I got a job. It's not just any job either. It's the job I really want. It fits my training, skill set, experience and it helps hard of hearing people communicate better too. It's been a long wait for work. I haven't worked since 2007. After I lost my last job, I went through all 99 weeks of unemployment while applying for about 500 jobs and living in NC. When the money was almost gone, I moved to California where I went on disability for my hearing loss and that means for the last few years, I haven't paid one single dime in taxes. Yep, you read that right, I'm way past being a member of those evil 47%'ers. I'm a member of the ultra-exclusive 18% club that pays no taxes to federal or state governments. One of the reasons I can return to work is I have had my hearing partially restored by cochlear implant surgery. I truly believe if I hadn't had that surgery (which Medicare paid for) I wouldn't have this job and would probably never work again. If you are interested, the details of my journey from hearing to almost deaf to where I am now are contained in my first diary here at DK.
Still, the simple fact is the $15,000/year I take home from my disability doesn't rise to the level of taxable income either federally or in California because disability is pretty much tax free up to about $25,000/year. I receive a small amount of unearned income from a trust my grandfather left, but I can't touch the principal and my standard personal deductions easily dwarf the amount I get from it each year. So, my net taxable income is zero, and thus, the amount I pay in taxes is also. In addition, I don't own my own home (huge shock I know given the amount of money I net each year) so I don't pay property taxes either. Heck, I can't even afford to have my own apartment and currently live with one of my amazing sisters who gave up her home office so I would have a place to live.
However, all that's about to change, because like I said, I got a job (YEA ME!) and that means I can eventually get my own place and yes, start paying taxes again. Now I could (probably) stay on disability for the rest of my life. My sister has made it clear I can live with her for as long as I want/need to, so I wouldn't lack for shelter and the disability money would allow me to continue to eat and have a bit of a social life. Even with the surgery, my hearing loss is still technically bad enough to qualify me as disabled and allow me to continue to collect, but it's not enough. It's only subsistence level living. I don't want to subsist. I don't want to get by. I want to thrive. I want to live. I want my own space to have friends over, have some privacy to bring a date home, to dance naked in the living room if I so please. In short, I don't just have to pay taxes next year, I WANT to pay taxes next year. I am GOING to pay taxes next year. I am going to smile as I file my tax return next March and if necessary cut a check to the IRS and giggle. So take that Mitt Romney, once again you fail to grasp the human element. Once again your efforts to reduce me to a number have failed. Once again, you've proven how out of touch you are, what a raving, two-faced, lying, bean-counting asshole you are. So feel free to reduce me to something you can run through your computer, Mitt. It won't help you really understand what motivates me. It won't help you figure out how better to relate to me and it damned well won't get me to vote for you, ever.