posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 09:30 PM
This is one of many perfect examples about what is wrong with the US tax system and how our social and fiscal systems do absolutely nothing to take
care of those who support it.
I was severely disabled for most of 2010 and earned absolutely no income. I collected approximately $35,000 through an employer-sponsored private
disability plan, which was considered taxable income because my employer, for whom I worked my a** off for many years, was too cheap to give their
employees the opportunity to pay the relatively small group disability premiums themselves with post-tax dollars (they had the choice to either give
their employees the tax break or pay the small premiums themselves, thereby taking a corporate tax deduction and making any employee disability
benefits taxable to the sick employee). Since I had two kids in college, I had no choice but to take an early distribution on my 401(k) in order to
pay two college tuitions for kids who will probably graduate to find no jobs available. The tuition is not something I am complaining about because I
would do anything to give my kids the slimmest chance of success in the future, but the overall theme is just disgusting.
A person who worked hard, earned a decent income and paid more than her fair share of taxes for more than 20 years, all the while never turning down a
chance to help other people in need, finds herself in a situation where she owes Uncle Sam $36,000 because she was too sick to work (and believe me,
almost half of that disability money went toward paying COBRA insurance premiums and the remaining money went toward uncovered medical expenses) and
had no choice but to take money from her retirement savings to pay her kids' tuition so they wouldn't be kicked out of school.
Don't get me wrong - I know there are plenty of people who, in my situation, wouldn't have had disability benefits or retirement savings to fall
back on, but that is neither here nor there. I worked hard and paid dearly for those benefits (which in this case is an oxymoron). Had I not worked
so hard all those years, the system would have had no choice but to take care of me through public entitlements and the such. My tax dollars went
towards supporting many folks in that position when they couldn't help themselves - and I was more than happy to participate in a system that
supposedly helped take care of their own - but how is it fair that the same is not extended to me in my time of need? With the inequities of the 1%
and a system that is plainly not equitable "to all" in times of need, is it any wonder that we've seen a continuous deterioration of those folks
formerly known as the middle class, the true backbone of our society?