Jim: A Newly Minted Marxist Welfare Queen Comin' Atcha
by, April 10th, 2009 at 11:33 PM (4628 Views)
Let me dispatch with the swimming portion of this very belated vlog post haste:
Results from our local Y regional meet by yours truly were terrible to mediocre.
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 11:50.12
32.25 35.04 35.67 35.76 36.69 36.20 36.12 35.74
36.36 36.39 36.20 36.05 36.38 36.09 35.83 36.05
35.67 35.26 34.78 31.59
200 free relay
2 Sewickley A 174 SEWY 1:36.89
Thornton,Jim 56 Cox,Mark 40
Haney,Mark 40 White,Bill 38
25.26 23.29 24.98 23.36
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 28.12
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 1:01.47
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 1:59.28
27.38 29.50 31.34 31.06
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 5:28.42
29.37 31.44 32.87 33.67 34.24 34.42 34.07 34.28
200 medley relay--went fly
1 Sewickley A 174 SEWY 1:49.15
Cox,Mark 40 White,Bill 38
Thornton,Jim 56 Haney,Mark 40
28.34 28.75 27.02 25.04
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 53.39
1 Jim Thornton 56 SEWY 24.80
I would add excuses, but the truth is the times were bad enough that it's not worth the waste of breath to come up with reasons why they were so terrible. Bill, my friend and coach, told me he thinks it's just been a hard couple months, and I am currently lacking the psychological fortitude to push myself--in practice or in meets--into the state of pain necessary to do well. This was absolutely the case in the 1000, which seemed to set the tone of the disastrous first day. I just didn't have the energy to tolerate suffering. I wimped out.
Non swimming part of this, summarized:
- Our health insurance went up to $1711.50 a month for a plan that requires each member of the family to spend $1400 a year before complete coverage kicks in. For a variety of complicated reasons, we cannot alter any of the terms of the policy. It is a take it or leave it situation. If we leave it, my wife and I have been taking statin drugs and antidepressants and will not be able to obtain individual policies that are not even more exorbitant than the extortionary policy we already have. As close to unaffordable as it is this year, it seems certain that even modest increases in the years to come (as if the bastards are ever likely to be modest) ensure we will not be able to pay, most likely within two or three years.
- We got audited by the IRS three weeks ago, and a large part of this was because our acountant set up a plan by which I could pay my wife a salary and give her and her family health insurance as a benefit. By doing this, I could deduct as a business expense not just the premiums but the out of pocket expenses, too. The IRS is challenging this.
- If you are self employed and middle class, chances are your largest tax is not income tax but social security. We pay a bit over 15 percent off the top, i.e., before IRA deductions, etc. Those who work for companies pay half, and their employer kicks in the other half. If you work for a decent company, you can also qualify often for group health coverage, which means there is no medical underwriting (AKA cherry picking) involved. A friend who smokes five packs of cigarettes a day and is obese gets health coverage at a tiny fraction of what we pay. He also pays 7.5 percent social security tax and will get much, much higher social security benefits when he retires (assuming he lives that long.)
- I later discoverd that Highmark Blue Cross offers a low income insurance policy for families of four earing less than $44,000 a year, adjusted gross income. I can do this! I would save $1300 a month in premiums. It covers four office vists a year, and major in patient and out patient procedures. No prescriptions. So I would either have to switch to all generics, which is fine by me, or--if there is a case where a prescribed drug is not yet available generically--make a trip to Canada or Mexico and try to sneak my supply back.
- Did I mention that my accountant told me that one of President Bush's last acts in office was to instruct the IRS not to go after hedge fund managers for audits, because their machinations were much too complex for the average agent to fathom. Instead, target the little guy who works for himself and tries to deduct his home office and his family's health care. Schedule C's, Bush supposedly said, are easy targets beause the are almost impossible to do correctly. Even the dullest IRS agent can find money to pluck here. And the people who get plucked don't have the money to hire top representation that will cost the IRS time.
- So, let me get this straight:
- The Limbaugh Legions praise entrepreneurs, small busines types, Joe the Plumbers, etc.
- The Wall Street types are given license to steel them blind.
- US Big Pharma is granted the legal right to join New Zealand as the only two countries in the industrialized world to shameless tout ad on TV direct to consumers for drugs, creating demand for antidepressants, cholesterol lowering drugs, penis inflaters, hay fever and allergy meds, and so forth, all for chronic conditions that often require life time treatment, trumping up demand
- US Big Health Insurance is granted the legal right to cherry pick through "medical underwriting" any individual who has ever taken any of the above drugs and deny him or her coverage or charge exorbitant rights
- Big Pharma, furthermore, lobbies to block the reimportation of their drugs from Canada and pretty much any other country in the world, where the exact same thing costs anywhere from 50 percent to 8 times less. The rational: the FDA cannot assure the safety of reimported drugs, even ones in factory sealed bottles. Since the placebo halo effect probably accounts for a good chuck on pharmaceutical efficacy anyhow, those of us willing to take our chances are criminalized if we try to take such importaion into our own hands. Honestly, I wonder why the cartels even bother with cocaine. The big bucks would be peddling affordable Viagra and Lipitor to hedge funders.
- If you work for a big company, you can qualify for cheap health insurance, but this for all too many people just becomes yet another way to keep you as a virtual indentured servant, putting up with abusive managers demanding you do unethical things to up the profit margins, work nonstop, ignore your family, etc.--all because they know a lot of people have become so stressed out and fat and unhealthy becauseof their jobs they CAN'T quit because they won't be insurable.
- What, I ask you, is not a PONZI scheme in our modern land of liberty? Every different direction you look just turns your backside to another anal rapist.
- And on this summary note, then, I proudly announce that I, Jim Thornton, generally affable swimming vlogger, have had enouh of being a sucker. I know I will always be one, that I cannot change my stripes. But by no longer railing against my fate, I have decided to quit the absurdity of financial ambition, of ambition of any sort, in fact, and rather just take whatever I can parasitically siphon off the sinking ship. Low income state sponsored health insurnace! Check! Sell my house and quit paying property tax to the school system tht so nicely educated my kids! Check! Live off pharmaceutical free samples and occasional road trips to Canada and quasi criminal acivities! Check! Use one of my four doctor visits a year to find a quack who will give me a PTSD disability diagnosis and qualify for assistance, food stamps, heat credits, etc. Check! Send away to that guy who dresses up in a suit with numbers all over it for more information on free goverment programs! Check!
To wit, I would like to introduce myself to all of you who have enjoyed, or not enjoyed, my (of late) erratically posted vlog! I am no longer just your friendly inhaler.
Think of me now as your new dependent! Whether you like it or not (and I must say, those who absolutely DON'T LIKE IT are the ones that will give me the most satisfation of all! I think I like being your newly minted Marxist Welfare Queen dependent best of all. In fact, I am sure of it.
I think I am finally going to start seeing some improvements in my swimming times.