Iâ€™ve heard a bit lately about the presidentâ€™s proposed tax breaks for individuals who get their own health insurance policies. Now, I fully admit that I donâ€™t know all the details but Iâ€™ve got to comment on just one thing. Tax deductions donâ€™t mean shit to someone who can afford a monthly premium.
Iâ€™ll use my family as an example. Thereâ€™s little my wife and I enjoy more than electronically filing our tax returns. The knowledge that, in just a couple of weeks, weâ€™ll be able to pay off our credit cards, hopefully, and start with a clean slate for the coming year is a relief. Some years, thereâ€™s even enough to go out for dinner or buy a new movie or some underwear or something fun like that.
We make fairly good salaries, donâ€™t have car payments, only have liability insurance on our vehicles, and have little credit card debt (the level of debt increases as the year progresses) and, still, we are in the red each month. We donâ€™t make extravagant purchases. Weâ€™ve had the same 27 inch Sony Trinitron since 1988. Our living room, dining room, and rec room furniture is ALL hand me downs. Our rec room consists of the old Sony TV, a hand me down stereo receiver, a $100 dvd/vcr combo, and the DirecTv receiver. The dish is the only real luxury we have â€“ I donâ€™t consider DSL a luxury because TJ requires it for her job, besides weâ€™ll NEVER go back to dial up. Ever. Itâ€™s a sin to even discuss it.
Back to the point of this post. When working out our monthly budget, we canâ€™t take into consideration how much weâ€™ll be getting back in our annual tax refund. We canâ€™t save the chunk of it and spend just a bit each month. I donâ€™t know anyone who can. As soon as money comes into our house, itâ€™s spent on our house or on the feeding, educating, or clothing of those whom live there.
Tax deductions for self-insuringÂ may make a difference for those who have enough monthly income to pay the premiums. But for the vast majority of Americans who have no health insurance, it doesnâ€™t mean jack shit. How about cutting back just a small amount, a tiny amount, from the defense budget and hooking us up with some universal health care? Howâ€™s about that?