Archive for the ‘Ruminations’ Category

Santa Flies into the Liberal State: Rudolph’s Big Carbon Footprint

Friday, December 18th, 2020

THE FOLLOWING IS UPDATED AND PUBLISHED EVERY CHRISTMAS  SEASON

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North Pole (AP [Arctic Press]) – In what can best be described as one of Santa Claus’ worst weeks ever, Santa and his corporate conglomerate better known as Kris Kringle Inc. (“KKI”) was on the receiving end of the wrath of President Trump, President-Elect Biden, the federal government, former President Obama, #metoo, Occupy Wall Street, congressional Democrats, organized labor and feminists.

Early Monday morning, President Trump suggested in a tweet that he was going to fire Santa for not backing efforts to overturn the election. Shortly after, Trump’s aides clarified that the President was informed he could not fire Claus as he did not work for the government nor the Trump organization. Trump is now considering lawsuits, military action and, worst of all, more tweets.

President-Elect Biden got into the fracas at a press conference and said, after it took him 10 minutes to take off his face mask, that while Mr. Claus did not support attempts at overturning the election, Santa also “did not come out and robustly endorse the election results which raises the question of whether Kris Kringle believes in democracy.” MSNBC immediately followed up for the rest of the day with programs analyzing prior statements by Santa that might reveal his disdain for democracy.

Later in the morning, the Department of Justice led the charge by filing a suit in federal court alleging that KKI was, in fact, a monopoly. An Obama administration holdover took the reins (pardon the pun) and held a press conference explaining the action. ”One of the greatest threats to our economy is the erosion of free competition in our markets. And no one best exemplifies a lack of free competition better than Santa Claus and his corporate behemoth, Kris Kringle Inc. Think about it, is there any other entity out there that rides around the world on Christmas Eve and provides gifts to children? The answer is a resounding “NO!” And given that he does not charge anything for such gifts, we are looking into anti-dumping violations especially as we believe that some of his toys were not produced by his elves but in China.”

 

6,273 Santa Claus Mask Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
Kris Kringle: terrorist, or worse, male chauvinist?

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The day only got worse as Monday afternoon saw the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) seek a court injunction against Mr. Claus’ Christmas Eve run. Apparently, the team of reindeer are considered “ruminant livestock” that are capable of producing tons of methane gas that contribute to global warming. In a press conference, a CalEPA spokes-something said that global warming should not be a partisan issue and that all thinking people, who care about Mother Earth, should be against Rudolph and his methane-emitting co-conspirators (Afterwards, she admitted [off the record] that CalEPA press conferences emit more hot air into the atmosphere than do the other alleged sources).

From California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office came a statement that if Mr. Claus and his reindeer wanted to enter its airspace he would have to pay a special carbon-emission tax.

Rounding out the Monday barrage, former President Obama held a rare news conference since leaving office and wondered aloud if Mr. Claus was paying “his fair share” in taxes. He then went on to demand that Mr. Claus release his tax returns.

Tuesday turned out to be no better as members of congress entered the melee. In Mr. Claus, they found their pigeon…err…man. Senator Schumer of New York thundered “Santa has to decide whether he is for the middle class or against it! Donald Trump, too! And throw in Richard Nixon for good measure!” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Santa’s operation may fall under financial services regulations and, if not, vowed to pass legislation so that it would, until she remembered it was no longer 2010 and that Democrats no longer controlled all of government.

Then came rumor that Chairman Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee is looking into Mr. Claus’ potential illicit ties to Russia given the close proximity of his home base in the North Pole.

Wednesday continued Mr. Claus’ lousy streak: Occupy Wall Street unearthed itself and got into the fray as only they can: “Occupy North Pole.” Actually, they could not get up there due to logistics and the fact that there are no Starbucks nor bodegas at the top of the world. But they were there in spirit, protesting, and held “virtual sit-ins” smack dab at the North Pole. And their message was clear as a frozen bell: Mr. Claus is worse than the 1% as he is the only one. “ELITIST!!” they whined.

Thursday saw Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, assert that the fall of Santa shows how wrong Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s policies are. When pressed, she could not elaborate.

Then National Organization for Women president Toni Van Pelt asserted that Santa Claus could well be a male chauvinist as he keeps Mrs. Claus home to bake cookies, knit sweaters and maintain the home. Ms. Van Pelt said an intervention is planned to rescue Mrs. Claus from “the surly bonds of 1950s male domination.”

Related, reporters at the Washington Post have discovered that when dating, Mr. Claus gave Mrs. Claus an unexpected smooch. While well-received by her, the #metoo movement has been trying to persuade her to join them so as not to send the wrong message that giving a peck on the cheek in a horse-drawn sleigh-ride in the countryside is acceptable behavior.

Finally on Friday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pointed out that Santa’s elves are not unionized and thus likely exploited. He went on to say “and to my fellow worker elves, we are with you, we feel your pain whether it exists or not, and UNION YES!!”

Sensing potential political downside to this onslaught on a Christmas icon,  a joint press conference was held with lifetime bureaucrats from the Department of Labor and Department of Energy. The Energy bureaucrat reassured Mr. Claus that if KKI had to abandon its “core business model” (he looked confused when he used such term), the Energy Department would help him get into the alternative energy industry. As if on cue, the Labor bureaucrat urged congress for extended unemployment benefits legislation. But he went on to implicitly threaten Mr. Claus by saying that in the spirit of transparency, his operation would have to set up a website similar to ObamaCare’s. That caused a chill in the North Pole, no doubt.

Mr. Claus could not be reached for comment but reports say he was huddling with a team of lawyers planning his next moves.

-I.M. Windee

The Trump Reich Falls….

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

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….and its supporters are rounded up by the Republican establishment

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As the Trump re-election effort is collapsing, events are happening quickly:

  • From his  bunker in the White House, Donald Trump has declared “the German people deserve their defeat as they have not tried hard enough to support me and the cause.” Afterwards, he clarified he meant the American people and admitted he was having a Shirley MacLaine moment going back 75 years more than he meant to.
  • With the Republican establishment regaining control of the party,  Trump supporters are being rounded up and sent to Ideology Re-Education Camps where they will listen endlessly to recorded speeches by Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and the late John McCain and George Herbert Walker (“Un-Dukakis”) Bush.
  • The New York Times editorial board is reminding everyone that they were right about Trump all along and this is further reason to have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016…..and never, ever, Richard Nixon.
  • MSNBC is apoplectic and while agreeing with The New York Times editorial board, they want a re-count, in the spirit of Al Gore, to keep Mr. Trump in office or they will lose 47 years of material for their shows.

Führer Trump’s reich didn’t reach 8 years, let alone 1,000
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  • Bob Michel, former and deceased Republican congressional leader who was happy to have his party in the minority during his reign in the 1980s and 1990s, has been unearthed and named the Republican National Committee’s chairman. He has vowed to bring “civility” back to Republicans in contrast to Trump and his “angry mobs.” He also reminded everyone that being the majority party is over-rated.
  • Related, the Republican National Committee has announced that their new slogan is “Love Biden; he’s not Trump.”
  • The leadership at the New Jersey Education Association asserts that the fall of Trump shows how wrong former Governor Chris Christie’s policies are. When pressed, they could not elaborate.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin has offered Trump a ministerial position in his government as he says he likes his “thorough approach towards his adversaries.”
  • When asked for reaction to the Trump implosion, the aging and occasionally confused Bill Clinton declared “I DIDN’T TOUCH HER!!” Hillary Clinton vehemently affirmed such statement and asserted whoever “she” is, nonetheless, is a bimbo. Hearing this, Joe Biden thought it was about him and fretted until he was escorted to his nap.
  • A group of Liberals in congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer called for a Trump Tax as compensation for having to endure his administration and, former President Obama, who agreed but forgetting he was no longer in office, said he would enact such by an executive order if the Republicans would not go along.
  • Former NFL star Brett Favre said that he is considering coming out of retirement and replacing Trump until he realized politics is not like the NFL, and is a far harder contact sport that the NFL.

Sic semper tyrannis

-I.M. Windee

Biden vs. Trump: Closing Arguments

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

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A choice between 4 more years of chaotic but overall substantively good governance or a return to the Obama economic stagnation

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Tomorrow ends, at least for voter participation, the 2020 election.

And none too soon.

The choice is not the easiest and no one, except blind partisans, can be faulted for their votes.

Donald Trump: Who He Is and What He Stands For - The New York Times  What to Watch: Joe Biden Speaks for Himself - The New York Times

Voters have a choice: chaos but relative economic success or Presidential calm but economic stagnation

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President Trump offers unconventional, and un-Presidential, chaos and decorum but economic policies that clearly benefit the middle class more than his opponent.  The U.S. economy was doing far better in the pre-Covid period under Trump than anytime while Biden and Obama were running the show.

The talk of Trump’s 2017 tax cuts causing increased federal budget deficits is disingenuous, and not true, especially as the same mob was happy with higher deficits that ObamaCare created. With them, some (their) deficits are good, others (Republican) bad.

Mr. Biden clearly has a more Presidential aura. But he only offers a re-visit of the Obama economic stagnation years, which the well-to-do can afford but middle class cannot. And with the radical turn the Democrat party has taken, socialism is not an inaccurate term for the agenda of what his administration, as run by others, would be.

Regardless of whether Trump wins tomorrow (or in the coming weeks), the great tragedy is that this election had to be close, and perhaps a loss for the incumbent.

Mr. Trump, an unorthodox politician to say the least, did some great things, from de-regulation to tax cuts to federal court nominations.

But as he is so aware of, it’s all about marketing.

And for all too many, he has mis-marketed himself.

-I.M. Windee

Supreme Jabberwocky

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

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The confirmation hearings this Fall of Amy Coney Barrett is perfectly compatible with precedent and, most importantly, the constitution

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Democrats and Liberals are whining that Republicans should not move forward with the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett until after the elections when a change of control of the senate and White House might occur.

They argue that Republicans are using a double-standard compared to 2016 when they wouldn’t hold hearings for President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February of that year but this is nonsense. As history has shown, many confirmations have occurred in presidential election years when the same party controlled both the White House and the senate.

 Clarence Thomas 

Democrats have shown their bad faith when dealing with Republican Supreme Court nominees they don’t like such as Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork during their confirmation circuses

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They go on to argue that there will not be sufficient time for a thoughtful consideration of a controversial nominee’s merits, but the truth of the matter is, based upon the confirmation circuses of the past 35 years (see: Brett Kavanaugh [2018]; Robert Bork [1987]; Clarence Thomas [1991]), the only thing “sufficient time” is used for is to keep throwing baseless mud against the nominee until something finally sticks in the public’s mind. If Democrats had their way, 5 years would be “sufficient time” to torpedo Republican nominees (5 days, of course, for Democrat nominees).

They further argue that the justification of references to past confirmations that were completed in five or six weeks doesn’t work as all occurred more than a quarter-century ago and were not nominees who were controversial at the time. But much of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lauded legal work occurred more than 25 years ago; should that have a shelf-life, too? As to “controversial,” nowadays a ham sandwich is controversial to Democrats and Liberals if the ham’s origins can be traced back to the Koch Brother’s conglomerate.

Their weakest argument is the Republicans’ alleged rush of a Supreme Court appointment and confirmation “before the voters have a chance to be heard.” Yet the voters have been heard. That is, the 2016 and 2018 voters. They elected the current sitting President and senate. And nowhere in the constitution is there language that says they should be disenfranchised in a later election year while their selected leaders are still in office.

While Democrats and Liberals complain of inconsistency between 2016 and 2020, the inconvenient truth is that in both years the President and senate acted and are acting within their constitutional powers which is the only standard that matters, regardless if it brings results that Democrats don’t like.

-I.M. Windee

The Never Trump Movement

Friday, September 18th, 2020

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For too many, a vanity project at best; a personal vendetta at worst

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After 3 1/2 years of Donald Trump in the White House, this page has come to the realization that any adjective, adverb or expletive cannot aptly summon the portrait of who he is as well as the word “Trump.” It takes notoriety to have your name become a descriptive word, and not for the positive. But that’s what the current President has done.

Hopes of him mellowing with the job have been largely dashed although he has shown some signs of not being as rambunctious as in his first days.

Such cannot be said about the Never Trumpers, a varied group of (some nominally) Republican pilgrims who oppose him; many out of honest conviction, some because it is fashionable, a handful to get an unobtainable approval from the media and the left wing, and worst, a few out of personal vendettas.

The latest exhibition was at the Democrat National Convention last month in which 2 of several Republicans spoke out against Mr. Trump: former Ohio governor John Kasich and former Planet Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Both come from different backgrounds with Mr. Kasich hailing from blue collar beginnings while Ms. Whitman was born into money.

Yet both proclaim to be concerned about the citizenry in general and the worker in particular. 

Democrats protest giving ex-Ohio Gov. John Kasich a DNC speaking slot -  cleveland.comFormer Gov. Christie Todd Whitman

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Planet Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman are two Never Trumpers who put their personal feelings for the President above the good of the citizenry

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Which makes their endorsement of Joe Biden over Donald Trump all the more discomfiting.

Ms. Whitman is the stuffy old money ilk that seems a natural to dislike anyone like Trump whose demeanor would threaten the soufflé in the oven. The term for her at least used to be Country Club Republican. Hence, she’s motivated by facile conviction and the fashion of gratuitously denouncing Trump to look virtuous.

Mr. Kasich, however, led a state that has a tremendous amount of blue-collar workers. These workers, as U.S. Department of Labor statistics point out, took it on the chops during the high tax/regulation Obama years, which Mr. Biden would bring back but on steroids.

Yet such reality did not deter him from endorsing Mr. Biden over Trump whose policies in the last 3 1/2 years have clearly been better for the middle class.

A large part of it can be explained by Trump’s attack on him and criticizing, believe it or not, his table manners during the 2016 Republican primaries. Only Trump could do this.

Yet throwing the citizenry under the bus just because he was inappropriately insulted by a serial insulter does not display the sanctimonious plateau that Mr. Kasich wants people to think he inhabits.

One must wonder if Kasich, Whitman and their Never Trump cabal will sleep at night should Biden win.

Just as John Kerry rhetorically asked a congressional committee “How do you ask a man to be the last to die in Vietnam?”,  what does Kasich and Whitman tell workers who are struggling to make ends meet because a President Biden has taken us back to the wage stagnation and job insecurity of Barack Obama’s wealth redistribution economy? “Feel good about yourselves because we have an honorable president whose policies may be financially destroying you but at least he’s not Trump!”?

The truth is Kasich, Whitman and many high-profile Never Trumpers will never feel the pain of Biden’s bad policies; they have the luxury to be pious at other people’s expense: a Liberal trait.

Mr. Kasich should move on to his MSNBC talk show that seems inevitable and Ms. Whitman should stay cloistered at her estate without trying to mislead people into voting for Biden as “a person who can work with everyone” when in reality the only people he will work with will be his fellow Democrats, many of whom have radical ideas about socializing much of the economy and society.

Despite being a lifelong Conservative Republican who voted for Mr. Trump last election but emotionally left the parking lot asking “how did it come down to this?”, this writer doesn’t like Trump but will saddle up with the Silent Majority posse and vote for him.

And then be glad to never have to vote for him again.

-I.M. Windee

A Windee Graduation Speech: Avoiding The Road Not Worth Taking

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

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The following is one of a series published here every graduation season

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“Thank you for that roaring ovation. Throwing the rose peddles was touching and even more so because they were the kind I requested.

While most speeches speak to soaring platitiudes and grandiose goals, I offer far more practical, albeit strategic, advice.

In a speech I recently gave, I advised graduates that their success would be directly tied to the people they surround themselves with.

This means it’s important not to surround yourself with people who will not make you successful as well as avoiding bad deals.

There are people out there who can only lower your batting average and choices which while giving instant gratification will only be bad for you in the long run. Such must be avoided.

Image result for fork in the road

Choices in life may not be so obvious nor easy to make

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To be with people who will benefit you, you can’t be with those who will not.

And such choices will not always be easy nor obvious. One of the harder things to do in life is to accept one facet of the quixotic refrigerator magnet wisdom:  grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Accepting that certain people will not be a part of your winning team can be difficult, but must be done.

In 1986, President Reagan, in Reykjavik, Iceland, walked away from what would have been a short-term political victory in a nuclear arms deal with the Soviet Union because he knew that the deal was bad for the country. It took fortitude but he had it. A year later he got the deal he wanted.

You too will be tested throughout your personal and professional lives with bad options disguised as good ones. I urge you to walk away from such.

Finally, I close with wisdom that your administration here at Moneteria University required that I impart today in order to speak before you: be generous alumni and give often to your alma mater.

I will go home now and take a hot bath for 2 hours.

Godspeed to you all.

-I.M. Windee

A Windee Graduation Speech: Absolute Success Corrupts Absolutely

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

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The following is one of a series published here every graduation season

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“Thank you for that extended ovation. It affirms my decision to request that audience applause signs be installed and an activation button placed under my foot.

Today you are here with the most opportunity laid before the feet of any graduating class. Disregard what is said about American Decline; you live in what is known to be the most technologically advanced society known to humanity. Yes, we have shortcomings to be addressed but how we communicate, our life expectancy and medical care, our housing, transportation, sources of knowledge, etc. overall exceed anything in the past.

You are set up for great success and many of you will achieve such.

Image result for otto von bismarckBud Fox 2

 A 19th-century German chancellor foresaw 20th-century corrupted people

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But if you do, I ask that you never lose your moorings. Never become, as my grandmother used to say, too big for your britches. In short, don’t let success go to your head to make you discard, assuming you now have them, the basic human values that we should always have.

If you look around your classmates, you will see several that will become wildly successful in the conventional, if not true, sense. There are likely several captains of industry amongst you.

Amongst them are some of the finest, down-to-earth people you may ever know. Unfortunately, that could well change when they achieve success.

I am familiar with a person who was worthy of beatification in his 20s. Through hard work and, of course, luck, he is now extremely successful in the corporate world. Unfortunately, such has skewed his judgment and now the status of the people he associates with, as well as the country clubs they belong to and their tax brackets, are the dispositive factor in whether they are worthy to be in his orbit.

The 19th-century German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck once observed that absolute power corrupts absolutely. So too does absolute success corrupt the mores of even the best of people. I ask you not to fall into such trap.

I close with what Portfolia U’s administration has required me to remind you of: that your donations to your alma mater not only help humanity but are tax-deductible.

I must now take a large dose of Dramamine.

Godspeed to you.

-I.M. Windee

A Windee Graduation Speech: For Our Covid Era

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

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The following is one of a series published here every graduation season

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Thank you for that imputed, extended ovation I just gave to myself through the magic of computers with recorded applause.

Much unlike prior years, my sage words will be short and to the point given the current state of our Covid affairs and the fact that I can’t speak well wearing a mask. And by the way, my wife is right: my breath stinks.

 

im windee gives covid grad speech

Wait until I.M. Windee’s wife discovers where the other half of her bra went…along with the family can of Lysol

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So, as promised, I offer you no grand platitudes nor advice on taking over the world, let alone making it a better place.

My advice is more practical and for the moment. To wit:

 

FLEE!!!!

RUN!!!!

EVACUATE!!!

TAKE COVER!!!

SHELTER IN!!!

 

Thank you.

I must now mouthwash with Lysol and continue my ongoing, self-prescribed Covid vaccinations of cheap beer.

Godspeed to you all and I’ll see you on the other side.

-I.M. Windee

Reflections From Not Just Another Tax Season

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

THE FOLLOWING IS UPDATED AND PUBLISHED EVERY APRIL 15

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An accountant recalls (non) Kodak moments from an unusual tax season

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As another tax busy season slogs to a close, this CPA has some memories:

  • (client) “I DON’T CARE ABOUT SOME PLAGUE!!! I SHOULD BE GETTING A $300 REFUND AND I WANT MY RETURN DONE NOW!!!”
  • (client) “Why must I give you the same forms that I gave to you last year? Can’t you just use those?”
  • (the wife on March 20) “I booked our vacation for April 1-7; we got a great rate!”
  • (a client on March 25) “I want to thank you for the great job on my taxes. How about dinner the first week of April?”
  • (client) “Why must I pay? I don’t like what the government does with my money!”
  • (client) “I realize you’re 5 days from a final deadline but I really wanna talk about tax planning for next year. Would you call me in the next hour?”

Vineyard USA Chaplain: 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005

The attire for this year’s tax season was unlike any prior year’s

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  • Some clients you must gently warn of the potential downsides of aggressive tax positions; others you must read the federal sentencing guidelines to.
  • The public accounting analog to “will you love me in the morning?” is “will you still employ me after April 15?”
  • (client) “Mr. Windee: in response to your request for my wage statements, I enclose all of my charitable contributions. I trust you now have everything and can complete my return.”
  • Perhaps more than any other industry, CPA firms go all-out to be named “one of the best firms to work for.” An excellent rule of thumb is when you see a firm with one or several such awards, avoid it like the plague…at least as an employee.
  • (client) “Hi. I dropped my taxes off this morning and was wondering if I could pick  up my returns now.”
  • “I wasn’t expecting such a high quote of $400 to have your firm do my taxes. I think I’ll just go back to H&R Block and pay $500.”
  • Being a public-accountant is the art of wanting to tell some of your clients “go &@%#!$%!* yourself!!!” but instead saying “thank you for being my client.”
  • (partner) “Look, I know that Widget Corp. is and has been a tough client who had 3 bookkeepers last year, multiple staff turnover on our side and their books are a mess; not to mention that the owner is recalcitrant and disagrees with everything for the sake of disagreeing. BUT WHY ARE WE OVERBUDGET WITH THEM AND THEIR TAXES NOT COMPLETED??!!??”
  • During tax season, snow days reveal the inherent dichotomy of mindset between staff and management. For staff, a light dusting means staying home for a week and hoping the apocalypse will pass. For management, 3 feet of snow can be easily driven in if you have 4-wheel drive and good tires.
  • (partner) “I’m glad you came in on the new daylight savings time. But remember: at the end of the day it is really an hour earlier under the old time so feel free to stay and make it up.”
  • (to client): “We need your brokerage statements to complete your return.” (client): “Okay. What do you need to complete my return?”
  • (client e-mail) I still have to get you the remainder of my tax papers. :) And the deadline is only 2 weeks away. :) :)  I’ll be on vacation next week in the Bahamas. :) :) :) I’ll get you everything when I get back. :) :) :) :) Boy, I bet you could use a vacation! :) :) :) :) :)
  • (client) “I only gave 4 of the 24 pages of my brokerage statement to you as I did not want to overwhelm you. I also figured that this would keep the bill for your services down. You’re welcome.”
  • (client) “Is a deposit on my grave tax-deductible?”  Yes, in the after-life.
  • (client) “I tagged and identified what each self-explanatory document is (1099, w-2, etc.) just in case you couldn’t understand them. But I threw my receipts in an envelope and assume you can figure them out.”
  • (client) “Mr. Windee: I got your voicemail about brokerage statements and to answer your question, I included the food store flier as I took advantage of their 10% Off Sale and wasn’t sure if that had tax implications.
  • (client) “This is unbelievable. You mean I owe $200,000 of taxes on 1 million dollars of income??!!?? I can’t comprehend this misfortune!!! WHY??!!??”
  • For a deceased client’s final return, what address do you use? Heaven? Hell? How about their occupation? Corpse?
  • (I.M. Windee after a performance review): “That which does not kill you puts you in the ICU.”
  • (a partner): “I am sensitive to the fact that you are commuting 3 hours a day and am granting your request to work at home 1 day a week: Sundays.”
  • When the recruiter who has been non-responsive to you puts a video on LinkedIn using a sock-puppet to explain the recruiter-candidate relationship, you quickly come to the harsh reality that the sock-puppet will find a job for you far quicker than the recruiter.
  • (client) “IT’S %^&%%#%$#-ING PALM SUNDAY AND YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT TAXES THAT I OWE??!!??  THIS IS HORSE-&$%&%!!!! I WANTED TO SPEND THIS @%$&*%$%-ING HOLY DAY WITH MY FAMILY!!!”
  • (a partner in a performance review): “Look, I know you do not want to exceed budgets but you MUST record all of your time. Now, about the Widget Co. return, YOU BLEW THE BUDGET!!!  WHAT HAPPENED??!!??”
  • Most public accounting firms have a two-prong employee retention program: high unemployment and the counter-offer.
  • (client) “I know you might be busy as it’s April 10 but I got the 17th and final notice before levy for me to file a franchise tax return for 2 years ago. I didn’t give you the prior 16 notices as I assumed this would all blow over. They gave us 10 days from receipt to file which means it must be submitted tomorrow.”
  • (client) “I don’t mind [sort of] paying you for your services but my refund was only $300; isn’t your fee of $200 a bit much compared to my refund?”
  • To the client who generously gave $20,000 of non-cash donations in the form of various household items: “Your New Jersey return shows a refund, would you like to donate to any of the charitable causes listed on it?” The answer is predictable.
  • (the client from March 25 above) “I haven’t heard from you. May I presume Friday night, April 1?”
  • (client) “Is there a box I may check on the return that switches me from Liberal to Conservative so I may pay less? Those wild-eyed Conservatives are starting to look more reasonable.”
  • (client) “My taxes this year should be easy as there’s not much to report: most of my income was paid in cash.”
  • A power outage made me appreciate auto-save and document recovery in many programs. How was it done before computers? A power outage meant all work on paper was lost, no doubt.
  • (client) “It’s so stressful trying to get my papers to you. How do you do it?”
  • When a partner tells you that you’re not paying for yourself when you work 50 hours a week and are billed out at 3 times what you are paid, you feel like the $4 candy bar that hotels claim they lose money on.
  • (the wife when working home): “DON’T TELL ME IT’S MARCH 30 AND YOU’RE BUSY WITH TAXES!! I SAW YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM WHICH IS NOT EXACTLY ‘WORKING FROM HOME’! Now the garage needs painting; put on your overalls and grab a brush. After that you’re take me shopping.”
  • (client)  “Did you e-file my returns yet?” IMW: “No, did you send back authorization to do so?” Client: “No, but why didn’t you e-file my returns yet?”
  • (an accounting firm partner calling on the phone) “I’m looking at line 17 of Schedule E of the Smith return. How did you get to that amount?!?…..What do you mean you can’t recall?!?….YOU PREPARED THE RETURN ONLY 2 MONTHS AGO!…..You want to refresh your memory?!?…..What do you think this is, the courtroom?!?…..I think you’re suffering from memory loss!”
  • (virtually any accounting firm partner in the full-heat portion of their career e-mailing a staff member) “We are in the business of providing answers to our clients. If every time they came to us with a question and we responded with a deer in the headlight look, they would not come back to us. Which means they would not pay us. Which means we would not pay you. I trust you see the interrelationship. If you are unable to immediately provide answers to complex, arcane and often unexplored questions of tax law, may I suggest another shop? Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block come to mind. At least there you would be only asked what the standard deduction amount is, although I’m not sure you could even handle that one given your recent performance. Please take this as all my remarks are intended: constructively.

-I. Beetum
Partner/Unofficial Morale Director

cc:

1. Partners & Staff
2. Accounting Today
3. Journal of Accountancy

  • (client) “Thanks for doing our taxes again this year. When you get a chance, would you look into why you sent us a bill last year?”
  • (client) “No, I paid the balance from last year, but did not pay any of the “estimated” tax vouchers. Is that an issue?  I figured that was only a suggestion. And why do I have a balance due?”
  • A tax manager should remember that there’s a reviewer checklist to be strictly followed and adhered to when reviewing a staff-prepared return and that such list should be discarded when reviewing a return prepared by a partner. How could a partner be wrong?
  • (client) “I got the tax returns you prepared for me but the return I drafted on TurboTax not only produced a lower tax but no tax at all…”
  • (client) “I know I owed money from last year that you said would be offset against this year’s refund but I don’t understand why they took my refund this year? Would you explain it to me for the 17th time?”
  • (the memory loss partner) “Look, we encourage good health but why are you going to the doctor during tax season?!?…….Do you see me going?!?….Can’t you wait until April 15?!?……You should have stopped coughing up blood by then and you’ll save the co-pay!”
  • (the wife) “I don’t care what time of the year it is! The fertilizer must be laid down no later than April 14!”
  • (client) “Great to see you again, Mr. Windee. Seems like only a year ago we spoke.”
  • (client) “Hi Mr. Windee. I received my w-2s today. I have no idea what the next step is with them. Could you let me know what I do?”
  • [an accounting firm partner]: “What happened with the Widget Corporation return??!!?? It was a 20-hour job that I priced at 10 hours and budgeted to do in 5 yet you put 7 hours in on it!!!! Where’s the 2 hours over budget gonna come from??!!?? Your paycheck??!!??”
  • Commensurate with the preceding, all partners want every minute applied to a charge code (except their own clients’). But when they cannot collect they must write such time off. So an hour of work by a $100/hour staff that cannot be billed must be written off. To the partner, that is like taking $100 out of their pockets despite such uncollected charges being what a colleague of mine once wisely coined “funny money.” Until you collect it, it’s just a theory.
  • (client) “Wow! The way you just explained my return to me makes it sound so simple! I’m good at math. Maybe I should try doing my returns myself.”
  • (the client from March 25 above) “I figured it out; you’re on a diet and don’t want to eat out. How about a Yankees game on April 13? It’s against the Orioles, a great rivalry!”
  • (client) “Why do I have to make a payment when my neighbor doesn’t?”
  • (the wife on April 12) “I don’t care about your silly client meeting at 6 pm. You tell your client that every Friday night is pizza night with the family and you must be home early. Besides, your top client will understand, trust me.”
  • (client) “If I only supported the Iraq war but not Afghanistan, may I get a reduction on my taxes?”
  • [that accounting firm partner in a voicemail]: “Where are you? You may have 3 inches of snow where you live but there’s no snow here at the office! And I hear it’s 78 degrees and sunny in Hawaii. How can you not drive when it’s 78 degrees and sunny??!!??”
  • (client) “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I OWE??!!?? I THOUGHT YOU WERE A GOOD ACCOUNTANT!!!”
  • Starting in late March, my firm has a shoot-to-wound policy: any tax professional who strays too far from the building receives a leg shot that allows them to keep functioning in front of a keyboard……..at least until April 15.
  • (the client from March 25 above) “I’m disappointed having not heard from you and it’s mid-April. I’ll give you one last chance: how about snowboarding the first week of July?”

-I.M. Windee

A Trip Down Pre-Corona Memory Lane…

Sunday, April 5th, 2020

Can anyone remember?….

  • Impeachment?
  • The hashtag guillotine?
  • The Squad
  • The emoluments clause (I think it had to do with the oil industry)
  • The Democrat presidential candidates? (no worries, Joe Biden is hard-pressed to also)

the squadKim-Kardashian-2008

As society faces a true crisis, the lesser voices recede into the background

***************************************************************************

  • Going through a drive-thru without worrying if it could be a life-threatening event?
  • When we used to think nurses and doctors were a privileged and overpaid class?
  • When we thought pharmaceutical companies were evil and should be punished, if not put out of business?
  • Someone else’s body…err…..fragrance?
  • When we thought loners were nuts?
  • When someone clearing their throat didn’t cause severe apprehension?
  • When someone coughing didn’t make you hit the deck?
  • When the smell of Lysol didn’t make you feel safe and secure?
  • When you didn’t call home every hour to get an inventory of the supply of toilet paper; and then run a sophisticated projection to see how many years you could go, with current stockpile, if supply was suddenly cut?
  • When eating in was the only option you could ever want?
  • People cutting you off on the road?
  • The road?
  • When we cared about the Kardashians?
  • When you memorized the Monopoly game board?
  • Laughter?
  • Churchill’s war-time remark “Let them look back and say ‘this was their finest hour’ “

-I.M. Windee