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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

New tax changes: a significant impact on freelancers
David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 10:15 PM on 05.21.10
->> http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/21/smallbusiness/1099_deluge/index.htm?source=...

From the article:
"Starting in 2011, financial firms that process credit or debit card payments will be required to send their clients, and the IRS, an annual form documenting the year's transactions."

and...
"Starting in 2012, that changes. All business payments or purchases that exceed $600 in a calendar year will need to be accompanied by a 1099 filing. That means obtaining the taxpayer ID number of the individual or corporation you're making the payment to -- even if it's a giant retailer like Staples or Best Buy -- at the time of the transaction, or else facing IRS penalties."

A huge change in the amount of paperwork the average freelance photographer will have to do. Definitely something to factor in to your cost of doing business calculations in 2011/2012.
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Dan Megna, Photographer
Coronado | CA | USA | Posted: 10:39 PM on 05.21.10
->> Damn, these "fundamental changes" just never cease to amaze me... We'll all be better off just going on welfare...Well... that's what they want, anyway...
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 6:09 PM on 05.22.10
->> Unbelievable. Where will it end??
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Matthew Ginn, Photographer
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 8:44 PM on 05.22.10
->> Is this thread the same issue as this one:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=36094

?
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Daniel Putz, Photographer
Owings Mills | MD | USA | Posted: 10:34 PM on 05.22.10
->> Yep.
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Aleksi Lepisto, Photographer
Sacramento | CA | United States | Posted: 4:58 AM on 05.23.10
->> I'm continually amazed by the lack of understanding and the horrible thought process that seems to go into the legal and legislative decisions in this country.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 2:48 PM on 05.23.10
->> Honestly don't see why this is not a "fundamental change" or their is a "lack of understanding" in this new provision. First off the change comment seems to be a jab at the current administration even though this has been waiting to get attached since the last administration, so the jab is misdirected at best. Second the provision is aimed at people who are not paying their taxes and stuck in the "tax gap", so my guess the most upset people would be those not reporting their income/expenses fully.

Personally I record every last cent I spend and take in, having to put in a step to get TID numbers is not a big deal - mine's on my invoice already - and companies will start placing them on everything as well. There will probably be a national database for use of big companies as well. If people use a SS number as their TID then it takes literally 10 minutes at most to set up a TID and could NOT get easier, so there's no reason not to have one!

The biggest problem of course will be the filing nightmare, but that part of it all is not going to be released until next year, so there is no reason to be jumping mad about it yet. A bit concerned, yes, enough to raise questions, yes, but so far every tax person I've seen has said it won't be as big a deal as people think. Of course they could just be happy to be able to bill you for more time. We won't know until next year when the requirements are released, but overall closing the tax gap is huge, these are taxes legally owed and not paid - pay your taxes like everyone else!
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 05.23.10
->> Taxes stink, but the health care has to be paid for somehow.

So, for you freelance photographers - in exchange for not having pre-existing medical conditions exclude you from getting health insurance, the Government wants you to fill out additional 1099 forms.... sounds like a good deal to me.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 6:34 PM on 05.23.10
->> Mike I wanted to write the same thing yesterday but wasn't going to peck all that out on a Blackberry. The 1099-K was LOUDLY discussed on the eBay boards as it will have a much MUCH bigger impact on the toner outlets and other 'companies' that are doing business over there.

Personally I think that the bar should have been lowered by HALF. If you are running 100 transactions worth $10k a year there should be a way of making sure that those taxes are being recovered.
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Dan Megna, Photographer
Coronado | CA | USA | Posted: 7:32 PM on 05.23.10
->> "Taxes stink, but the health care has to be paid for somehow."

I've been just fine paying for my taxes AND own family's health care for the past 30 plus years through my personal income. Same for everyone I know. I can't possibly expect some government run program to do better for me than I already do for myself.
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 11:07 PM on 05.23.10
->> I think I am going to change my name to Ben.
Ben Dover.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 12:58 AM on 05.24.10
->> Detailed discussion: http://tickerforum.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=137742&findnew#new
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 1:11 AM on 05.24.10
->> Saying these legally owed taxes that are finally going to be collected are just for health care is not accurate in any sense. It's a fix that has been needed for a long time because obviously not everyone is paying their taxes when they should be. If you actually pay ALL your owed taxes you have nothing to worry about but the filing nightmare that is yet to be seen, or if it will be seen at all.

Dan - my guess is you've never had your sister get paralyzed from the neck down and the insurance companies sending your family through hell for years even though you paid every damn bill for years; or had them try to kick your mother off when she gets sick and doctors won't do the tests that are needed because insurance won't pay for it even though you paid your bill for years; or had your premiums go up 300% to the point you can't afford it - followed by your appendix blowing up in the hospital because they make you sit and fill out forms instead of helping you because of no insurance - but the girl with it gets RIGHT in; and then have the hospital charge you 10x the amount they charge the insurance companies on every little thing they can think of while making you go through 5+ months of not knowing you have cancer or not because the doctor won't approve a test since you have no insurance, doctors asking you not to come in or giving the cheap medications and not the right ones but they "might help". Of course everything is wonderful when you pay and don't have to use it or make minimal claims!

Here's the problem, government run health care programs do work - in fact every single one of them around the world does among westernized countries, better than the for profit system we have - it's fact. Some are better than others of course, not one of them is perfect, but the United States, which last I checked Cali is still a part of, is ranked dead fricken last! The top ranked states in the country are, you guessed it, heavily regulated by the state. Hell, get rid of the insurance companies and it's 30% off cost to us immediately. It's widely admitted by the politicians on the right it saves money, but the waiting room line is longer and anything the government touches is "evil", well I claim BS it's already evil!

As a freelancer I'll gladly wait on procedures and visits that are not needed and pay less to the government than I would to the insurance companies any day, as long as the doctors are the ones making the decisions...no matter the math it all ads up to bettering my bottom line.

End of rant.
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Dan Megna, Photographer
Coronado | CA | USA | Posted: 3:54 AM on 05.24.10
->> Mike, I pay my OWN WAY...I've ALWAYS payed my own way. I don't want, nor do I expect, ANYONE, especially the Federal Government, to take care of me. When I have hardships, which I certainly have, I am man enough and a provider enough, to step up and take care of what needs to be done.

And NO, Mike, in my 30-plus years of being an adult, and having my family endure cancer, violent trauma, child birth... I have never EVER had an insurance company turn their head on us. Probably just dumb luck, eh?

If you wanna roll over and entrust the Feds to "take care" of your health needs, instead of you and your doctors, I wish you all the best. For me, I KNOW who has my loved ones best interest at heart, and it CERTAINLY isn't the Feds.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 6:58 AM on 05.24.10
->> I wouldn't mind paying my fair share if government would at least give the appearance of being efficient, and if they'd take the money in something other than a complicated, loophole riddled shell game. That's why I tend to favor something like a use or flat tax instead of the ridiculous system we have today.

Yep, definite problems with either use or flat taxes, but it can't be worse than what we have today. You'd save billions simply because it wouldn't require the IRS to have over 100,000 employees and a ridiculously large budget like they have today. Enforcement would be easy, and you wouldn't have to slaughter an entire forest each year to print ridiculously complicated forms.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 7:34 AM on 05.24.10
->> "If you actually pay ALL your owed taxes you have nothing to worry about but the filing nightmare that is yet to be seen, or if it will be seen at all."

What does me being required to send a 1099 to Office Max, etc. have to do with whether or not I'm paying MY taxes? I'm telling the IRS about someone else's income, not mine.


And I too, through multiple surgeries, cancer treatment, children etc. have not had an issue with insurance - but now what I do have is likely to be reduced (as well as taxed) as a result of the legislation.
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Robert Smith, Photographer
Brandon | MS | USA | Posted: 8:31 AM on 05.24.10
->> I see MANY 599.00 prices and purchases coming in the future.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 9:47 AM on 05.24.10
->> Probably just dumb luck, eh?

Mike that's BEYOND dumb luck. I would go so far as to tell you to never ever spend a penny on lotto tickets or place a bet ever. You are using up all your good luck on health coverage.

BTW as someone who smoked 2 packs a day for 20+ (make that ++) years and has a normal bp, clean chest CT, and no signs of lung damage based on my last PFT (pulmonary function test) I guess that they can take all those warnings off the cigarette packs. Oh and could we dump the taxes on tobacco too??? Clearly based on MY experience with tobacco the government has it all wrong.

I watched my kid brother die of lung cancer at 35. This argument about how well the insurance companies treat people is total bullshit. Just because YOU have had good luck with your insurance and I managed 2 packs/day without ill effects hardly disproves that smoking is harmful and insurance companies DON'T withhold coverage. It just means that we are the lucky ones. It is just plain wrong to assume that because we have been lucky that everyone will have the same luck and therefore that we shouldn't put protections in place.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 2:03 PM on 05.24.10
->> Oh oh my comment should have been directed at Dan and not Mike. Sorry Mike.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 4:11 PM on 05.24.10
->> It amazes me to see there are people out there that are so uneducated on what is nationalized health care. Government REGULATED does not mean they are saying what happens to the patients, my guess is people who believe this are the same idiots who believed in "death panels"! Could anyone provide one example of a nationalized health care system where the cases go to an office in the capital and some government official is making the decisions, just one - name ONE country with nationalized care that does this...?

Oh, I can't wait for an answer so here it is - there is not one system in the world that does this, zero, none. It's a bullshit talking point. The decisions still remain between patient and doctor, period! In fact how much of a voice do you have in the system right now? Zero! In a nationalized program you have much more of a voice, it's more democratic and someone has to answer (gov), right now who has to answer? Nobody - hospitals can make shit up and charge for it, insurance companies can kick you off when you get sick or refuse to pay for anything they want. Kick and scream all you want, doesn't matter in our system.

The whole "I pay my own way" is complete and utter bullshit as well. Here's a fact that should interest any small business; you paying your own way is 2x as much in this country than anywhere else in the world, and $2,000/year per capita more than the second highest country. With national health care you'd still be paying your own way, but LESS! This is because of more people paying into the system and cutting out an unnecessary middle man (insurance companies) that do nothing for health and only there to take a cut and run.

Now, nowhere am I saying these idiots asking for a hand out should get one, it's because of a lack of regulations that so many people can abuse the system in the first place. I pay my taxes, I pay my bills...but I have no problem paying less to the government than I pay to insurance companies each year for the same services. Don't care who I pay for it as long as the services are there - in which now in this system we ration and they are not!

Congratulations on your dumb luck.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 4:15 PM on 05.24.10
->> What does me being required to send a 1099 to Office Max, etc. have to do with whether or not I'm paying MY taxes? I'm telling the IRS about someone else's income, not mine."

It's going after people who are not paying their taxes, to the tune of 300+ BILLION. This way they get information from two sources, one Office Max and you being the other. This way they know if Office Max, or yourself, are trying to "hide" income/expenses and cheat the system. That's what it has to do with you paying your taxes. Only thing I'm worried about in all of it is the filing, but will hold judgment on that until it comes out next year.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 4:53 PM on 05.24.10
->> "every single one of them around the world does among westernized countries, better than the for profit system we have - it's fact."

My fiancee's little brother just hopped around for six months without a leg - he 12 and outgrew the old prosthetic he had. They ordered it several months early too, straight from Canada. He's almost outgrown the new one and only got it a month ago. It costed more than the ones made in the US, too. That sounds better to me, definitely.

It's also a really common story - someone with cancer has to wait 5 months before the doctor can see them. Organs are harder to come by. Operating rooms are booked months out.

But no, that's not the case because you made up some people who had hypothetical situations and didn't look up the statistics yourself. :)

It's not about the structure of the system... It's simply basic economics - if the prices are regulated to be low, for whatever reason, what happens is that suppliers of a product or service will limit what they supply in order to maximize a profit. It causes surplus on the supply side and shortages on the consumer side. Any intro to macroeconomics class covers this.



Back on topic... Does anyone know how the healthcare bill will affect hiring of assistants? Specifically, at what point they're considered an employee?

I'm wondering if I'll have to limit who I hire or how much I can hire a single person who isn't established as their own business...
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Bob Nichols, Photographer
Tipton | IN | USA | Posted: 5:05 PM on 05.24.10
->> From Mike Janes - "Could anyone provide one example of a nationalized health care system where the cases go to an office in the capital and some government official is making the decisions, just one - name ONE country with nationalized care that does this...?

Oh, I can't wait for an answer so here it is - there is not one system in the world that does this, zero, none. It's a bullshit talking point. The decisions still remain between patient and doctor, period! In fact how much of a voice do you have in the system right now? Zero! In a nationalized program you have much more of a voice, it's more democratic and someone has to answer (gov), right now who has to answer? Nobody - hospitals can make shit up and charge for it, insurance companies can kick you off when you get sick or refuse to pay for anything they want. Kick and scream all you want, doesn't matter in our system."


This is NOT a direct rebuttal to Mike, but a recent observation.

While traveling through the UK with my wife in April, the topic of universal healthcare came up repeatedly. Many people we spoke to know no other type of system, especially ours. (Is it a system?)

The one story that really stands out in my mind was a discussion with a lady who told us of her husband's recent illness. He was diagnosed with gallstones and surgery was scheduled in two months.

He was in too much pain to work (university lecturer). This lady had to write a letter to a review board pleading for an earlier surgery date. After review, the surgery was accomplished at an earlier date.

We did not discuss the make-up of the review board, but I am sure there were several doctors on the board but are there also lay people who weigh in on the decisions? Government employees??? I don't know. Maybe a UK member can enlighten us.

She agreed that their system was not perfect, but the surgery did not cost them anything.

I told her that in Indiana, if my doctor thought I needed surgery for gallstones right away, it would probably happen today or tomorrow. But I would have deductibles and co-pays that come out of my pocket.

If I get sick.


This couple pays 48.5% income tax. Each year.

Even if they are healthy.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 5:24 PM on 05.24.10
->> Filling out and filing 1099 forms is one thing ... believing we end up "spending less" with the government for ANY service is really wishful thinking. It takes little effort to discover that the government absorbs more than it's fair share in in their process of "re-distributing the wealth" ....

No matter how well intentioned, the federal government has never lived or operated within it's means. They just borrow or print more money to make ends meet .... money that will eventually have to be paid back by our children and grandchildren. if we all used the same business model ... there wouldn't be an economy to be in a recession .... there wouldn't be an economy ...

If we could trust our elected officials and bureaucrats to be as judicious with their spending and borrowing as they expect us to be when it comes tax time .... I think we could then approach a point of trust that the government indeed is looking out for us .... and not only trying to garner votes so they may maintain power .....
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 5:37 PM on 05.24.10
->> I've had full coverage health insurance my whole life and I can tell you one nightmare story after another regarding trying to get the care you need. The only insurance I've never had a problem with has been Kaiser - because they leave the decisions to the doctors. They're expensive - no doubt about that, but if my doctor ordered a test or surgery, it was done. Unfortunately, I don't have Kaiser anymore, but I have full coverage under another insurance, and getting authorizations for referrals or tests is akin to winning the lottery. It's terrible, and it's not limited to my current provider. God forbid anyone in our family has a medical issue that requires the insurance company's approval - because we're not getting it. After all, providing adequate health care just might cut into the insurance company's profit and we can't have that, now can we?
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 5:49 PM on 05.24.10
->> Jody-
All the bill does is raise your healthcare costs way above that of switching to Kaiser, and you're paying for another couple of people too. Cheaper insurance companies are cheaper because they provide less. It's the same as with going with a cheap photographer - you get what you pay for.
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 5:57 PM on 05.24.10
->> Israel I didn't say whether I'm for the new health bill or against because frankly, I haven't decided yet.

If the health care bill raises our per-person costs to more than the $600 per month I was paying for Kaiser for just myself, then I might as well file bankruptcy right now because it's just not going to happen.

The insurance rates I'm paying are not cheap, and my insurance company is one of the major players on the scene. It's the only option we were given through my husband's employer. There has got to be a better way because the status quo just isn't working.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 7:09 PM on 05.24.10
->> As someone with a preexisting medical condition (type-1 diabetes), I can vouch for the need for some type of change in the current health system in this country. I am much better off than most people with my condition since I was diagnosed while in the Air Force so all of my diabetic needs are covered 100% by the VA. With this benefit, I am still routinely denied coverage by many major health insurers because of my preexisting condition--despite the VA covering everything related to my condition. I'm now probably going to be one of those people covered by a high-risk pool by the state or so I hope everything works out that way.

All I'm looking for is basic coverage if I get in a car wreck or crash a unicycle while going down a steep hill--stuff that is in no way related to my condition. Something needs to change. You shouldn't have to rely on a spouse's insurance if all you want is basic coverage and that coverage should not be so steep as to nearly bankrupt you.

I'm happy that people like Dan have had great look through the years, but there are many people who have had terrible times with insurance companies, hospitals and the system.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 7:16 PM on 05.24.10
->> Israel, how about some details. Is your fiance's brother a Canadian citizen, a U.S. citizen, an illegal, what? What program was he under? While we're on it who said Canada's system is the one to work off of? They're ranked 30th, 7 spots ahead of the United States. They are by far not the best system in the world, but statistically speaking they do better work in the health care field.

All your post really does is make the argument that for profit system in health care is not the way to go. Fact is the medications in the U.S. is more expensive than most countries, including Canada, and the drug companies have the highest profit margin of any industry while they ration by price (Annals of Internal Medicine provided the side by side comparison of prices with 41/44 cheaper in Canada and Fortune 500 provided the profit margin data). Sorry I check my facts and right now they ration by high prices people can't afford or the insurance companies won't pay.

Your cancer comparison is complete BS as well. Those pesky statistics say the wait is 3-4 weeks with most being seen in 3 months or less in Canada, these of course are for non-life threatening issues. Cancer is actually first on the priority list for treatment, but again Canada is far from the prime example to look at for guidance. Here in the good ol' USA I was put through 5 months of waiting because the specialist refused the test because of no insurance after my doctored ordered it.

Also, while on it all please point out where the bill raises costs? I've read most of the thing, can you point it out for me, page number, quote, anything? The rights argument during the whole thing was it would drop costs so low insurance companies wouldn't be able to compete - so which is it? You can't have it both ways. Oh yea, 61% of medical charges in the US are already government funded.

BTW, could you please tell me what hypothetical people I made up? Did I make up my sister, mother and my own experience because I'd love to know it was all a dream.

------

Bob - UK is the 18th ranked system in the world, but there has been a LOT of negative talk about how they do things with how much they pay tax wise, etc. Will have to check but that may be one of the countries with socialized medicine while others have socialized insurance, different categories.

------

Butch - honestly I don't think they'd lower it too much even if they can and costs go down. People are used to being raked over the coals so they'll take it down a bit, hold a press conference of "look what we did" and still collect more than it costs to help fund other projects. If people really gave a rats ass about the debt there would be anti-war protests on every single street corner while saying they want Reagan tax rates back along with cutting the military budget in half. When it comes to the debt of the United States, Cheney said it best, "debts don't matter". For any of us it sure does, I watch every penny.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 7:32 PM on 05.24.10
->> Back on topic... Does anyone know how the healthcare bill will affect hiring of assistants? Specifically, at what point they're considered an employee?

I'm wondering if I'll have to limit who I hire or how much I can hire a single person who isn't established as their own business..."


Nothing - "Employers with 50 or fewer workers would be exempt from coverage provisions." (CSM) Full time workers I should add, not assistants you hire every so often.
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Steve King, Photographer, Student/Intern
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 7:45 PM on 05.24.10
->> OP - TOPIC: New tax changes:
NOT New US Government Spending decreases.
This is the issue as I see it.

In most American households you do not get to have this conversation. "hey boss, I am going to buy this great stuff I saw over the weekend, and since I really want it YOU are going to GIVE me a RAISE right now, because I don't have a clue as to how to balance my budget"

Translation: US Congress - "hey that's a great idea/program that the US people MUST HAVE, why don't we just do that even though the funds aren't there, so let's mortgage our countries future, RAISE taxes to pay for this thing, who cares if it really makes sense" "Congress gets to make laws, and can/will overrule the President while pulling the wool over the citizens eyes. We can do what we want"

NEW TAXES - Just say no!
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 8:05 PM on 05.24.10
->> Steve - These are not NEW taxes, they are the taxes owed that people are currently not paying being stuck in the tax gap. Taxes have gone down in the last year to the lowest since 1950!
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 9:01 PM on 05.24.10
->> Mike ... my whole point was the federal government can't do ANYTHING as fairly or as cost effective as they SAY they will .... they don't KNOW how ....

It's bad enough that the career politicians can't grasp the concept of a balanced budget .... but the bureaucrats that actually run the day to day business have no clue whatsoever about how business works in the real world .... because they have no real investment in where the money comes from. They have never had to compete in the forum of enterprise and meet a payroll ... ever ....

I whole heartedly agree our current healthcare system needs reigned in and reformed .... however ... if you really expect me to believe the federal government is "fixing" the system based on the recent legislation that our elected officials never even bothered to read before they voted on it ... I'm afraid you'll need to come at with more than your defense spending issues to convince me all will be perfect with US healthcare four years hence .....
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 11:10 PM on 05.24.10
->> Butch - You're mixing a few things here.

One - I never said this health care bill is perfect, it's far from it. A lot more has to be done before we ever break the top 10 in health care systems. The bill is a start, nothing more. We'll have to come back to the success or failure in 2030.

Two - All you're saying is government doesn't work, and with our system you're right! They're paid off by lobbyists and big business, the first step would be get rid of lobbyists and regulate where campaign dollars come from so politicians actually listen to the people for once.

Three - I didn't say this bill would reduce our deficit, the CBO said it would, I didn't. One of the reasons is because of this 1099 provision. You mixed my comment on the deficit together with the bill when it wasn't meant to be. If people really gave a s**t about the deficit they would be going after things in the budget that have absolutely no way of paying back. What do you hear instead? TARP and this bill - well TARP makes money for the taxpayer in the long run (Clinton/Mexico bailout?) and this bill reduces the deficit in the long run. Huh!

You're trying to make it sound like it's government run or nothing. Why can't we look at the top systems which are heavily private but funded through single payer? Why can't we look at the French system? Well, I know the answer to that, we live in a place we can't even say "french fries" anymore, has to be "freedom fries", let alone look at the good things the number one system in the world does that many believe would be easiest to implement here at lower rates. It's not one or the other, totally government or total private, in fact most systems have a mix.
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Rick Davis, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 1:15 AM on 05.25.10
->> This thread has become a classic example of Frischlings "Anatomy of a Sportsshooter Thread" from a few weeks back.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=36136

Thanks for the initial information David. I did find it helpful.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 8:36 AM on 05.25.10
->> You're welcome!

Now about that Canon/Nikon thing...
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 5:45 PM on 05.25.10
->> “In a nationalized program you have much more of a voice, it's more democratic and someone has to answer (gov), right now who has to answer? Nobody - hospitals can make shit up and charge for it, insurance companies can kick you off when you get sick or refuse to pay for anything they want. Kick and scream all you want, doesn't matter in our system."

You’ve GOT to be kidding me? Right? Please say yes? I’ve kept my mouth shut but just can’t stand it any more.

Rah rah for the nationalized care.
Well, my brother lives in England. I don’t go around arbitrarily talking to people at the bar in England, but he LIVES there, and has EXPERIENCED the care in England.

The stories of people having to wait a long time for care are not over stated. When care becomes nationalized, the emphasis becomes saving money, not patient care. People are treated like crap, hospitals close down, lines for basic care are long. Do you want to know what care is like in England? Go visit the DMV here in the US (not my words, but his). Same type of cattle mentality and long lines. Preventative care is NOTHING like we have here.

The basic care in England is so marginal, many professionals (like my brother) pay for enhanced care so they can at least get a doctors visit in a reasonable time frame.

What Israel said, “It's not about the structure of the system... It's simply basic economics - if the prices are regulated to be low, for whatever reason, what happens is that suppliers of a product or service will limit what they supply in order to maximize a profit. It causes surplus on the supply side and shortages on the consumer side. Any intro to macroeconomics class covers this.”

That is EXACTLY what my brother tells me about the English system.

If people are so pissed off at the insurance companies for not paying every aspect of their care, why don’t they empower THEMSELVES to find out EXACTLY what their policy covers, and go get an enhanced policy to cover what they deem necessary? Insurance is a complete gamble. The insurance company is gambling that I pay more in premiums than I spend in care. I am paying into a system just in case I really need it someday, or at least to pay my basic preventative care. We must have SOME sort of ownership into this system. Otherwise I could smoke my entire life, then bitch about not having free health care when I get lung cancer. (sound familiar?)

Do people randomly get sick and have huge medical bills when nothing they could have done would have prevented that situation? As terrible as that is, of course that can happen and has happened to someone close to me. But we can also be killed instantly by a freak accident. Lose our jobs and have to live on the street. Have a business fail and be a hundred thousand dollars in debt. All of life is a gamble and it’s up to us to manage that risk and deal with the aftermath.

I am not a big fan of insurance companies either. They are big, bureaucratic machines (almost as bad as our government) but they have to run a business. They have to set limits on care and expenditures based on regulation, constant fraud by doctors and patients, litigation, expense of running the business and actuarial results of services. Overall it is a low margin business that employees hundreds of thousands of people in the US. It’s just a freak’n business. It’s not some guy sitting in a high rise with a cigar laughing at the little people (although I guess a case could be made for that at the top levels).

When I graduated college, not once did I go about whining about the government not paying for health care, or this or that. I got a freak’n CRAPPY job so I could have those services and make a living. This really pisses me off because I recently had this argument with a gal just out of college. She was going on and on about health care being a right, and how she couldn’t afford it. I then see photos of her on her Facebook page partying and traveling around the country taking pictures with her friends. When I was her age, I worked my DAMN ASS off to pay for these things she wants for free. Now THAT my friend is complete bullshit!

I guess at this point, I would rather not have any insurance at all, than live in a nanny state. Too late!

BTW: Rick was right about this being the classic Anatomy thread!
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 9:56 PM on 05.25.10
->> I forgot I said it had to be completely government run, it had to be like the English or Canadian system, it can't take the good and bad of every system and be made into a unique American system, even being privately run but regulated. Nope, I said it had to be JUST like their system with no changes, additions, nothing else, carbon copy only! That's what I said...yup, exactly what I said!!

BTW, your argument is off. Sorry, we have "premium care" and it's their job to find ways not to pay out. They tried and tried and tried some more not to pay when needed, it's what they do to keep costs down and make a profit - you can't blame them for looking at the bottom line as they are a business, an semi-unnecessary, weakly regulated business. I say semi-unnecessary because I think having them there DOES cut out fraud more than a strictly govt run program would. But your argument takes a really bad turn because their profit margin is far from "low", it went up 1084% from 2001-2006 and has only risen since.

Also, yes your brother is the lone expert in England for the satisfaction....wait...."An independent survey conducted in 2004 found that users of the NHS expressed very high levels satisfaction about their personal experience of the medical services they received. Of hospital inpatients, 92% said they were satisfied with their treatment; 87% of GP users were satisfied with their GP; 87% of hospital outpatients were satisfied with the service they received; and 70% of Accident and Emergency department users reported being satisfied." The public perception, that includes those who didn't use the system, the satisfaction was lower at 67% when asked if they provide a good service to THEM, and only 51% overall - again with many never using the system having personal experience.

The only thing I just can't understand is why do you HAVE to compare it to ONE other system? Why can't you take the good and bad from ALL the systems like I said? Seriously, why? It's either carbon copy of a system with problems or status quo, that's it!?!?! Give me a f'n break!

How about the thread goes back on track, you want to argue just send an email. I'd also like to know why smoking for an entire life and bitching about free health care should sound familiar? Because I went through a lung cancer scare? Well buddy, smoking has never been my thing, ever.

Now back on track to what the thread is about, black muslin is better than gray; Under Armour is better than Nike; Doritos are way better than Lays; and what's eating Gilbert Grape?
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Rick Yeatts, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:59 PM on 05.25.10
->> Demand that the president his family and congress and their families use the same health care they want to provide for us. Even though they can afford private insurance lets have them to pass a law that they have to use the same insurance they want (demand) the average american to have. Ask them to make it a law that they have to use it and not opt out for their own private insurance. If they think it's good enough for them then I'm all for it.
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Steve King, Photographer, Student/Intern
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 05.25.10
->> Mike,

>> Taxes have gone down in the last year to the lowest since 1950! >>

You had better check your facts, and stop drinking the coolaid, the total taxation rate and total tax burden is not as low as the 1950's. As a matter of fact the last two generations are facing the worst fate, they will not be able to exceed their parents or grandparents earnings or wealth potential. This is mostly due to "tax and spend" policies and decreasing spending and investment potential for most professions, even though the past two generations of "legislators and politicians" has continued to go up. What's wrong with this picture?
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 12:20 AM on 05.26.10
->> An independent survey? It doesn't take someone with a degree in mathematics to know that these polls can and are easily spun to fulfill any desired agenda from NBC, Fox News, and anyone in between (although I do have a degree in mathematics with an emphasis in statistics).

And yes, I do believe my brother, who lives in England, loves living there, married a Brit, is an engineer who manages employees ranging from low level engineers to those with a phd from Cambridge and Oxford, and has experienced both systems, is a very valid source of information. I actually think it's quite rational to listen to someone with this type of real world experience via reasonable discussion on the subject, than some idealog like Michael Moore or quote some statistic for which I have no idea about the polling sample, agenda of the poll givers or neutrality of the questions.

Call me nutty!
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 12:47 AM on 05.26.10
->> Mike-
Wow. Your statistics are amazing! And your knowledge so widespread and accurate :)
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 12:49 AM on 05.26.10
->> OK, guess you don't want to get the thread back on track...so let's just fill it up to the max and let it die.

Rick - that's a good idea, except for the POTUS, can you imagine every time one person had the sniffles in his (or her someday) family an entire hospital would shut down for security reasons. Congressman remember, already are on a government run health care program, so how about make them come down to the one most Americans have first, no premiere ones, and then see what changes occur after they have to go through what most do and not pull the "I'm a Congressman" line. Pipe dream that will never happen.

Steve - I get it, the cool-aid comment was enough to show. Sorry, but I like research, numbers, facts, double checking, finding multiple sources from both sides, arguments for and against, etc. Personally I love when people question and put up alternative theories, it makes me research more and find the truth, even if I'm wrong. Always amazes me though most never use a fact or anything to back the theory, one of the reasons I left my original party, always felt lied to and when you ask why or how there was no answer, it was always "it just is". Now for the year 2009, here it is...

"Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010."

Withholdings were different this year that did create a lot of questions. People had the same everything as the previous year and didn't get a return they thought they were getting, or as much, and didn't realize their employers changed withholding. Of course some peoples went up, small percentage, under 2% according to some but just under 6% according to other sources.

What it will do this year is yet to be seen and because the stimulus expires a tax raise will more than likely be around the corner, actually 2011 is more likely. Never commented on that, just last year, the year of 2009 - want to make that VERY clear. Over the next 10 years the top 2% will rise steadily back to the Clinton era taxes and Bush tax cuts that he was advised not to do will expire. I would not doubt for the middle class it goes up as well. The drop in 2009 is not entirely a good thing as well, think about it - sales tax went down because people were not buying as much, that's a bad thing. So the rate going down is not a all win situation. It's just a random fact with both good and bad involved.

Problem is today's generation already do not live up to their parents standards. It wasn't too long ago one parent could work and support a family, that's not as common today as it used to be. Now a lot of people would make the argument of deregulation as a reason for that. You can find a lot of research both ways on the rich got richer and poor got poorer with inflation included out there. You can also find some against it and blame shared all over.

Bryan - you're nutty, hey you asked. When in Canada I paled around with a photographer from there, full time self run business, doing it for YEARS and believe had a full time assistant as well. He loved the system up there, since he has real life experience does that mean the system there is 100% perfect? It's one opinion, he loved it, others hate it. So it's fact, it's perfect because one opinion has real life experience?

The independent survey was not done by Faux News or MSNBLib, or any of these places. Fun thing is doesn't the far right and far left always quote polls here? Rasmussen, all these independent polls that are supposed to be the "real heartbeat of America"? Not the ones on Faux that show 80% are against the Dems and MSNBLib that show 80% are against the R's.

So here's the poll info...

"This Winter 2004 survey follows on from a series of surveys conducted by the MORI Social Research Institute for the Department of Health between Spring 2000 and Spring 2004. The survey was initially conducted in 2000, with a follow-up in 2001. It has been conducted twice a year thereafter, once in the spring and once in the winter. The aim of the survey is to explore public attitudes towards, and perceptions of, the NHS, as well as assessing the extent to which public opinion may show signs of seasonal fluctuation. In addition, the surveys provide a means of tracking public perceptions of the NHS over time. The results of this study, taken in combination with other work MORI is doing for the Department of Health, is aimed at forming an overall picture of the Department and the NHS as whole. It should be noted that these surveys are based on a national sample of 1,000 interviews, and so are subject to sampling tolerances as discussed in the appendix. Regardless, the data provide a useful check on public sentiment and patient experience, and complement the larger patient surveys undertaken by the Healthcare Commission."

I've only found a few things on this place, but it seems they are one of the best in research in the world. They were the first one to reach ISO 20252 in research, which is "ISO 20252:2006 market, opinion, social research, vocabulary and service requirements is the new international standard that unites and supersedes existing national standards and sets a common level of quality for market research globally."
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 12:55 AM on 05.26.10
->> Well, since we're already here, let's hit 50 in style!

The only governments I can think of that held total control over the medical fields were, you guessed it, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Let us have everything that went along with those price ceilings they imposed :)

In conclusion, what were we talking about at first?
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 1:18 AM on 05.26.10
->> Turn away from Fox News - holy tea bag! I keep forgetting it's either status quo or Nazi Germany! Scare tactic 101 - how to scare people without a fact, yell Nazi and Soviet Union at the top of your lungs, make sure you have a chalk board and some multi-colored chalk to draw with.

I didn't say we were talking about the new 1099 provisions, I didn't say provisions kind of semi look like the world propaganda when you skim over a sentence...hm, propaganda, hm, what country used propaganda? Hitlers Germany, hm, hm, hm, (tear), hm, provisions...propaganda, Obama, Hiter...hm, Hitler has two arms, you know who else has two arms?....Obama! You know folks, Obama's a Nazi...woah, I'm not saying Obama's a Nazi, I'm just asking the question!
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 1:27 AM on 05.26.10
->> OK, can't find the original...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNOku6QP4UM&feature=related
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 9:50 AM on 05.26.10
->> Time to call up Goodwin's Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches !.

and Benford's Law of Controversy:

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 10:54 AM on 05.26.10
->> This whole conversation is epic. It makes me miss the old Geraldo Rivera show.
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Daniel Putz, Photographer
Owings Mills | MD | USA | Posted: 11:01 AM on 05.26.10
->> http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-12-2010/back-in-black---glenn-bec...

This one Mike?
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 11:07 AM on 05.26.10
->> I've heard this tax law is going to be particularly harsh on freelancers that shoot on spec under work-for-hire, all rights contracts that pay only $1 per shot...particularly if they shoot the first assignment in the year for free to prove they can do the job. Double penalties if they shoot with a Canon 1DMkIII with a blue-dot box, or a Nikon D2H.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:24 AM on 05.26.10
->> I'm late to this party, but let me get my shot in before my opportunity is gone :D .

Unlike some of you, I've had to buy health insurance for employees - or at least contribute part of it. My other business is your typical "ma and Pa" and we do about $2M. Some employees jump in and take it, others don't.

I used to have a employee who didn't. He figured it was cheaper to keep his wife at home and just stay under the threshold for income so that his kids qualified for health insurance offered by the state of Iowa that was essentially free. This leads me to my first point : All this argument about government health care being bad or good misses the point. The reality is that when someone who is uninsured walks through the emergency room doors - you and I ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR IT - and at VERY high prices. It's just hidden that way.

There are no perfect choices.

Let's look at one other issue: The cost of medicine in the U.S. It's very expensive to develop new drugs and therapies. Drug manufacturers make investments and some pan out, others don't. They all have stockholders so you automatically can figure high margins - partially for stockholders, partially to cover the cost of drug research that doesn't pan out. BUT, the real hidden cost, and one that I hate to admit is valid, is the cost of paying lawsuits when a drug treatment goes bad. When the drug companies pay $30M to settle a single claim, where do you think the money ultimately comes from? The same goes for malpractice lawsuits against doctors. Everyone assumes doctors are rich. BUT, when you look at the cost of what college and medical school cost (many times using student loans) and malpractice insurance - becoming a doctor is something you had better want really badly because it's a hard and expensive thing to do. Do doctors end up wealthy? For the most part, yes. But, they shoulder a lot of risk to get there.

This discussion is actually good. Ultimately, a tough and honest health care conversation is required. We didn't get it last summer. Instead we got extreme BS.

Finally,and getting this post back on track. I don't evade taxes. Don't believe in it. I've always assumed it was the price I paid to live in the greatest country on earth. BUT, I know plenty of people who DO evade taxes. Some are pretty rich and think they're smarter than the rest of us. The clock is ticking on this - we - the voters - need to change by actually doing real research and then supporting individuals who get it. Pie in the sky? Yeah, probably, but having worked in politics long enough I can tell you now is a good time to get serious.

If everyone pays their fair share, we'll be just fine.

I'll vacate the podium now.

M
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