Blood Boil Story of the Day

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In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently – who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment – they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as We have said, for the solace to its troubles.

Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum

32 Responses to Blood Boil Story of the Day

  • PM says:

    … or blood pressure spike of the day.
    Well, it’s the bills and there’s only little over half, so yeah.
    Two things:The ethicks of me and how dismal the information age is in government databases.

  • It certainly would not have surprised Pope Leo XIII Mike or one of his contemporaries:

    “In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”"

  • Art Deco says:

    1. It is a very odd contingency for which the eligibility standards did not take account. I am not sure why that would make your blood boil.

    2. Conjoined to that, you have a women who has been granted a lump sum which could generate for her north of $20,000 in interest and dividends per annum after taxes have been paid but who is under the impression she has no income. I can see chuckling and shaking my head over that, not getting angry.

    3. Conjoined to that, you have someone who fancies that her elevated and freely assumed housing and transportation expenses justify drawing on federal grocery subsidies. A mixture of dismay and amusement at that, I can feel. The thing is, obtuse and self-centered people are everywhere, and the damage they do (see the divorce courts) usually exceeds the $600 or $1,200 this woman was unjustly awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • “It is a very odd contingency for which the eligibility standards did not take account. I am not sure why that would make your blood boil”.

    Ha! You have got to be kidding Art! I see this type of gaming of the system all the time in my practice. This is merely an egregious example of something that occurs constantly in our society.

    “I can see chuckling and shaking my head over that, not getting angry.”

    You miss the point entirely Art. Her entitlement mentality is the problem not her ignorance (and I have little doubt that ignorance was not what caused her to continue taking food stamps after winning a million bucks). Ignorance can usually be corrected, while the idea that someone has a right to be supported by others is perhaps incurable after enough able-bodied people in a society believe it.

  • Wayne says:

    Donald, you’ve hit the nail on the head. What I immediately thought of was the fact that this obviously able bodied person (judging by the fact that she is able to go to the grocery store on her own and carry her own groceries in and out of the house) had no job and had been living on the government’s tab for who knows how long. Now that she has money laying around and some financial freedom to pay off any debts she might have, she didn’t go looking for a job or get a new wardrobe to help herself get a job when the money runs out.

    She seems to have no skills in this regard and that is one of the major problems of the welfare system. No job training, no cutoffs, no demands on the individual to help themselves while the government helps them get through a rough patch in their lives. It’s easy to get into the mindset that I can’t do this by myself when the government continually tells you can’t.

  • Art Deco says:

    Ha! You have got to be kidding Art! I see this type of gaming of the system all the time in my practice. This is merely an egregious example of something that occurs constantly in our society.

    You represent trustafarians applying for food stamps?

  • I sue people who owe debts, represent people who owe debts and have always had a criminal defense practice. I would see more of it if I didn’t refer out my worker’s compensation cases to other attorneys. The number of people skimming from Uncle Sucker, and his state equivalents, is hard to exaggerate.

  • francodrummer says:

    This is just one person…it’s human nature to take advantage of any system.
    The issue is, can we prevent most of it or even more important, do we stop essential programs for the people who really need and deserve them because people take advantage?
    As Catholics, it should be in our nature to help people, to donate, to support those that require it. Instead of focusing in on one bonehead woman, let’s work TOGETHER with government to make the systems more effective and efficient.

    I have a wonderful uncle who worked for 35 years and then was laid off middle of last year. He tried to find a job in his field of work, could not. He tried to find any job that could cover the bills, he could not. If not for unemployment during that 6 month period, he could have lost his house. Instead, he is still in his house and now has a job that he can work for the next 5 years with dignity.
    Programs are designed to help those who deserve and need them. They are flawed because we as humans are flawed, but instead of putting out negative because of this young woman, let’s figure a way to put out postive while still aiding those who require our assistance, love and prayers.

  • “They are flawed because we as humans are flawed, but instead of putting out negative because of this young woman, let’s figure a way to put out postive while still aiding those who require our assistance, love and prayers.”

    Indeed, and a swift kick in the hind end to those who are simply milking the system, something which is sometimes of assistance for those who wish to go through life as everybody else’s guest. I do not blame them conpletely of course, because the modern welfare state teachs people to be moochers, to game the system and to embrace petty larcency from the State as a way of life.

    Oh well, these things tend to be self-correcting, although not in a pleasant manner:

    “And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return! “

  • T. Shaw says:

    Anecdotal:

    A long-time friend is retired from a NY PD (decent pension) and is collecting early Social Security. His wife has a full-time job with excellent benefits. He held a job but was laid off. Now, he receives a third (unemployment) government check. He says he is, “Unemployed and Overjoyed!”

    This week he is going to SS and get another $1,000 a month disability until he hits full SS age. “I got my rights!” Seriously . . .

    The execrable, vile Repugs won’t force the evil rich pay their “fair share” in taxes and want to starve the unemployed after 29 months!

  • T. Shaw says:

    Another unemployed and overjoyed: Wife of a Partner in a Wall Street Law Firm. I advised her not to wear her minks to the unemployment office.

    Cardinal Dolan refuses to pay for my condoms!

  • Art Deco says:

    A long-time friend is retired from a NY PD (decent pension) and is collecting early Social Security.

    Are you sure you have not confounded disability benefits from his employer with disability benefits from the Social Security Administration? Disability benefits derived from employment as a police officer have been notorious for decades (tho’, if I understand correctly, they are less egregious than used to be the case). Social Security Disability is a program difficult to administer consistently as it requires discretionary decisions by hearing examiners, but the program has a considerable buy-in requirement and recipients are generally on it for a limited term of years before returning to the work force or reaching the age where they are eligible for old age and retirement benefits. I believe there are severe and perhaps absolute earned income limits if one is drawing benefits, but we can check. The disability beneficiary I know best retired at 59 (due to the effects of lupus) after nearly forty years of continuous employment.

  • T. Shaw says:

    AD: 100% sure. One may collect reduced-benefit SS at 62, depending, and there is the earned income reduction. Given the same “expiration date” assumption the present value of the reduced payments at 62 is not materially less than at 67 years.

    My man had 25 years and retired straight on longevity. In fact, he busted a bone on the job and was on full pay for years while he worked off the books, cash. When they retire they get one month paid terminal leave for each ten years service.

    You and i have too much time on our hands.

  • Art Deco says:

    If he is collecting the old age and retirement benefits payable at age 62, I do not believe he is eligible for Social Security Disability, and he cannot be eligible for unemployement compensation unless he was let go from an on-the-books job and met a number of subsidiary requirements. Again, if he is at full salary due to an on-the-job injury, that would be derived from the union contract, not the Social Security law.

  • T. Shaw says:

    AD: May pal is on a PD pension.

    He is on SS.

    And, being that he was laid off from a full time on the books job: he is collecting unemployment benefits.

    He said he was going to apply for SS disbaility. I agree he probably won’t get it.

    I like his style and he is a friend.

    You and I have way too much time on our hands.

  • Art Deco says:

    1. His pension is deferred compensation. Public sector pensions in New York are fully funded as a rule, so retirees like your bud are generally not on a dole. As he is a municipal employee and a veteran of the police department, it is quite conceivable his pension is not fully funded. The thing is, total compensation for public sector employees is inflated by the deference New York politicians grant to public sector unions. That is not precisely ‘mooching’, more like ‘rent seeking’.

    2. You are right. It appears that you can draw disability benefits between the ages of 62 and the full retirement age (currently 66 and change). However, if he has not been for some years a working cop and was recently employed in some other occupation without injury, he categorically fails to qualify if his wages exceeded $1,000 a month. Tell him to break his leg again.

    3. Noodling around the New York State Department of Labor’s site, I see you are correct about that too. It is very explicit that unemployment compensation is intended only for those who are work-ready. That your friend may be, but such a contention would be rather in contrast to those he is making to the Social Security Administration in order to qualify for disability benefits.

    4. Drawing unemployment compensation is not in all cases ‘mooching’ either. You paid the taxes which support the benefits over the course of your work life. It is an income transfer program rather than an insurance or pension program, but if you draw benefits for no more than four months in a 15 year period, you might still be paying in more than you received.

  • J Tool says:

    According to the reporter (at the very end of the segment), it was completely legal for the person to continue to collect the food stamps. Assuming this is true, how is she ‘gaming the system’? Do we say that those who inherit millions from their parents and pay only 15% on investment gains and dividends are ‘gaming the system.’ Of course not, we say that they are simply paying as little as they are legally required to. This lottery winner paid her taxes during the year (certainly more in taxes than she ever will recieve in benefits) on what she won. In the year she won, she paid, say, $200,000 in taxes. $200,000 less $2,400 in benefits equals net tax of $197,600. She did everything she was legally entitled to do to reduce her taxes just like everyone else. When Bush sent out those $300 or $600 checks a few years back, did you return yours and say, “No, I cant take this?”

  • “This lottery winner paid her taxes during the year (certainly more in taxes than she ever will recieve in benefits) on what she won.”

    She had no choice since lottery winners have no option on that score, the taxes being taken out before they get a check for the remainder.

    “According to the reporter (at the very end of the segment), it was completely legal for the person to continue to collect the food stamps.”

    I doubt if the reporter was correct, since the Michigan food stamp program has an asset limit:
    “Asset Limit
    Effective October 1, 2011 there is an asset limit for FAP groups. Certain assets such as checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposits are considered when determining eligibility for FAP.”

    http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5527-13176–,00.html

    “Do we say that those who inherit millions from their parents and pay only 15% on investment gains and dividends are ‘gaming the system.’ ”

    No, we call it the government not double taxing income that their parents already paid tax on. That does not even rise to red herring status in attempting to justify the bald faced theft of this welfare cheat.

    If you truly cannot see what is wrong about someone with several hundred thousand dollars getting food stamps, I feel sorry for you.

  • PM says:

    For such as the hapless who aren’t lottery winners, even if only lottery customers, who are recipients of state and federal benefits, why aren’t the budget mavens coordinating fed and state benefits to each social security number including the IRS EIC credits. Department cooperation via ss# input could help deficit spending and waste.

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    “She seems to have no skills in this regard and that is one of the major problems of the welfare system. No job training, no cutoffs, no demands on the individual to help themselves while the government helps them get through a rough patch in their lives.”

    The Clinton-era welfare reforms place a 5-year lifetime limit on what used to be called Aid to Families with Dependent Children and is now called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). However, there are various ways to stop the 5-year “clock” and extend benefits longer, such as by being enrolled in postsecondary education or job training programs. Other benefits such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (formerly known as “food stamps”) have no time limit as far as I know.

  • J Tool says:

    “She had no choice since lottery winners have no option on that score, the taxes being taken out before they get a check for the remainder.”

    Oh but she did have a choice. Had she gone to slick CPA firm in Any-Mid-Size-Town USA they would have been glad to set her up with a few trusts, or a horse farm, or any or the type of tax shelter or scheme (from relatively benign to downright fraudulent) to reduce her windfall. What the government took out as withholding could have come right back to her with the filing of her tax return.

    “I doubt if the reporter was correct, since the Michigan food stamp program has an asset limit:”

    That of course, would change my argument/opinion completely.

    “No, we call it the government not double taxing income that their parents already paid tax on.”

    If I had been referring to the Estate Tax, yes. Income tax is a different story. Example, I inherit $1 million. I invest the $1 million and earn dividends/capital gains of $60,000. My parents never paid tax on the $60,000 (yeah, I know, the corporation already paid its tax on the dividends I received…).

    Your blood boils when an inner city black woman who probably has no father, no sense of family, no proper upbringing regarding work/education/etc, no self-worth, and no clue on how to succeed financially (other than to buy lottery tickets!!), continues to recieve her $2,400 of reverse taxes after the big win. My blood boils when I read articles like this:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — About 12,000 tax cheats have come clean under a program that offered reduced penalties and no jail time to people who voluntarily disclosed assets they were hiding overseas, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

    Those people have so far paid $500 million in back taxes and interest. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said he expects the cases to yield substantially more money from penalties that have yet to be paid.

    The voluntary disclosure program, which ran from February to last week, is part of a larger effort by the IRS to crack down on tax dodgers who hide assets in overseas accounts. The agency stepped up its efforts in 2009, when Swiss banking giant UBS AG agreed to pay a $780 million fine and turn over details on thousands of accounts suspected of holding undeclared assets from American customers.

    Since then, the IRS has opened new enforcement offices overseas, beefed up staffing and expanded cooperation with foreign governments. A similar disclosure program in 2009 has so far netted $2.2 billion in back taxes, penalties and fines, from people with accounts in 140 countries, Shulman said.

    I guess my point is that this welfare queen is really just a petty theif. Really, $2,400? Even with the number of tax returns understating tax by $20,000 or $200,000 or more based on grey areas in the law, black areas that the CPAs call grey areas, and outright fraud?

  • T. Shaw says:

    Obama needs more of my children’s and grandchildren’s money!

    He just spent $10,000,000 to develop a $50 light bulb. The evil rich ain’t payin’ their fair share!

    The income tax is un-American and un-Christian. They had to subvert, er, amend the Constitution to impose it. Since 1913, the government owns you.

    Commie assassins like Bernardine Dorhn have more rights than alleged tax evaders. Under the Internal Revenue Code and tax crime practice you have no rights, e.g., the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

    The IRS makes the Spanish Inquisition look like a bunch of cub scouts.

  • “Oh but she did have a choice. Had she gone to slick CPA firm in Any-Mid-Size-Town USA they would have been glad to set her up with a few trusts, or a horse farm, or any or the type of tax shelter or scheme (from relatively benign to downright fraudulent) to reduce her windfall.”

    Yep, if you lose a lot of money in foolish business ventures you can save something on tax. Likewise if you set up a charitable trust where you have no access to the money for personal use, you can save on taxes. I doubt if either option would have been enticing to the welfare cheat million dollar lottery winner.

    “Your blood boils when an inner city black woman ”

    What a truly despicable attempt to bring race into the discusion, especially since the welfare cheat in question is white. No, my ire is directed at those, regardless of race, who pilfer public funds for private gain. As to the tax system, that monument to political chicanery piled upon byzantine complexity, I am in favor of root and branch reform, although that was not the subject of this post, although I have touched upon it in previous posts.

  • Art Deco says:

    Oh but she did have a choice. Had she gone to slick CPA firm in Any-Mid-Size-Town USA they would have been glad to set her up with a few trusts, or a horse farm, or any or the type of tax shelter or scheme (from relatively benign to downright fraudulent) to reduce her windfall. What the government took out as withholding could have come right back to her with the filing of her tax return.

    I will leave it to Mr. Petrik to educate us all, but if I am not mistaken discoverable personal income in this country amounts to about $10 tn. About 25% of that is placed outside the boundaries of the tax base by a mass of deductions, exemptions, and credits. This woman was not antecedently engaged in investment or business, so I would tend to suspect her opportunities between the lottery award and the present day (a few months in time) were pretty minimal as to reducing the tax man’s share of her winnings.

    Let us posit for a moment she actually received $720,000. If she put 60% in equities and 40% in bonds, she might get $24,000 in nominal interest and dividends per year ‘ere income taxes. However, if you conceived of her income as a compound of real interest, real capital gains, and dividends, her imputed investment income might be something more along the lines of $14,000. Eligibility standards for certain means-tested programs (Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies) are a multiple (1x to 1.75x) of the poverty line. The poverty line for a single individual is currently about $11,000. Depending on how you define her investment income, she might just qualify for some of these programs.

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