Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Spending your tax rebate

Have you already started planning how to spend your tax rebate coming in the mail sometime in May? If you're married with kids, you're getting quite the little windfall. Enough to buy a new washer and dryer, or a new MacAir, a Wii, and Guitar Hero. Or maybe you're going to get your car repaired, pay down some bills, and put something away for a rainy day. What about a family vacation, something you couldn't afford to even think about before, but can now. Disney might be calling you! You could do some household repairs, fix up the garden, buy some new furniture, or even go on a shoe splurge. When you've got a couple of thousand bucks in your pocket that the government wants you to spend, heck why not?

Me, what am I planning? Um, I'm not getting a refund. Not one freaking penny. Nope, not me. Not the poorest person you probably know. I don't get anything. I live on a fixed income that doesn't change from year to year. It's so low it's less than half of what a family in poverty in this area needs for a sustainable income. Way less than half. But I don't get a penny on a refund because I don't work. Oh, I PAY taxes, but since I don't technically make $3000 a year in taxable income, I don't get anything.

Do I sound a little bitter? You betcha. That money could have made a HUGE difference to me and my family. It could have provided for things that we desperately need but cannot afford. Like my son's summer wardrobe, which he has totally outgrown since last summer. Absolutely nothing fits, meaning that I have to buy him everything from shorts to shoes. And that money is coming from where?

I was planning to use that money to join a gym. I don't need a lot, just a few hundred dollars to work on my cardiac rehab. I need the exercise and I have NO way of getting it at home. No, I CANNOT walk in my neighborhood, but thanks for suggesting it. It's such a novel idea, why didn't I think of it? Because I cannot make it back up the hills, and since we live on the TOP of a hill, what goes down must come up. I can't do that. I know what I can do, and I need a gym to help me to rehabilitate my heart. Sorry you disapprove, but don't bitch at me. I don't want to hear it.

I had hoped to buy a new computer. Ours is almost 8 years old, it's one of the very first Windows XP machines, and it's dying. It reboots itself many times during the day. It will be dead very soon and we'll be computerless. Oh well, we're poor, we have no RIGHT to own a computer. I've been told that so many times by assholes online who think they're so superior because they have husbands that work while they sit at home in front of their computers and judge other people. We also have no right to internet service. None. How DARE we pay for that? Of course, these are the same people that tell me to get a job, not believing that I have a life theatening illness and that work is absolutely impossible for me outside the home. Oh, and if I get a job that makes over $600/month, my disability is reduced or removed, and then I lose my health care. But those bitches know MORE about the government that I do, and they tell me I'm wrong. Unfortunately, social security doesn't agree with them. They also tell me that I'm on welfare and so I'm welfare trash. These morons don't even know the difference between social security disability, which is based on MY former (high) income, and welfare. I don't get any government services at all. No subsidized housing, no food stamps, no welfare.

But because I'm disabled, severely disabled with a heart that does not work well at all on most days, and barely at all on others, I don't deserve to get one penny of that rebate money. Yup, who gets screwed again? The poor. Always the poor. Oh, and the disabled vets and the elderly. They get nothing either. SOME elderly get $300. But not all.

I miss John Edwards. I would like to hear what he has to say about this latest shameful Bush policy. And I am also hoping to hear why John McCain, that big champion of veterans, couldn't even show up in Washington to vote for this 'stimulus' package. What a phoney he is.

So you guys have fun spending your checks. Really, enjoy yourself. But please, donate some of it to charity. Charity in THIS country for THIS country's poor. They need it so much more than you care to admit.

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Anonymous AmyB said...

I hope that the Washington Post's report that Democratic senators are planning a second stimulus package to address those gaps also passes. I was unhappy with the package too, as it leaves out those who need the money most.

8/2/08 2:02 PM  
Anonymous bethany actually said...

Margalit, I just ache for you and your kids, and my aunt, and my uncle, and my friend's family, all of whom are in the same money position. I never know what to say in response to these posts, but I sense your anger and anguish and it makes me want to DO something, and often I follow that wanting up with actually DOING something in an attempt to make a difference to someone, anyone. So please, know that when you write about this stuff, YOU are making a difference!

8/2/08 4:32 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Bethany, I AM angry, and not just for my family. We're OK, we get by month by month, and we'll continue to do so. But I'm smart and I have a mouth on me and I fight like an SOB to get what we need. Most people can't do that like I can. There are so many poor, disabled people in this country with NOBODY to advocate for them. And it doesn't even have to do with being educated. I know PLENTY of educated people who can't advocate for themselves OR their children.

It is wrong for any society to forget it's weakest citizens. Morally wrong. Which is why I have such a hard time with the Christian fundies, who cry about "family values" but when it comes right down to it, would kick every disabled, mentally ill, old person right off the planet if they could, because it MIGHT affect their damn tax dollars. The biggest hippocrites in the world are those that cry about family values and let the poor become destitute.

8/2/08 6:30 PM  
Anonymous BrendaS said...

The article I read on CNN said:
Tax filers who do not owe income taxes because of various credits and deductions but have at least $3,000 in income - which can include Social Security and disability payments - will get $300 rebates per person or $600 per couple.

Wouldn't this include you???


8/2/08 7:19 PM  
Blogger Thumper said...

A lot of people on both ends of the spectrum won't get th rebate. IMNSHO, if they're going to waste money like that, it should be everyone or no one. And I do think it's a waste, because it's not going to be the stimulus the talking heads keep mentioning. It didn't work the last time, why would it work this time, when more people need cash for bills and food?

8/2/08 8:22 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Thumper, I agree with you. Interviews with various "man on the street" types have already shown that most people are either planning to save their refund, or to pay bills. And bills don't count as stimulating the economy.

I just feel that it's wrong to exclude anyone on the lower end of the economic scale, the people who WOULD spend the money. But then what do I know? I'm only poor.

8/2/08 9:27 PM  
Blogger margalit said...


No, you have to have INCOME above and beyond what you get from SSDI. They don't count SS as income.

8/2/08 9:28 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I had a mixed experience with SSI when my disabled son was a baby and we were poor. Every month I substitute taught enough, we didn't get the money, but most important, we didn't get his Medicaid coverage. For a blind baby prone to ear infections, that was outrageous.
My situation was nowhere near yours -- just enough that I can totally agree that you are getting, well, screwed. Hugs to you -- I'll help in the only way I can, but letting my reps in D.C. know that this is wrong.

9/2/08 9:10 AM  
Blogger A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

It is not a tax rebate when people who haven't paid taxes are getting a check.

It is not a tax rebate when not all of the people who have paid tax are getting a check.

It is not a stimulus for our economy when most of the funds will wind up, through Hillary's friends at Walmart, in China.

It is not a stimulus for our economy in that I thought we had gotten past the old Keynesian theory of deficits stimulating the economy. We already have a $200 billion deficit-- how will more debt help?

If we are going to insist on burdening our children and grandchildren with more debt, the least we could do is build or repair some roads, or bridges, or help end our dependency on foreign oil by building more refineries or by slapping solar panels on every flat roof in America-- something that will help the next generation.

Anyone receiving this check should know what it is-- a welfare check drawn on our children's checking account.

This isn't just sour grapes--and on other sites I've received a lashing that anyone earning over $75,000 "doesn't need" a rebate. That's not the point. If the government is doling out a check based on "need"--then guess what? That's welfare. And they should have the guts to call it what it is.

Shame on every politician that supports this wasteful giveaway, and shame on every person who cashes the check.

9/2/08 1:18 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Wow I'm really surprised that you dont make 3000/yr between the ads on this site and the freelance blogging you do. I imangined you could make 250/mo just on freelance blogging alone-guess I way overestimated how much (or I guess very little) paid blogging actually pays. Or how much income all this ads could (or I guess couldn't) generate.
I don't quite understand the criteria for receiving a "rebate" if some individuals who didn't pay taxes qualify and others who did don't qualify. (and if someone doesn't pay taxes how is it a rebate? They need to change their terminology)

9/2/08 7:49 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

The paid blogging I do is for a canadian company, and that doesn't count as income. But even with that, they pay so poorly (you honestly don't want to know HOW poorly) that no, I don't make that much money on the site. My income from Blogher ads plummeted a couple of months ago, even though my hits have increased exponentially. I'm not sure why, but most of the ads now are public service ads that just don't pay.

So even with those two income streams, I don't make anywhere near $3k/year.

9/2/08 8:20 PM  
Anonymous bethany actually said...

Margalit, I know you have a mouth on you and you are a fighter--those are two of the main reasons I love reading your blog. :-)

I've had two or three other bloggers mention to me that their income from BlogHer ads has decreased despite increased traffic to their sites. Weird.

9/2/08 10:36 PM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

I have been anywhere from welfare to unemployment only to nada to 85K a year to our current position which is just under 30K(with hub as a blue collar apprentice electrician)plus another source of income I won't get into on here.
I have always said, no matter what my financial position has been, that we (the US) need to take of the folk on our own backyards FIRST!
I live in an area with some of the highest living expenses in the country(excepting Cali)and our food bills have risen 20% in the last year due to gas prices, produce costs, the extreme rise is flour and milk costs. It hurts us so I imagine it hurts people with much much more.

I feel that no one really has a right to judge anyone but themselves. Haterz should just leave. Every single one.

9/2/08 10:52 PM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

Correction: it hurts people with less than us, much more!

9/2/08 10:53 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Wow that really sucks!
Makes me even more angry about the BILLIONS that all the propective Presidential candidates have raised to get elected. Too bad they couldn't raise that kind of money to take care of those who need it.

9/2/08 11:38 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Lynn, that's just one of the MANY reasons I hate Mitt Romney so much. Just LOOK at the amount of money, his own money from his own pocket, he wasted on this stupid bid for the presidency. $43 MILLION dollars of his own money. And yet while he was governor of MA (which was ONLY used as a platform to run for president as he was virtually an absent governor) he cut social services by 2/3. Yes, he cut away 2/3 of the budget of DSS, the DYS court system, DMH, and any other youth services. While he was pissing away his money, the children of this state lost pretty much EVERY backup service, leaving them homeless, institutionalized waiting for placements, and without clothing allowances or even food allowances for their family.

What kind of sick, twisted person would let kids languish while he wasted $43 million dollars of his money on pure folly?

This is just one of many sad, twisted tales of capitalism. It really makes me sick.

10/2/08 3:28 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I didn't just mean Mitt with my previous comment (though I do despise him) I meant ALL the candidates. While I can't imagine blowing $43 million (or having even 75,000 for that matter) it is HIS money. It's amazing the amounts that are raised: Hillary $115M, Obama $102M, Romney $88M (43M of his own),Guiliani $60M, Edwards $43M, McCain $41M, and the others $30M and under.
It just blows my mind when you add these up.
They should cap election contribution totals (not what an individual can contribute but how much a campaign can take in) and make campaigns give the overage to
social programs.

10/2/08 1:31 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Lynn, totally agree with you. TOTALLY. It sickens me that only rich people can run for President. We revere Abe Lincoln, but if he were alive today, no WAY he could ever be the President. The entire way that we elect our candidates is wrong, but because the Supreme Court is packed with morons these days, it won't change one iota. They believe that our way of electing officials is akin to 'free speech' and that limiting any kind of fundraising would be a strike against free speech and therefore against the constitution.

God, I hate the government we have now.

10/2/08 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Margalit, since you have SSDI, not SSI, it looks to me as though you *do* qualify for the refund: http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/incometaxandtheirs/a/rebates2008.htm
SSDI is authorised under Title II of the Social Security Act. SSI ain't.

Hope this helps, and best of luck!


11/2/08 6:51 PM  
Blogger Ranchmom said...

Dang, I was hoping our daughter A. might qualify for this, but maybe not. She made about $1500 last year and about the same this year. She gets a FIP grant to help with living expenses while she waits (and waits and waits and waits) for her appointment with the judge regarding her disability claim filed in 2005.

We should qualify--I'm planning to spend ours on a hearing aide! Whoo hoo, I'm a wild woman!


13/2/08 11:13 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

Lynda... a hearing aid? For WHO?

13/2/08 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hearing aide for me. My right ear has never worked right. It's to the point now where I miss a lot of conversation even when the girls are right in the room with me. I hear them speaking, but can't make out what they are saying. It gets frustrating for everyone, so it's either learn sign language, or get a hearing aide. The kind I need is between $1800 and $2000. I was going to get one last year, but the budget didn't quite make it. : ) Anyway, this rebate, the way I understand it, should be about $1800 for us.

Lynda (posting as anonymous because google/blogger keeps telling me I have the wrong password and I don't).

14/2/08 3:40 PM  

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