Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Question: What's the difference between death and taxes? Answer: Congress doesn't meet every year to make death worse. ~ copied

Oh yeah. Another reason the wife came home. To finish our federal tax return. She is not always an attentive participant in this process. I wanted her to know the details. She is, after all, equally responsible. As I worked through each line her common refrain was, "Can I go now?" In the event that yours truly made a really big mistake, I guess we will both do our time at Leavenworth together. I wonder if they let husbands and wives bunk together? At any rate, we are done for 2016 unless they come calling. They do that. They call it an audit. Those who have one call it a nightmare. Out of 140 million tax returns from 2015, less than 1% required a formal audit. Therefore, here's the good news for this Tuesday, April 11, 2017: The IRS has announced fewer audits for 2016, which means you have less than a 1% chance of having to participate in an audit. For those who still need some mathematical help here, that means you have more than a 99% chance of not being audited. There are actual odds established based on the type of return you file but that general number still applies. And, yes, I am aware that 1% of a big number can produce a sizeable number of nightmares. (140 million times 1% = 1.4 million) I will leave you with a few thoughts on the subject. ~ "Doing your own taxes is like a do-it-yourself mugging." ~ "According to the government, a taxpayer is someone who has what it takes." ~ Government Bureau: Where the Taxpayer's shirt is kept. ~

In case you haven't noticed, we do live in somewhat of a cynical world. I am frequently out and about going here and there on behalf of our Company and I do get to rub shoulders with people in all different kinds of environments. My take says there are way too many folks who come across as being disgruntled and angry, or as Paw Paw Mac would have said it, down in the mouth. That makes people who reflect a positive and happy demeanor stand out. Often you hear the cynical assessment of those who give the appearance of being happy as perhaps they must be on some type of drug. The other day I was across the metroplex and I came in contact with a middle aged Hispanic fellow who couldn't stop talking about what a wonderful day it was, and how blessed he was to be enjoying it all. Hello? I looked at him and he responded, "Don't you agree, Sir?" The genuineness of his attitude was infectious. I couldn't help but be drawn into this expression of thankfulness and joy. I talked about being an old man and we kidded forth and back. I then told him he had done such a great job of building my spirits up I wanted to leave him with one of our souvenir cards. I gave him our Santa and Mrs. Claus card and you would have thought I had given him a treasure. I finished dealing with the manager and I looked up and the smiling fellow was back. "Sir, do you mind, would you please sign the little card for me?" I did. Santa and Mrs. Claus. He was happy. And, he had accomplished something. He had infused the ordinary mundane with a sense of joy. I can still feel it when I think about his big heart. Would to God I could do as well. Amen.

I heard the wife tell several people that I would be back to batching it soon. (Slang for playing the role as a bachelor.) May I go on record to say that no matter how it is defined I would just as soon not be involved in it. Period. And, let the record show, I am unanimous in my ruling on this subject. It is a reminder of how many of our dear friends who have been left to carry on after the passing of their mate. I often pray for these folks because I can see how their lives have been changed. Having more than one person to deal with each day reflects upon something that Solomon said as recorded in Ecclesiastes. "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Chapter 4:9-12, New Living Translation) The context here is work accomplished by a team versus the limitations of it being on one person. Some scholars decry the use of this passage at a wedding, but, in a practical, general sense, the people getting married do become a team. At any rate, my roomate will be missed but I hope to see her this upcoming Good Friday and Saturday. Surely, I should be able to manage myself for a handful of days. Right? One would think, but, don't go giving me credit that I haven't earned. Enjoy and may God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

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