Another noted a local saying: "when the dog meat is being simmered, even the gods become dizzy with hunger."
Sunday, February 21, 2010
... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.Note that it is the pursuit of Happiness - not Happiness itself - that is among the unalienable Rights. The Obama administration and the current Democratic Party seem to leave out that crucial word "pursuit", and they kowtow to Americans' sense of entitlement. Forgotten are J.F.K.'s words "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Americans now want their happiness handed to them on a plate.
It is often asserted that the citizens of the welfare states, such as the Scandinavian countries, are happier, and that Americans are among the less happy in the world. The surveys may say so, but the immigration trends seem to point to the opposite - I personally know quite a few friends who came to the States from the Scandinavian nations. Do immigrants come to the United States in search of misery? That seems to violate the basic human instinct.
Some Americans will always be happier than others; that disparity will remain ubiquitous in this world. But the strength of the United States lies in its social mobility. Nobody is limited by his or her circumstance of birth; everybody is truly blessed with the equal and unalienable right: the pursuit of happiness.
If your itemized deductions are subject to the limit, the total of all your itemized deductions is reduced by the smaller of the following reduced by two-thirds:
80% of your itemized deductions that are affected by the limit. See Which Itemized Deductions Are Limited , earlier, or
3% of the amount by which your AGI exceeds $166,800 ($83,400 if married filing separately).
That is a mouthful, and the rule seems contrived! Who stipulated it? The numbers seem to come out of the blue without rationale. To a scientist, it borders on the absurd. It is analogous to defining the speed of light by saying that light travels at the speed such that in a minute it covers the distance of one billion times the height of the White House on the north side. Anybody care to point me to the origin of this rule?
To assist the Americans to figure their itemized deductions, the IRS publication includes a worksheet that breaks down the calculations step-by-step. Here are lines 9 to 12:
|9.||Enter the smaller of line 4 or line 8||9.||2,784|
|10.||Divide line 9 by 1.5||10.||1,856|
|11.||Subtract line 10 from line 9||11.||928|
|12.||Total itemized deductions. Subtract line 11 from line 1. Enter the result here and on Schedule A, line 29||12.||141,212|
Here is how to figure the limit on itemized deductions, in layman's language, but for the arithmetically more adept:
If your itemized deductions are subject to the limit, the total of all your itemized deductions is reduced by the smaller of the following:More concisely, if the total of your itemized deductions is smaller than 3/80, or 3.75%, of the amount by which your AGI exceeds $166800, your eligible deduction will be limited to (1 - 4/15 ) = 11/15 ~ 73.3% of your total deductions; otherwise (if you manage to list a lot of itemized deductions compared to your AGI), your eligible deductions will be the total deduction reduced by 1/100 (AGI - $166800), and since that reduction is a fixed amount, there lies your opportunity of tax evasion.
- 4/15 of your itemized deductions that are affected by the limit. See Which Itemized Deductions Are Limited , earlier, or
- 1% of the amount by which your adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $166,800 ($83,400 if married filing separately).