”

Great ambiguity, but true!  There’s plenty of room for HHS to make up more rules and regulations under the auspices of Obamacare.

Obamacare is a lawyer’s dream!  In a country and a society as litigious as the USA and a law this broad, full of waivers (prejudices), exceptions and rules yet undefined; wasn’t instituting this law insanely àpropo?!  In 2014 and beyond, the justice system will be brought to its knees.  No.  It has already been brought to its knees.  It will be buried!  So will many small businesses be buried, who can’t afford a good lawyer; who can’t afford the paperwork explosion.

HHS says one form.  SHOP says only two forms, but if you read between the lines you know the paperwork will border on the ridiculous.  Hello!, fellow small business owners…think annual Worker’s Comp. audits!  Worker’s Comp. audits will be nothing compared to HHS audits sure to follow.

Here’s a snippet.  Keep in mind this is one paragraph of a 664 page document to mandate a final rule on SHOP!

“Consistent with the statutory directive for HHS to provide a single, streamlined application form, we also proposed that the SHOP use only two application forms: one for qualified employers and one for qualified employees. We further proposed that for the purpose of determining eligibility in the SHOP, the SHOP may use the information attested to by the employer or employee on the application but must, at a minimum, verify that an individual attempting to enter the SHOP as an employee is listed on the qualified employer’s roster of employees to whom coverage is offered. We also proposed that the SHOP have processes to resolve occasions when the SHOP has a reason to doubt the information provided through the employer and employee applications. In addition, similar to the individual market Exchange standards, we proposed that the SHOP notify an employer or employee seeking coverage of the SHOP’s eligibility determination and the employer or employee’s right to appeal.

The final ruling on SHOP brings more questions than answers.

Bigger government, more regulation, new laws, especially the behemoth of all laws, Obamacare, create entirely new industries. Obamacare will undoubtedly create another cottage industry, like Dodd-Frank did for compliance and regulation, but Obamacare will create a tsunami of new so called experts spawned to aid small cash strapped businesses navigate Obamacare. Essentially they are government created jobs and all at taxpayers’ expense.

Many businesses are started by sole proprietors. Sole proprietors are excluded from SHOP. Sole proprietors pay the same tax rate as LLCs and Sub-S Corps. Don’t sole proprietors often spawn small businesses?

What if an employee can find a better plan by shopping the individual market and he or she wants to opt out of a company’s group plan?

Once invited to participate in SHOP can an employee still “SHOP” for their own individual insurance plan.  If the employer is getting a less competitive price due to lack of participation, how does that affect the employer’s plan and administration?

Regardless of the “one bill for all” concept which most small businesses already enjoy, if you have 10, 20 or 50 employees, you may have to track different deductibles for each employee.

Will HHS and SHOP pit employers and employees against one another; against insurers?

Will SHOP leave one employer at a competitive disadvantage with other employers based on participation and economy of scale?

On the other hand, if insurance companies have to give individual employees the same price as employers, which according to SHOP is the rule, the price goes up for employers.  Don’t the private insurers win?

What if you have employees in different geographical areas?  What if  they are eligible for different, more competitive SHOPs?

Certainly there will be more questions.

Today the private health insurance company is on the hook for the employer’s unpaid bills, not the government.  With the government on the hook for unpaid health insurance premiums at least with SHOP, the winner is the insurer.  The loser is the taxpayer.

The Aliens have landed, their spores have been planted and come 2014 there will be no stopping them.  In the role of big government, Obamacare rules. 

I can save you some time.  All I’ve learned about the details of how the exchanges are going to work is summarized above.  To learn more HHS or your state government will have to set up SHOP.

As for the spread of big government, here’s a glimpse of the future (another excerpt).

“SHOP may want to fulfill additional functions outside the scope of the proposed rule in order to offer employers a streamlined experience when managing their employee benefits. These commenters proposed that the SHOP sell other types of insurance, administer COBRA on behalf of participating employers, administer flexible spending accounts, assist small employers in setting up Section 125 plans, and oversee wellness programs.”  “We will take these comments into account as we consider future guidance on the offering of other products on the Exchange.”

Stay tuned!

Lick of sense?!

Hugh, what were you thinking?!

I wish we could all afford to be like Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich is obviously someone who is used to getting what he wants.  If he doesn’t get it, he throws a childlike tirade.

He threw a fit when Romney ran an attack Ad that derailed his bid for the Iowa primary win.  If you are from Iowa and you haven’t seen it, you’re a Democrat and you don’t watch TV.  Suffice it to say, it was a pointed attack on Gingrich, labeling him as a corrupt politician, using his influence for personal enrichment and it is accurate.

He subsequently launched Obama’s campaign for re-election by producing and running an Ad against Romney, his years at Bain, a private equity firm and Romney’s involvement in some of Bain’s less successful ventures, costing people jobs.  NEWT, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?  First, you, as a business owner, know full well there are good reasons and bad, to get into bed with a private equity firm.  The good is personal enrichment and potential for tremendous growth and success for your business.  The bad is accountability.  Once you make a deal and accept their money, it’s produce results or die.

Everyone with a “lick of sense” as my granddad used to say, knows that. So here’s the bottom line in a capitalist society in capitalist term, “like it or leave it.”  Go live in Greece.

The Gingrich’s wife No.2 goes on TV and says he wanted an “open marriage.”  OK guys?   If you are a regular guy,  you may look twice, conjure up the thought and move on.  Not Newt.  Newt thinks so highly of himself, he thinks he’s “entitled” to an open marriage.

Now Newt claims he’s found religion.  He’s sorry for his past indiscretions.  I think Newt knows Newt in current form wouldn’t find a woman willing to enter into an open marriage unless he paid for it.  So when the mainstream media calls him out for his delusional behavior he throws a fit on national TV and gets an ovation!  I don’t agree with ABC for airing his former wife’s claims against him, but once said, who is going to blame the media or for that matter the voters to question his judgment.

We can criticize a man, Romney, who has been married to one woman, a Mormon, for over 35 years and makes lots of money and we consider that shameful, but a man who takes money for political favor, an influence peddler and pays alimony is suddenly the new messiah for the Republican party?

I can’t help but think about the famous interview Jay Leno did with Hugh Grant when he cheated on his beautiful wife, actress Elizabeth Hurley.  Jay Leno simply said, “What were you thinking!?”

It’s been a long 3 years!  We need some R&R.  Romney and Rubio for President/VP!

Got Wood?

We have MoveOn.org in support of Occupy Wall Street.  Well what exactly do they do now?  Move On or Occupy?  Occupy or Move On?

Just for fun let’s look at these two organizations thinking M&A?  Which law firm would represent them?   Think IPO.  Which Wall Street firm would they choose? 

I tried to figure out which of these movements or occupations is best to follow.  Honestly, I’m not sure.  They both have valid arguments and serious flaws, like how they hurt small business.

A merger between MoveOn and Occupy could be a lesson to Microsoft and Yahoo, like oil and water.

If you go on the Move On website there are too many Move this and that movements to follow.  If you try to understand the Occupy this city, that State or country’s position, well… it gives one pause.  So we’re at a standstill.

So to get this impasse, one would assume most activists would prefer movement to being at a standstill.  Going nowhere is boring.  Rhetorically speaking one could say both MoveOn and Occupy Wall Street are consistently incongruous and therefore not helpful? 

What one can be sure of is whether they are moving on or standing still, neither position is creating jobs. 

“Back in the day sonny” he croaks, from his Easy Boy recliner, “when all we knew was black and white, if we needed to make a point, we did it in a demonstrative, albeit sometimes incoherent fashion.”  Think Woodstock.  Joe Cocker’s With a Little Help from My Friends was a classic Joe Biden sound bite.  Incoherent!  Just kidding Joe!??  No need to insult anyone?

So one can’t help but ask, “Who’s Got Wood?”   Woodstock?  A cause expounding peace and love that resounded worldwide over a single weekend or Occupy Wall Street that makes us wish Jimmy Hendrix was still singing “Hey Joe” to Joe and Joe was heading for Mexico.  You decide.

Woodstock.  1969.  Made into a movie.  Not a Michael Moore movie.

A movie that will live on in history.  Why?  Almost all of these people now have good paying jobs.  Most of them pay taxes.  Yes, some are dead, surprisingly fewer than one would think, like artist Keith Richards, the wrinkly rocker from the Rolling Stones.  OK, he wasn’t even there and surprisingly, he’s not dead.

These peace loving folks went home after a long weekend of demonstration and made a difference for America.

Most folks here in America and around the world applaud Occupy Wall Street for making a statement.  We hear you.  We hear all of you.  You can make a difference, just not standing still.  Not anymore. Now you are hurting the same people you should be trying to help, job creators.  Small business people.

Take all the creative energy you have and do something positive.  Like in the movie “Pay It Forward.”

Feel free to agree, disagree or simply ignore me.  Express “yourself.”  Leave your comments, share or  spread the word with Stumble Upon button below.  Subscribe or come back often to visit.

Roth IRA, Invest to Pay Less Taxes

by John Holland, South Shore Investment Advisors, Charleston, WV

Social Security was intended originally to be a tax free benefit for retirees in America. Over the years this has changed for the majority of us.

Income Thresholds
There are two separate income thresholds for filers that will determine whether they have to pay tax on their Social Security benefits. Here is a breakdown of the categories:

Income Percentage of Social Security Taxable
Single, Head of Household, Qualifying Widower and Married Filing Separately
(where the spouses lived apart the entire year)
Below $25,000 All SS income is tax-free
$25,000 – $34,000 Up to 50% of SS income may be taxable
$34,000 and up Up to 85% of SS may be taxable
Married Filing Jointly Below $32,000 All SS income is tax-free
$32,000 – $44,000 Up to 50% of SS income may be taxable
$44,000 and up Up to 85% of SS may be taxable

When calculating your income you must include ½ of your social security benefit and all of your interest and dividend income. This includes tax exempt interest from municipal bonds and distributions from IRA’s or 401k retirement plans.

As an example, let’s say Jim Johnson withdrew $19,500 from an IRA and had $2,000 of interest income. He received $16,000 from social security and had $1,500 of gambling winnings. ($19,500 + $2,000 + $8,000 + $1,500 = $31,000). Jim is single so his social security benefit will be 50% taxable.

You can see that if you’re married and your spouse receives social security as well as distributions from a retirement plan, your tax liability will start eating up your social security benefit pretty quickly.  If both husband and wife receive just $2,000 a month from an IRA they will easily be in the upper threshold paying taxes on 85% of their combined benefit.

There is currently a loophole that exists called the Roth IRA. If you’re over 59 ½ and your Roth has been established for at least 5 years, you can take tax free distributions from it. Under current law these distributions don’t count when calculating your social security taxability. You can take a distribution of any size from a Roth and owe zero taxes on it and zero taxes on your social security. Let’s do another example.

John Doe has a Roth IRA with a balance of $1,500,000. He’s 65 years old and the account has been established for more than five years. He starts taking a $100,000 annual distribution and he receives $24,000 each year from social security. His income tax will be zero. The Roth IRA distributions are tax free and don’t count towards his social security income threshold. John will receive $124,000 annually in retirement benefit with zero tax liability. Of course these tax laws could change in the future, but today a Roth IRA is the best retirement vehicle available.

If your single and make less than $107,000 you can make a full contribution to a Roth and if you’re married the limit is $169,000. If your annual income is higher than these limits you can still convert a traditional IRA to a Roth. Of course you have to pay taxes in the year you convert the assets and I believe you should do this while the Bush tax cuts remain intact. I believe these tax cuts will be repealed in 2013 and replaced with higher marginal rates.

If you are an equity partner in a small business, this might make even more sense if we let your company pay the taxes (as an executive bonus or alternative form of compensation) on the money you move out of our existing retirement accounts into a Roth IRA.  It can be done gradually dictated by cash flow coming from the business.  If it is done before we lose the tax breaks it could make sense.

No matter if you’re 25 years away from retirement or 5 years away you should consider a Roth IRA for at least a portion of your retirement income. The tax free benefits in retirement are too great to ignore.  

John Holland e-mail: hollandzjr@aol.com

Good advice for the younger generation, especially with all the hype over social security.  If you’re a small business owner and you’re worried about higher capital gains taxes into your retirement years, there’s some good advice for you here as well.  Subscribe – Comments welcome. Pass it on.  : http://wp.me/p1nHZg-Dr

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Like Fine Wine…

Silver Oaks Vineyard

The unemployment jobless rate has jumped for those over 55 from 3.2% to 6.8% since the 2007 recession began.

This is an opportunity for small businesses looking to reduce the risks normally associated with hiring.

As an employer, you might consider “like fine wine, the over 55 candidates should be getting better with age.”

Rule Number One: “Ready to drink.”  Most wines available today are ready to drink (0ver 90%).  If the price is right drink it now.

Heard recently from someone over 55, unemployed, highly qualified and experienced in their line of work.  Someone whom I hold in high regard,

“I feel like I’m letting my wife, my kids and my grandkids down.”

This alarming revelation from someone heretofore has exuded confidence, success in; and dedication to; his family and his career like none other.

Over 55 and unemployed, most workers are eager to reenter the workforce.

Rule Number Two: “Taste it.”  There are many experts out there that will tell you what wine to drink and when.  My local wine shop agrees to a point but is adamant about one thing, “it comes down to you and your own personal tastes and preferences.”  The expression, “look good on paper (label)” is a common misnomer.

If you are hiring and you are a “seasoned professional” yourself, you don’t have to look over your shoulder twice to find someone with whom you can relate in the over 55 crowd.  Put these new hires through a probationary period.  They will understand they need to “earn their stripes.”

Rule Number Three: “Preservation of a good wine requires proper resources and planning.”  If you can’t afford to wait and don’t have the proper means to store your wine, drink it now.

In business, when hiring I like to use the expression “hit the deck running.” If you can’t afford to mentor, shadow, train or hire an apprentice or wait for a new hire to become productive, generate revenues, replace intellectual property, hire experience.

Rule Number Four: Price doesn’t dictate taste or value: There are winemakers out there ranging from Cameron Hughes (CH) to garage winemakers who produce excellent wine at excellent values. Famous high end growers in Napa, Sonoma and other areas sell their surplus to winemakers like CH who produce great wines at great values.

Look for experience first. College degrees, certifications, etc… is no substitute for the real deal. Many of the over 55 crowd have been “through the war.” “The proof of the wine is in the tasting.”

Some great reference sites:

http://www.staythirstymedia.com/201107-059/html/201107-sipprelle-washington.html

http://www.staythirstymedia.com/201107-059/html/201107-cavaliere-starting-over.html

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2010/08/teens-vs-geezers-in-us-job-market.html

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