That Pencil Pushing Sinking Feeling

Today was tax day for me and the hubby – he sighed and found himself forced to sit by me as I entered numbers into the computer.  And we watched the amount we owed rise and rise. It kind of hurt, because in our case – and the cases of a good many parents who depend on the Earned Income Tax Credit every year – it rose three times more than it usually did. And this was our last year with the EIC…

Apparently in this country I’m slightly penalized for following the American Dream. As per the IRS website, I have to pay a self employment tax, which is similar to what people employed by other people pay except it’s set up a little different. I still pay for social security and medicare (but do not qualify for public aide because I am self-employed – and yes I have applied multiple times including once last year). The difference is that people who punch the clock have 4.2 percent taken (on the first $106,800) from their paycheck while their employer pays an additional 6.2 percent. And they also pay 1.45 percent for Medicare.

Whereas I have to pay the entire Social Security 10.4 percent, being my own employer. And then – here’s another punch – I also have to pay 2.9 percent for that good old Medicare. That’s double what everyone else pays out. Double. For being my own boss.

The real slap in the face with that is I will also have to purchase my own health insurance on top of that if my husband doesn’t get a good enough job when he gets out of the army in about five months. I shan’t go into the companies that are opting to pay the penalty rather than buy this health care and the others who dumped their policy of paying for it for their employees and are forcing people to pay out of pocket themselves.  Oy vey.

The numbers today weren’t pretty. The only solutions we have to paying this amount – as it’s more than I normally see in two months – are the following:

  • 1. Successfully rob a bank
  • 2. Successfully rob Obama. And when that fails, rob Michelle as she is probably the one who carries all the cash.
  • 3. Marry a millionaire and kill him in such a way that I can get away with the crime and collect the insurance money and be bequeathed his entire fortune before April
  • 4. Steal weapons from the weapons locker here on base and sell them across the border for a hefty price
  • 5. Lie about my age and sell my ovaries in Thailand.

However, the only real option we have before us is to call the IRS on Monday and see if the gossip involving a monthly payment plan is true and hope they’re willing to go for it.

From there I’m caught in a very nasty conundrum, because the burdens I already had have just now been doubled. No, wait tripled – because not only do I have to pay for this debt I have to somehow put aside for next year’s debt while feeding my family. And somehow pay for my daughter’s graduation. And… her 18th birthday is in a few weeks. Lordie. Time flies.

There’s also just quitting my work and sitting on my arse. I could just stop earning money. Then I wouldn’t have to pay the IRS anything… no wait. Still gotta pay for last year, huh. Darn it. Well. I could look for a “real” job… but there’s a real reason why I work for myself. I can’t hold a “real” job. It’s complicated. Just know that I’ve tried.

So as of now I’m even more adversely affected by this than I was before. And I’m talking about it here because I want someone to listen and understand once and for all that what may seem like a tiny policy to many people is actually a very large one to people like me – people like me who are numerous in this country and fall between the cracks. The lower middle class. That’s us. The voters.

And it’s this situation that has killed one of my comics and has a choke-hold on my progress with the other two. And if you’re a friend, a fan, a reader then you’ll know that I’m not ignoring my material because I’m giving up. I’m working hard, very hard, to carry a burden that’s probably way too big for me. But I don’t have a choice. I have to do it. It’s the law.

I’m sitting here seriously considering raising my rates while knowing at the same time that my competition sometimes undersells me and this will only serve to cut how much work I get and therefore how much I will have to pay said tax debt. Bills will have to come after that. Food after that. And we already didn’t have enough to buy food half the time. No joke required.

This is the very thing I tried to get people to hear me over when Hillary Clinton’s Obama’s compulsory insurance bill was being passed – but you can’t get people to listen to these sorts of effects when they’re too busy shouting at you about how you’re not giving something a chance. And the thing I noticed is that everyone screaming at me had good jobs and money – I can’t say they didn’t have money because they thought it was wonderful that they now could purchase healthcare insurance where they were always denied before. It has never been discussed that in order to purchase healthcare insurance you have to have money to pay for it. Bring that up and they start shouting at you. Funny thing.

Well this post isn’t picking on the healthcare system so I’ll stop on that point there. I mean, not all of it’s bad. It’s just that the bad parts are the parts I object to is all – the real point here, if you care to pay attention and listen to me, is how all of these laws to force me to pay even more out of my pocket are making it so that I have even less in my pocket while other people tell me that I’m lying. I’m not just losing a small payment a month to pay for one thing. I’m actually – because I’m fond of thinking ahead and avoiding having my assets frozen by the IRS – trying to pay for THREE things. Which is why in order to buy a house, you have to make at least three times what your mortgage would be in a month.

So. Huh. Tax time. My story isn’t unique. It’s just presented as a bigger picture than usual. Grotesque, huh. Rivals the Hellraiser movies I’m sure.

But I’m sure we’ll get through it somehow.

So there is my latest update – with an apology to everyone who finally got their next Heavenly Bride page today because it took me so long. The next 10 Confessions page is on my drawing board.

Just please: everyone forgive me that my stuff doesn’t come out as quickly as it could or should. As the stories’ popularity increases, I come all that much closer to being able to tell one of my money-making schemes to shove off. In the meantime, I hope you understand why things are as they are.

Enough drama. Back to happy posts for a while I should think.

The Display That We Built

Cyphacon preparations. This means I’m spending money and hoping to make money in order to spend money. And deciding on my display and how things are going to go.

Since I’m consolidating a lot of my past stuff and hoping to just plain get rid of it while introducing a new item – art magnets – I realized the need to finalize a good display was upon me. I’ve played around with table setups in the past, and they all met with a big mess. I don’t want a mess this year. I want elbow room.

So I dragged Pestilence to the store and forced him to brain storm with me. A design was spawned after playing with two sticks and a bit of wood. This was born after a bit more thought.

displayIf you’ve seen me at conventions in the past you’ll recognize that little box whose top is broken because of Pestilence’s hammy fingers. And voila, I have a place to display the art magnets that also consolidates the bookmark adoption program. Things move up. Table room increases.

But it’s a work in progress.

Another thing I’m doing in preparation of Cyphacon is holding a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print 10 Confessions & A Kiss,chapter 1.

I know I’m still in chapter 1 after all this time and should be in chapter 4 or 5 by now. That town-destructive tornado really did throw my project(s) and life for a loop. I can’t imagine how devastated my world would have been had I actually been there as opposed to just being hurt financially. Fortunately things are slowly getting back on track and my current pace with making more 10 Confessions is slowly increasing. But I’m still stuck in chapter 1, whether I like it or not.

I have a pace I go at now: one page of Heavenly Bride, then one page of 10 Confessions, and on Sundays if I have the time I work on Trait of Honor. It’s 3 times more than I was able to do for a while, although lately work has sapped those days away from me again. But hey. It’s a living. And I’m proud to say it won’t be long I’ll be finally putting out chapter 2!

If you’re curious about the 10 Confessions campaign, there’s a widget to the right of this post. And off I go, back to work.