Uncle Sam to Pay Millions to Illegal Aliens, Courtesy of the IRS!

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During a hearing last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley asked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the tax consequences of the President’s unilateral action that essentially grants amnesty to five million people in the country illegally,  specifically as it relates to their eligibility for the earned income tax credit (EITC). Guidance issued by the IRS in 2000 suggests individuals benefitting from the President’s immigration action will be eligible to claim the refundable EITC for previous tax years in which they were not authorized to work in the United States.   Grassley asked Koskinen whether the IRS intended to revisit the 2000 guidance in light of the President’s executive action.  Koskinen agreed to respond and recently did so by letter.  The letter confirms the IRS intends to stick by its previous interpretation of the EITC eligibility requirements.  As a result, individuals in the country illegally who are benefitting from the President’s action will be eligible to claim the EITC for up to three previous tax years even though it would be based on earnings made while working illegally in the United States. According to IRS data, the average EITC credit in 2012 was just over $2,300 and the maximum available credit in 2014 is  $6,143.  Grassley made the following comment on this information.

 

“An estimated five million people in the country illegally will remain here under the President’s executive action.  Given the IRS’ interpretation of tax rules intended to prohibit undocumented  workers from qualifying for the EITC, these individuals will be eligible to claim billions of dollars in tax benefits based on earnings from unauthorized work in the United States.  With the stroke of a pen, the President rewarded those working illegally in the United States with a tax benefit that is designed to encourage low-income individuals to enter the workforce.  Given that the IRS is intent on standing by its present interpretation of the eligibility requirements, I’m working on legislation to uphold an important principle that many of us in Congress support.  The tax code shouldn’t reward those who broke our immigration laws.”

Politicians Take a Vow of Poverty (a Fantasy in Three Stanzas).

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(Inspired by an article by David Zahniser)

A campaign promise uttered in the heat of battle must

Remain a fragile object, made of moon beams and of dust.

Giving credence to a pledge by any office seeker

Leaves the body politic both gullible and weaker.

 

So when a politician vows to take a cut in pay

If elected, my first impulse is to laugh away.

They might as well affirm that they will swim through wet cement

As promise to give up a single solitary cent.

 

If only ev’ry baby kisser vowed sweet poverty

When they ran for office – think of what might come to be!

Bag lunches down at city hall and hitchhiking lawbreeders,

With lobbyists thrown out of work and stealing from birdfeeders.  

The Senate Subcommittee.

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A Senate subcommittee is a squirrely sort of form;

It doesn’t follow any kind of reasonable norm.

The members get together for debate, or forty winks,

And doesn’t give a hoot what the opposing party thinks.

 

Perhaps the Subcommittee on Green Apples will decide

It wants to change the subject to “Effects of Dry Rip Tide”.

Or maybe they will vote to change their name to something chic,

Like “Republicans for Ethics While Line Dancing Cheek to Cheek”.

 

A rose by any other name, as Shakespeare often said,

Will fool the public easily and keep watch dogs misled.

If I were in a Senate subcommittee I would steer

The title to a label giving joy – such as “Free Beer”.

A Clown in Washington D.C.

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I retired permanently from clowning just about three years ago.   I started at the age of 17 with Ringling Brothers, back in 1971.

In the summer of 2012, though, I became a protestor.  One of those wild-eyed fellows people cross the street to avoid.  How was that my swan song with clowning?  Here’s how it happened . . .

I was staying with my daughter in Woodbridge, VA.  And I had been out of work for a long time.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  An idea I had toyed with for several years, a mere whim, came back to me in force and I decided to act on it.

I rousted out my clown makeup and costume, found a piece of poster board and a marker, and took the commuter train up to Washington D.C.

At the United States Botanic Garden on Maryland Avenue Southeast I ducked into the men’s room, put on my makeup and costume, stowed my civilian clothes in a backpack, and marched over to the Capitol Building with my placard, which read:  “UNEMPLOYED CIRCUS CLOWN.  PLEASE HELP PUT ME IN CONGRESS WHERE I BELONG.”

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The results were immediate.  I was surrounded by a posse of Capitol Hill police and ordered to produce some identification.  I gave them my passport, which they took inside and examined with a fine tooth comb.  Discovering at last that I was not wanted for anything, not even jay-walking, a lieutenant proceeded to give me the third degree:

  • “What are you doing here?”
  • “Where are you from?” Originally from Minnesota.
  • “What does your sign mean?” Just what it says, sir.
  • “Are you panhandling for money?”   I am making a political statement.

So they had to let me go, and I sat on a bench on Capitol Hill with my sign, in my clown makeup, and silently watched the political world go by.  There were members of Congress.  Government Bureaucrats.  Joggers.  Well-dressed lobbyists.  I waved at all of them, giving out with my patented buffoonish grin.

Capitol Clown

And tourists – lots of tourists.  Every high school tour group that came by stopped for a photograph with me while their teacher/chaperone explained the wonderful privilege American citizens had to do the kind of crazy thing I was doing right in front of Congress.  The students covertly handed me part of their spending money when their chaperones weren’t looking.

Chinese tourists came by the busloads, and swarmed up the Capitol steps like an invading horde.  Very few spoke English.  But when someone would translate my sign for them they became highly interested in being photographed with me.  When they were herded back onto their bus they always insisted I stand by the driver while they took up a collection to hand to the driver to hand to me.  To this day I wonder just exactly what they thought of my little stunt.  For all I know my photograph is now in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archive in Beijing.

Of course I was not the only eccentric strolling around.  There was a man whose sign was practically a novel – the gist of it was that the CIA had stolen his wife away from him in Ghana.  Another man strode vigorously around the grounds, dressed in a Revolutionary War costume.  He merely wanted to shake hands and play Yankee Doodle on his piccolo.  I saw several people attempt to pass out handbills, but they were hustled away by the police tout suite.

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Summers in Washington D.C. are punishingly hot and humid.  My clown makeup only lasted about three hours before sweat began to dissolve it off my face.  And I had to start taking a diuretic for my edema, which meant finding a men’s room pretty darn quick some days; and the guards wouldn’t let me use the ones in the Rayburn House Office Building.  So in August I quit my loony vigil.

My plan of being offered a job by some well-heeled entrepreneur impressed with my Frank Capra-esque display had not panned out, anyway.

After deducting expenses for train fare and meals I wasn’t doing all that well, either.

Eventually I found other work and moved away from the East Coast.  I gave my clown props and makeup to some of my grandkids, with firm instructions to come to me before trying to use any of it.

Now I call myself semi-retired, writing content for websites.

And by the way, the United States Botanic Garden is really outstanding.  And free.  I highly recommend it when you’re touring the Capitol.  You’ll find the rest rooms especially clean and quiet.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch on Cuba: “We Need to Stay Enemies.”

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Sen. Orrin Hatch Responds to President’s Cuba Announcement

“The President’s decision to begin talks to normalize relations with Cuba is another example of his administration’s habit of appeasing our adversaries”

Washington, D.C., — Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement following the President’s announcement that he would seek to normalize relations with Cuba:

“The President’s decision to begin talks to normalize relations with Cuba is another example of his administration’s habit of appeasing our adversaries. Time and again, President Obama has predicated his foreign policy on the notion that if we simply accommodate the demands of troublesome regimes, they will cease their disturbing behavior.

Even more disturbing, the President’s announcement constitutes a fundamental shift from our decades old policy, reaffirmed by both Republican and Democrat administrations, to isolate the Cuban regime due to its repression of the Cuban people.  It is beyond doubt that the Cuban regime continues to stifle democracy and violate fundamental human rights.  Like many of my colleagues, I remain committed to a Cuba policy that continues to place pressure on the Castro regime until the Cuban people are free.”

 

Our Busy Congress.

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Congress is as static as a glacier under glass.

As slow to move as granite, as immovable as brass.

Passing legislation is no longer their for-tay;

They only live to lollygag the goshdarn live-long day!

 

Of course, they’ll rename post offices or pass a resolution;

As long as it demands no thought or slightest convolution.

But major legislation is not something they’ll consider;

They treat it like a leper or a piece of trash or litter.

 

This feckless inanition isn’t partisan at all.

It comes from PAC donations that are really quite a haul.

Why should a legislator put himself out on a limb,

When in a pool of money he can softly, safely swim?

 

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Chicken Little in Congress.

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When President Obama makes executive decree,

The congress will erupt with volcanic ferocity.

His effigy incinerate, his image mustachioed;

They’ll process him until he comes out all pistachioed.

 

The government will shut down, or impeachment soon proceed;

While Chicken Little says the sky will fall, oh yes indeed!

Maybe they will lynch him or ride him out upon a rail.

And maybe they will rush him and deposit him in jail.

 

Yes, congress has an ugly mood when it comes to the order

To let so many aliens stay on this side of the border.

I wouldn’t put it past ‘em to TP Barack’s front yard

And pull up Michelle’s garden, not excluding all her chard!