DEALING WITH BUREAUCRACY- THE SIINGLES' DILEMMA
I could write about what a maroon Bush is, or how the Democrats never fail to engage in their own circular firing squad while the ReThugs have basically giftwrapped the POTUS as an early Christmas present if they could slow down long enough to stop shooting themselves.
I could. But I'm not going to. And here's why.
Yesterday, I had to deal with the IRS. Unless you're anticipating a tax refund, you don't want to think about the IRS until April, and if you're like me, April 15th, to be precise. When Bill Clinton, and now, George Bush, decided that more of the working class needed to make up for the taxes that the wealthy weren't paying, all I will say is that they weren't thinking about single people who make up the working class. Especially GeeShrubya. I remember that tax refund we all were supposed to get back in 2001 (the tax cut that got former Tresury Secretary Paul O'Neill fired for asking who was going to pay for it). Something about $300.00, right?
Well, since I owed the IRS about $250.00, they sent me a note, first telling me I was going to get the money; then a second note telling me they were going to keep the whole $300.00.
"So, where's the $50 you still owe me?" I whined on the phone.
"You're not getting it, even though you only owed $250.00" said the voice on the phone before I slammed it down in anger.
That, was but the beginning of my frustration with the IRS. I can't help it if I'm single, and I can't afford to own my own house yet. I can't help it if I don't have children. But, according to GeeShrubya (set into motion by Bill Clinton, I might add), if you're not married, don't own a home or other property, don't have kids - well, we're going to take 40% of what you earn out of your hide, or threaten you with jail if you don't pay up.
I remember watching a documentary where a couple had to actually get a divorce because the wife's deadbeat ex-husband had an IRS garnishment on his wages, and since they couldn't find the ex-husband, the IRS came after the ex-wife and her new husband (a doctor with a decent practice). How fair is that, since, by the IRS' admission, the husband incurred that tax liability after he'd divorced his wife?
It took girlfriend a literal act of Congress by Rep. Henry Waxman to clear that up. But if Waxman lets up, how much you want to bet the IRS will come after homegirl again? For taxes she doesn't owe, but her deadbeat ex-husband?
The IRS is but one glaring example of the lack of oversight on the part of Congress. It is an agency run amok. They harrass, snatch your bank accounts, garnish your wages, all without warning, and without proof that you actually owe them. If Congress does its job, there's real oversight and the head of the Agency would be having his ass fried on C-Span.
Now, the IRS are coming after me for tax years I've settled already, and the statute of limitations have run out. I sent in the paperwork to prove these facts.
After three hours on the phone calling everyone and their mother (besides breathing foul invectives under my breath) here's the "responsible goverment" we supposed to have:
Me: "So, that should clear things up, right? I proved I don't owe for those years."
IRS: "No, it means you need to agree to a payment arrangement until we can sort this out."
Me: "But, I've sent you the paperwork showing that I'm not responsible for those tax years. Why are you asking for a payment arrangement for tax years I've clearly proven I don't owe?"
IRS: "Until we get more documentation..."
Me: "What more documentation can I give you apart from what you requested from me?"
IRS: "We don't know yet. Just set up the payment plan or else we'll place a garnishment on your paycheck..."
Now, I'm pissed. So, we proceed to set up the payment plan, after they ask me how much do I make (gross, never mind that I take home 50% of that gross), what do I spend for groceries, rent, car payment, health insurance, property tax (yes, in the commonwealth of Virginia, even if you rent a damned apartment, you're paying property taxes if you live in Metro Northern Virginny). After demonstrating I'm pretty tapped out, I'm asked:
"Can you pay $1400 a month? Based on your gross, you can afford that?"
Me: (after hollering WTF at the top of my lungs) "If I had $1400 a month extra after paying my bills, I sure as hell wouldn't be on the phone to the IRS because I wouldn't owe shyt! Am I not supposed to do the normal things, like eating, on a payment plan?"
IRS: "Can't you borrow the money, or get a family member to co-sign a loan for you to pay off the debt?"
Me: "Let me get this straight - I'm supposed to incur more debt to pay off the IRS of a debt, by your own admission, you're not even sure I still owe? And you don't know me well enough to ask me if I have family members that will co-sign a loan to get me out of this. So, what happens if I'm right, and I don't owe this money - if I agree to a payment plan, and you find out you're wrong, do I get the money refunded to me?"
IRS: "Unfortunately, that might not be the case. So, I'll take that as a 'No.""
Me: (perverse female mode now) "You damned right, that's a "no"! And since you're insisting I go on this payment plan or get garnished, I offer to pay $200 a month. Not a penny more than that."
I need a drink at this point - I have developed a raging headache between my eyes, and I want to call out for my mother to make this boogey man go away.
Now, keep in mind, I pay a tax accountant out in California to look after shyt like this, right?
He's MIA. Not to mention FIRED, because he has me stuck like Chuck on this.
Now I know how it feels to be waterboarded, because I literally drowned in this bureaucratic red-tape, where they tell you to get out of debt by incurring more debt to pay it off. How sick is that shyt?
And, because of this problem, even in Bill Clinton's administration, I could still call on Congress to bail a sista out. Now, because we have a Congress with an 11% approval rating; with leaders who are more inclined to blow Bush as opposed to standing up to him and his bullying; and all the infighting going on, if Waxman were my Congressman, I would probably call him with this tale of woe with the IRS. Hell, I'd probably still call Waxman anyway, even though he's not my Rep. But he's at least going after bastards like the IRS. Even if I still lived in Oaktown, I could take this to Barbara Lee. And now, I have a glimmer of hope with Jim Moran (cause I'm in his district), but I've decided not to go to him until after Christmas (when I have to start paying on the arrangement, yes?) Cause I want Mr. Moran to demonstrate he has a smidgen of Henry Waxman's cojones in fighting for me, the tax-paying constituent strung up by the IRS.
For all of you facing similar troubles, let me hear from you. Even if you can rage, rage, rage about agencies like the IRS, I welcome you to comment. You're not alone in this.
Imagine, being punished by the Government because you're single. Jeez