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In A Handbasket

Time for a rant.

Everything's broken! Nothing works! Ggghhhaaaa!!

Taxes are broken. I got a letter from the IRS explaining that they've reduced my refund — it appears something strange happened with respect to my Health Savings Account. The guy who does my taxes says it's probably bad software on the IRS's side and he'll look into it. Relatedly, a few weeks ago I received a corrected 1099 in the mail… after I had sent in my tax returns. The corrected 1099 was printed April 10th, all-but-guaranteeing to cause trouble.

Gasoline is broken. Idiot Republicans are trying to get me to mail myself $100 so I can afford to buy gas, and the oil industry is still horribly off-message trying to defend itself. They need to stop letting themselves be the scapegoat and start channeling Hank Rearden. They should be apologizing for profits that are too low, not too high. And weirdly, the fuel gague in my car stopped working today. I don't have enough data yet to know if it's a one-time issue or if it's really broken. But it's something I get to complain about. :)

My bank is broken. They sent a wire without a destination account number, so the money bounced back to me a couple days later. Precious metals sellers are broken, too — the wire was to buy some palladium. But they didn't have enough to cover my order, and didn't bother to tell me until after receiving the funds I had to re-send. This is shockingly brain-dead inventory management.

People are broken. I'm getting a higher-than-normal volume of e-mail about the ACN scam. Nothing good enough to publish, though.

Social Security is still broken. The 2006 Trustees Report has been released and the picture is slightly worse than it was last year. I still want to opt out of Social Security. I fear Arnold Kling has jumped the shark by advocating that we simply raise the retirement age without doing anything at all to compensate the young.

Personal finance reporting is broken. Here's a lovely example of the problem with imputed income. The article is reporting on an estimate of how much a mother would make if she was being paid for the various "jobs" she performs during the day. I always roll my eyes at these things because they never include any income associated with the job "prostitute" — which is the only example you need to realize the ridiculousness of the whole endeavor.

A bunch of stuff is broken at work too. But I mostly don't blog about work.

The lone ray of light is that the Chinese are still subsidizing America. That's a kind of broken I can like.

Tiny Island