Displaying 5 Forum Posts 
  • Feb 04, 2019 02:54 PM
    Last: 2mo
    6.2k

    I finished my 2018 taxes. I had to redo my own Excel spreadsheets but not a big deal. However, I really don't see the point of Schedules 1 thru 6. With the exception of Schedule 1, all of those numbered schedules are just a few lines at the top of the page...a waste of paper with all the blank space below. Plus it's a bit tedious (and a step backward for me) to transfer the total numbers from the alphabetical schedules (e.g. Schedules A, B, C, and D and various numbered Forms) to a new set of numbered Schedules (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) and to then move those totals to Form 1040 for consolidation and final calculation of taxes. I suppose that's why tax administration and legal firms exist.

    On the other hand, if you use TurboTax or another online tax calculation software, then you won't see any difference in the input of data. The final printouts of Form 1040 and the various new schedules, however, will look different.

    I was surprised to see that I owe money. I thought I had enough withholding.

  • Feb 05, 2019 04:51 PM
    Last: 2mo
    2.4k
    As viewers probably noticed, the President "preempted" the traditional introduction by Speaker Pelosi going straight to the podium to begin talking. Intentional or unintentional, I guess we won't know unless he Tweets later. Overall the 1 hour and 22 minute speech was similar to others given before, but more provocative on the wall. A point that puzzled many of the media pundits was his line of "peace and legislation cannot be possible with war and investigation". It was in his teleprompter.
  • Feb 05, 2019 04:51 PM
    Last: 2mo
    2.4k

    Yes, the State of the Union speeches are largely theatrical performances designed to spark emotions. They all have many built in pauses for standing applauses. It is the intensity of the applauses that will be noted for later comment by the media as the cameras roll across House chamber attendees capturing the close-ups of facial expressions.

    The formal introduction of the President on the podium will of course generate applause, but the intensity of that applause should be measured against the similar introduction of "Madame Speaker". Could her introduction be louder?

    Overall though we will have a front seat view of Speaker Pelosi's reaction to the various applause lines as she is seated right behind the President. I would guess that she will remain stern faced and seated most of the time, but will give the President his due on truly bipartisan proposals that Democrats agree with. She will play it safe.

    I don't know about many of the young new members of Congress. They may be less restrained.

  • Feb 04, 2019 02:54 PM
    Last: 2mo
    6.2k

    Form 1040 2018 Tax Year

    About Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

    Form 1040 2018 Instructions

    Starting with the 2018 tax year, the familiar 1040 form above has been completely redesigned with much of the previous information and calculations now relegated to a new series of six schedules numbered 1 through 6. Forms 1040A and 1040EZ have been eliminated.

    The new 1040 form is now two "half pages" with the front half page basic information and the second half page the actual calculations. The required information resides only on the top half of each page while the bottom half is left blank. I notice that the font is also smaller. I wonder if this has something to do with Trump's request to cut the form to the "size of a post card". It doesn't save paper if you are printing the form.

    I am just starting to do my taxes and will withhold judgment on how much of an improvement this actually is. For those e-filing it probably makes little difference in the input of data.

  • Dec 26, 2018 06:54 PM
    Last: 2mo
    2.3k

    Medicare for all has become a populist campaign line for many Democratic Party candidates for President. However, very few people really understand what Medicare for all really means, and polls show indeed that it means different things for different people.

    I am on "traditional Medicare" with an additional Medigap supplementary AARP sponsored private policy for that "additional 15 percent" that you see so often advertised in the TV commercials. My Medicare and AARP policies serve my purpose quite nicely. They both have deductibles, copays and lots of exclusions, but nothing that would break me financially. I would have no issues with the "under 65" crowd buying into it as a public option. That is what many believe when they hear "Medicare for all".

    That is not the case for the Bernie Sanders version of Medicare for all. The Sanders version is a single payer universal coverage program covering EVERYONE and just about EVERYTHING under ONE policy. If you like your employer based policy (and most people do), you will no longer be allowed to have it. Even us seniors on traditional Medicare would be giving up those polices for the all encompassing "Berniecare". Ditto for the Veterans health care as it too will be phased into Berniecare.

    It would indeed cover a range of things not covered by traditional Medicare, but perhaps covered in part by the private Medicare Advantage polices (called Medicare Part C). Dentists, eye doctors, eye glasses, podiatrists, and even abortions (never mind the Hyde Amendment) would be covered under Sanders version of Medicare for all. No deductibles or co pays. Sanders, however, has not said in his piece of legislation of what it would cost and how it would be paid for. Those are small details to be worked out later, but the Urban Institute has estimated it would cost $32 trillion over 10 years.

    It would indeed be nice if America had such a plan for all. And although it seems to have a populist support now, once people understand what is in the Sanders bill they'll shift. When Colorado put a version of Medicare for all (Amendment 69, Colorado Care) on the ballot in 2016 it failed by an 81-19 margin. There were two big reasons. One is that most people really like their private employer based policies and do not want to give them up for some government mandated program. The second reason is that all ballot measures in Colorado have to put the costs up front in the first line and paragraph describing the legislation. The enormous cost to the taxpayer put people off. They voted a resounding "NO".

    I mention all this because it is the reality. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and the whole bunch of other wanna be contenders better do their homework before they do a wholesale endorsement of Bernie Sanders Medicare for all...aka BernieCare. Unlike Sanders who has put out some vague proposals for funding it in his website (but not inside his legislation), they will be asked to be more specific. And they will then own it going up against Trump or another in the 2020 election. Like the people of Colorado who said "hell no" their vote will be conditioned on how the candidate stands on "BernieCare".