Massive deficits, partisan bickering, gridlock. As mentioned in a recent post here, these are all signs of the United States seeming slow glide to becoming a zombie nation.
But, we press on, doing our year-end rituals which include, of course, holiday shopping and rationalizing why THIS year, we are NOT sending out Christmas cards. (We're not.)
One of my December rituals is a bit of year-end tax planning because we are in the middle class and it seems that it is primarily our job to fund the government. And what a government it is, as I was reminded yet again just now.
We (my wife and I) are self-employed and pay for our own health insurance through a high-deductible insurance plan attached to a health savings account (HSA.) For those of you not familiar, the high-deducible plan means my wife and I pay for all our medical expenses out-of-pocket right up until one of our heads falls off and rolls up to the emergency room door. At that point, I think our insurance plan covers aspirin and a cold pack.
The HSA part of it means we can put money into a special savings account from which we can pay for those out-of-pocket expenses. Any money we put in (up to about $6,000) is deducted from our income when reporting our taxes.
So today, I decide to do a little research to make sure I am following the rules (being a rule follower and all.) I Google "HSA questions" and click on a link to the U.S. Treasury Department web site. The screen shot above is the screen that greets me: "THIS CONNECTION IS UNTRUSTED" with a button that says "Get me out of here!"
Yep - that sounds just about right.