Looking Forward to November 5

November 3, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 11:32 am   Category: Life

Why?

No more posts on politics. No more discussion of SSM, ever. Dan the Democrat will hibernate for two years. It will begin to rain milk and honey. The lamb and the lion will lay down together without any ire, and everyone will own two fluffy bunnies!

Right?

Ok, maybe not.

But I hope (HOPE that is) that we can all get back to trying to find some common ground in this big amazing messy thing we call America.

I hope we can support the new president, whoever he (or she, in case all those write-ins for Hillary pull through) is; we sure sucked at doing it the last time around.

I hope we can find it in ourselves to honor, obey, and sustain the law, no matter what it is or how we disagree with it. Let us not be belligerent.

I hope we can all agree to worry less about eros and focus a little bit more on agape

All in all I hope for a more united “united states”, a more united mormonism, and a more united bloggernacle.

What are you hoping for that isn’t red or blue, “yes” or “no”?

26 Comments »

  1. I actually am hoping to retire from politics. I’ve been trying to get away. Please vote for Obama so I can retire. :)

    Comment by Dan — November 3, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  2. agreed. it was so wonderful to see the weather turn bad yesterday and a north wind come in to tear through all the red, white and blue corrugated plastic signs littering the roadsides. like God voting against everyone, sending his rain on the just and unjust.

    but are you saying that included in our responsibility to honor, sustain and obey the law is the duty to feign allegiance to an individual(president or any other public representative) who demonstrates contempt or disregard for that order? what do you see as the place for civil dissent, civil disobedience?

    Comment by english — November 3, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  3. Hear, hear!

    Comment by Clean Cut — November 3, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

  4. Holy hell will I be glad to see this all over.

    Comment by Steve Evans — November 3, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  5. If Prop 8 passes in California, I think it’ll be far from over.

    Comment by Mark N. — November 3, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  6. I’m so ready for this to be over and done with.
    Is anyone else sort of drained?
    I don’t know… :/

    Comment by Tug — November 3, 2008 @ 7:10 pm

  7. I hope we can support the new president, whoever he (or she, in case all those write-ins for Hillary pull through) is; we sure sucked at doing it the last time around.

    FWIW, I don’t get the impression that anyone really dislikes McCain as much as they have despised Shrub.

    If Prop 8 passes in California, I think it’ll be far from over.

    Sadly, if Prop 8 fails in California, it will be far from over. Fortunately, all those folks who coughed up their life savings at Monson & Co.’s arm-twisting won’t have anything left to invest in their next attempt.

    Comment by Nick Literski — November 3, 2008 @ 7:57 pm

  8. Nick: don’t count on it. I still have some to give if Obama doesn’t take it all away with his tax increases.

    Anyway, I’m glad that this ridiculous farce of a two year campaign and literally billions of dollars spent on political campaigns will be over — once again showing that our political system is irreparably broken and the only solution is to tear it down and begin again. We hold such rights to be self-evident in the face of oppressors.

    In addition, I’m still waiting for Geoff to see that the single-party Congress and President is a formula for disaster as we will see very quickly in coming days. I’m also waiting for him to finally get that under the Tax Code the income of LLCs and S-Corps is taxed directly the members and shareholders respectively. I will also be interested in the IRS audit of his business after his claim that he can avoid income taxes altogether in his business given the number of deductions and write-offs he takes. Then it will be interesting to see his perspective on the gargantuan mistake of ’08 — electing the most liberal government this nation has ever seen with record spending and taxes with a one-party system. Uhhgg!!!!

    Comment by Blake — November 3, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  9. Hehe.

    Don’t blame me if the Dems practically sweep the GOP out of Washington this election Blake. I voted for Jeff Flake, my local Republican congressman. I think he has generally done a nice job and deserves another shot. And I suspect that my vote for Obama is not going to make him win Arizona, but one can hope… Anyway, the GOP is simply reaping what it has sown this decade so I am the wrong target for your wrath on that subject.

    Second, I trust my tax accountant knows what she is doing and it is pretty easy and quite legal to have one’s corporation cover all sorts of expenses. Some industries (like travel) have more legal deduction opportunities than others to take advantage of. If you run an LLC or an S-Corp and are not utilizing the perfectly legal tax advantages of so doing I recommend you get a better tax adviser. (And I have always dutifully paid my share of income taxes over the years so you are wrong if you thought I ever implied small business people can do otherwise.)

    Comment by Geoff J — November 3, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  10. Anyway, the GOP is simply reaping what it has sown this decade

    Yea, that is very true. The republicans have been anything but conservative on almost every major issue. Couple that with the economy melting down one month before the election, and I am honestly surprised McCain has been competitive. Of course, I am expecting something close to a landslide, so I don’t think he will be very competitive on election day, but up until very recently he was in it and before the melt down (when energy was the issue) he was looking like he might pull it out.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 3, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

  11. Geoff J,

    A corporation can cover any employee expense it wants to. However, with few exceptions (notably health insurance premiums), corporate payments for personal expenses are taxable fringe benefits.

    If a business provides a vehicle for an owner/employee to drive, there is no tax benefit for the value of miles driven on personal business. If the business is a corporation, such fringe benefits are counted as taxable income to the individual. Just another form of taxable compensation like any other.

    The deduction for legitimate business expenses (supplies, equipment, office space, etc.) is not some sort of windfall for a small business owner. It is just part of the net profit calculation. If any business expense has a significant personal use component, the law requires that it be pro-rated for tax purposes.

    It is certainly easier for a small business owner to cheat on his taxes than it is for most, but that doesn’t make it legal.

    Comment by Mark D. — November 3, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

  12. So now you’re a tax accountant Mark? What credentials do you have in the field of tax accounting and tax preparation?

    Lots of employees get company cars or trucks along with gas cards. I was one of them at one point. I don’t know the exact rules applying to company cars but I don’t think that the employee gets nailed for taxes on that benefit. (Is there are real tax accountant in the house?) Go down to your local bookstore and see how many variations on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” are on the shelves touting the great tax benefits of starting an LLC or a S-Corp. There are a lot more things that can be perfectly legally expensed than you are implying. And I’m talking about the kinds of things that would pass an audit with flying colors.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 3, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

  13. Geoff J,

    I have had ample opportunity throughout my life to become familiar with the tax rules that govern straightforward questions like this. Google for “mileage fringe benefit”, or “IRS fringe benefit” and you will find plenty of confirmation for what I said.

    Business miles are fully tax deductible, and are not counted as fringe benefits. The opposite is true of personal miles. Employees who take company vehicles home with them have a mixture of both.

    Such employees are required by the IRS to provide written documentation of their personal mileage to their employer for tax purposes. The calculated value of that mileage ultimately ends up on a W-2 or Form 1099 as “additional compensation”.

    If one is a sole proprietor the procedure is slightly different – you add up your business miles throughout the year, multiply by a standard mileage rate and count that as a business expense. No deduction for personal miles. I have done this calculation every year for nearly two decades.

    Comment by Mark D. — November 4, 2008 @ 12:30 am

  14. Mark,

    Nice try. I know you like to be the Amazing Answer Man and all but I am not talking about “mileage”. I was talking about things like employees being given cars and gas cards as a benefit. Different rules apply.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 4, 2008 @ 8:16 am

  15. I’m not an accountant, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Comment by Darin W — November 4, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  16. A company car is a benefit if you never drive it?

    Comment by Mark D. — November 4, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  17. In my experience you don’t have to count/deduct miles at all with those cars Mark.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 4, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  18. Alma 51 & Alma 61.

    Comment by mondo cool — November 4, 2008 @ 8:57 am

  19. I quote from IRS Publication 15-B, Employer’s Guide to Fringe Benefits (2008):

    1. Fringe Benefit Overview

    A fringe benefit is a form of pay for the performance of services. For example, you provide an employee with a fringe benefit when you allow the employee to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.

    Are Fringe Benefits Taxable?

    Any fringe benefit you provide is taxable and must be included in the recipient’s pay unless the law specifically excludes it. Section 2 discusses the exclusions that apply to certain fringe benefits. Any benefit not excluded under the rules discussed in section 2 is taxable.

    Including taxable benefits in pay. You must include in a recipient’s pay the amount by which the value of a fringe benefit is more than the sum of the following amounts.
    Any amount the law excludes from pay.

    Any amount the recipient paid for the benefit.

    The rules used to determine the value of a fringe benefit are discussed in section 3.

    If the recipient of a taxable fringe benefit is your employee, the benefit is subject to employment taxes and must be reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

    Needless to say, personal use of a company car is not listed as an exception in section 2. The publication continues in section 3:

    General Valuation Rule
    You must use the general valuation rule to determine the value of most fringe benefits. Under this rule, the value of a fringe benefit is its fair market value.

    Fair market value. The fair market value (FMV) of a fringe benefit is the amount an employee would have to pay a third party in an arm’s-length transaction to buy or lease the benefit. Determine this amount on the basis of all the facts and circumstances

    Cents-Per-Mile Rule

    Under this rule, you determine the value of a vehicle you provide to an employee for personal use by multiplying the standard mileage rate by the total miles the employee drives the vehicle for personal purposes. Personal use is any use of the vehicle other than use in your trade or business. This amount must be included in the employee’s wages or reimbursed by the employee. For 2008, the standard mileage rate is 50.5 cents per mile.

    If a company can determine the fair market value of a fringe benefit without counting personal vs. business miles, that is fine, but either way the value of a fringe benefit is taxable compensation that must be reported on the employee’s W-2.

    Comment by Mark D. — November 4, 2008 @ 9:44 am

  20. Geoff, you’ve been served.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 4, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  21. Indeed Jacob. Apparently Mark lives at a Holiday Inn Express.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 4, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  22. In my defense, I said “Google it” the first time…

    Comment by Mark D. — November 4, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  23. Well I can honestly say I didn’t expect this thread to go quite this direction.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 4, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  24. I know this isn’t Twitter, but I have a very non-sequitur question, Google has not been any help, and I have nowhere else to go:

    Where can I find the quote from Joseph Smith that says something to the effect of “Nothing damns a person faster than hoping for another person’s condemnation”?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, and Go Obama!

    Comment by britain — November 5, 2008 @ 8:15 am

  25. brit:

    boap doesn’t have it, so it may not exist. My experience is they have everything JS related.
    Sorry. But you could go with something similar like “Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive Mercy” or something like that. Or “Away with Self-reghteousness

    Comment by Matt W. — November 5, 2008 @ 8:28 am

  26. Thanks!

    Comment by britain — November 5, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

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