I believed in the United States government.
It was my family’s salvation. If my great-grandparents had stayed in Russia, they would have been destroyed by pograms and starvation. I thank my ancestors daily for having the chutzpah to beg, borrow or steal to get themselves on a boat to this new world of promise, the USA. I was taught that this is the greatest country in the world, not because we always make the right decisions, but because mistakes can be changed.
We can change things as a country.
I can change things.
I can ask my congressional representative to change things.
I can even ask other people to join me in a movement to change things.
But the part about it being very, very hard to change, was left out…
I am disillusioned to say the least.
I have been abused by the United States governmental infrastructure because I have the “poor luck” to be self -employed. I am buried in paper work, tax reporting, The Affordable Care Act, 940s, 1040s, 1099s, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
I would like to be enhancing our website, contacting advertisers and executing the newest idea for our business; you know the thing that makes us money and keeps us off government assistance.
But the immense amount of reporting entities that do little more than shove my call from place to place, “accidentally” hang up on me and give me ridiculous explanations for why things don’t work, is stealing my life’s breath from me…daily. I have little left to give my business or my family.
I am drowning in a man-made river of paper and lost opportunity and I heartily resent it.
I am a managing partner/ co-owner of my family’s LLC. We are a real business with a website, contractual skill for sale, business cards and tradeshows. Yet we do not count as a business for the Affordable Care Act. We do count as a business when we are taxed to death. I have to pay unemployment insurance on my husband and me, but we will never be able to collect it, when a contract ends. I have to pay payroll tax. I have to pay a Corporate tax. I am not allowed to keep my retained earnings because I am too busy paying legal and accounting experts for poor advice as to how to pay the taxes, that never, ever is the same. I end up repeatedly on the phone for hours and hours trying to rectify other people’s clerical errors that affect me, or fixing what happened due to the experts’ asinine advice all while trying to keep myself from having a heart attack.
After the 1994 Nothridge earthquake at 4:30 in the morning, our home in a luxury condominium building was destroyed. The HOA president gathered all of the residents in the outdoor patio, after the sun came up where we could see the blasted out windows and frames hanging off the building, gigantic cracks, half of the lost water that sloshed up from the pool and the elevator hanging outside of the encasement on rubber tendons. We smelled the gas lines that broke and heard the sirens canvassing the main boulevard around the corner. But no one checked on us. No policemen or firemen came by. If a government official gave a press meeting, we did not see it. Our electricity did not work. Our TVs were broken. Our food was rotting. Our personal treasures were destroyed.
The HOA president looked at all of us and what was left of our beautiful building and said dismayed, “We are on our own.”
Well Virginia, we are on our own now; really on our own.
My beloved United States is failing me. My first love, the thing I believed in the most, my religious, zealous love of freedom and opportunity is buried in the dust. It is the dust of government appointees and congressman who have nothing better to do than draft ridiculous, copious rules for cheating me out of my hard-earned money and then failing to deliver on promises like a safe, clean country and affordable food and medical care for everyone. Between ISIS, crumbling infrastructure, GMOs and the Affordable Care Act, I don’t see that promise. I don’t even see logic. In between my fury fits, I can’t see much of anything, except a future that looks like more paper wars and more phone calls and more frustration.
And then I see candidates lying in my living room. They lie about each other. They lie about their innovative plans, their wonderful ideas, their understanding and empathy for small business and wounded vets. I cannot take it. I cannot bear to see my beloved country become a waste pile of dirty dreams and still more tax laws. If you cannot hold a tax volume comfortably in one extended hand for two minutes, it is simply too big.
We are more important.
Our collective soul is more important. Our country is more important. And the need for easy, soul-satisfying logic and systems that work is more important.
I do not want to get annoyed at the clerk with the thick accent who asks for MY birth certificate, for the umpteenth time, because someone typed in the wrong information about my account yet again. Ironically I am being called out on “lying” that I am indeed a second-generation American by someone who obviously isn’t. (For the record, I don’t resent the immigrant. I resent the repeated error).
I also want the phone to be picked up by a friendly, knowledgeable voice within five minutes of calling. And I want complete, correct answers for my questions. I want the paperwork to be easy and less than three pages of double typed simplicity with pertinent questions that help me pay the tax I owe, simply with out the benefit of paid-for accountants, attorneys and advisors.
I want the company, whoops, country to run smoothly and equitably with respect for me and the vets…
And I want the Affordable Care Act to cease to exist. I simply want to shop for a fair price for health insurance, fill out a form, pay the bill and have reasonable health insurance for my family.
I want to spend my days taking affordable classes at an affordable university, while working on affordable new streams of income for my affordable company, so I can make money to buy an affordable house in an affordable neighborhood and retire one day in affordable splendor.
Fat chance. I can’t talk now. I am on hold with Covered California. Again….