Saturday, February 07, 2009

Smells like dinner!

Killifer and the Impossibilities of the "Nanny Tax"

I have to admit I haven't been following the issues surrounding members and potential members of Obama's cabinet all that closely. I didn't even know who Nancy Killifer was or what the Chief Performance Officer was. But when I learned that she withdrew her name because she failed to pay enough payroll taxes for her nanny I became intrigued.

First, I did some research on Killifer and the position. As this Time article reveals, the woman is imminently qualified for this new position. Her profile on, a site for potential head hunters, clearly reiterates the qualifications outlined in the Time article. Since the position of Chief Performance Officer is meant to streamline government efficiency, I think, given the little I've read about her, that Killifer was the right person for the job.

On to the Nanny Tax. A quick read of an article at Newsweek reveals the pitfalls of the Nanny Tax. This is, apparently, an impossible tax to calculate correctly, particularly for parents who choose to do it themselves rather than pay a payroll company a lot of money to do it for them. On one level, I think it is probably not a good idea for the average parent who hires a nanny to try to calculate this tax on her own. But then, I think about all the parents I know who use a nanny or a babysitter and end up paying them more than the minimum of $1,800 a year that these individuals can be paid without the employer having to pay payroll taxes. Sure, lots of these people pay their nannies in cash, which isn't traceable. But I know lots of moms who simply ignore this rule. And a lot more moms and dads who use babysitters and can't afford to pay their sitters a competitive wage AND pay payroll taxes.

I was employed by one such family the summer before I started working on my MA. The family paid me a base pay of $9 an hour to care for their 2 children a minimum of 40 hours a week; if I worked more than 40 hours, I was paid $15 an hour for any hours over 40. I typically worked 60 hours a week, so I was getting paid over $600 a week. Now, they paid me under the table, and they paid me so well because they wanted a college graduate who was certified in CPR to care for their children. But I also know that both parents rushed home every day from their jobs so that they wouldn't go over the 60 hours a week that I averaged--because they couldn't afford to pay me more. But given that I was employed for about 14 weeks, I clearly made more than the $1,800 I could legally make before they were supposed to pay payroll taxes on my income. These were not dishonest people by any stretch; they simply wanted to pay me a competitive wage because they wanted someone trustworthy, educated, and caring to look after their kids.

I think most parents are in a similar situation. They want to do the right thing by their employees, and often the right this is either paying the nanny more or complying with payroll tax laws. Now, clearly, Killifer can afford to pay these taxes, but nothing I've read indicated she didn' t pay these taxes. Rather, she just paid them incorrectly from time to time. It strikes me as incredibly unfair that a person who was highly qualified for a job had to withdraw herself from consideration for struggling to pay the correct amount of payroll taxes for her nanny. Let me emphasize that again: Killifer didn't fail to pay the taxes; she just didn't always get it right.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Message on Inclusion, and One on Exclusion

Yesterday President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. While there, he spoke about his path to Christianity and the importance of faith in his family life. He then quoted passages from the Quran and the Torah to underscore a point about the universality of the "golden rule." He also spoke approvingly of Buddhists, Hindus, followers of Confucius, humanist, and agnostics. (When Bush spoke last year, he did not praise any of these groups.)

Dr. Frank S. Page, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention had these things to say after the breakfast:

--"[Obama] was not my first choice for president." We figured.

--About the Quran reference, "I would rather that had been left off." Of course.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

So Mock Me if You Must

So I have new TV show that I've gotten interested in, particularly because of the last two episodes, Grey's Anatomy: a broken cock and anal pleasure gone wrong. Although all of these problems are inflicted upon men during sexual acts, I cannot help but think that we should be writing for this show as I'm sure we can one up them with a knob of butter.

Can I Still Call Myself a Man?

Weekly Address #2

Better late than never:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


This is not Rodney Stanger. 


And  I have grading to do.... And is the best site i've seen in years. 

And Oxymoron, this one is for you. 

Wait for the mugshot....

You now have me hooked on FAIL Blog, Roof.

Wednesday Musical Tribute

Sick of Irony but don't want Sappiness either? Hit play below.

Maths and You

I try to avoid FailBlog - based posts because, once started, I may never stop.

However, this is for the teachers in the room. Especially in this room of people who will protest that they aren't "math-people."

I have .002 dollars that says that we all subvocalize a scream at the same moment, at the same line, at the same illogical defense.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Assy McGee Award®: Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott

By now everybody knows that Michael Phelps, winner of Eight Gold Medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was recently photographed smoking marijuana at a party that supposedly took place somewhere on the University of South Carolina Campus.

But now arrives this nonsense.

Michael Phelps could face criminal charges as part of the fallout from a photo of him inhaling from a marijuana pipe at a house party.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., that he would file charges against Phelps if he determines the swimmer smoked marijuana in the county. The sheriff's office released a statement Tuesday saying it "is making an effort to determine if Mr. Phelps broke the law."

It really raises the question. Really. Do these people ever think about who and what they are and just feel overcome by a profound sense of embarrassment?

Monday, February 02, 2009

It could have been better....

Or worse, depending on your perspective.

If The Boss' bags were not enough, viewers in Arizona were treated to a real celebration after Larry Fitzgerald scored:
Seconds after Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald scored on a touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to put the birds in the lead, Tucson, Arizona based Comcast Cable subscribers expected an end-zone dance but received a money shot.

Officials at the cable provider’s headquarters explained that 30 seconds of full-frontal male pornography from Club Jenna, an adult cable television channel, were shown on the local Super Bowl telecast to families and children of all ages–a scarring that will surely confuse young boys into believing that every time Larry Fitzgerald scores, massive white cocks will be pulled out of jeans and tossed around like thundersticks at Los Angeles Lakers games

More from Bruce...

Sunday, February 01, 2009