EITC and what it means to you

My mom emailed me about Earned Income Tax Credit and I thought I’d investigate.

From KY.gov

Governor Launches Campaign to Urge Kentuckians to Apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Surely, this is just a publicity stunt. Let’s see if I’m eligible.

From the IRS:

  • Must have a valid Social Security Number
  • You must have earned income from employment or from self-employment.
  • Your filing status cannot be married, filing separately.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return.
  • You cannot be a qualifying child of another person.
  • If you do not have a qualifying child, you must:

    • be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year,
    • live in the United States for more than half the year, and
    • not qualify as a dependent of another person
  • Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (related to foreign earn income)
  • EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates
  • Special rules may apply

So, I’m already disqualified because I wasn’t 25. If I was 25, let’s see where I could go:

Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

From EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates

  • $37,783 ($39,783 married filing jointly) with two or more qualifying children;
  • $33,241 ($35,241 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child;
  • $12,590 ($14,590 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.

$12,590? That’s earning ~$6.29 an hour working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year. I made more as a student worker for the university in 2005-2006.

Boo, Governor Beshear.

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IBM and The Bane of Knowledge

I’ve been working on a variety of databases/programming languages/operating systems over the years and I’ve had it with IBM.

IBM doesn’t want you to learn how to use their products. Never ever have I been so frustrated at a company for making such poor product documentation. Then it dawned on me. IBM deliberately makes their documentation/website unreasonably difficult and verbose to tout their support/service business.

I don’t mind IBM hardware very much. The laptop I’m on is a Thinkpad and it works pretty well. A lot of our servers are IBM — and we haven’t had too many issues.

IBM’s software documentation is a completely different story.

Exhibit A: DB2 DECLARE STATEMENT SYNTAX

From IBM’s site:

The DECLARE VARIABLE statement defines a CCSID for a host variable and the subtype of the variable. When it appears in an application program, the DECLARE VARIABLE statement causes the DB2® precompiler to tag a host variable with a specific CCSID. When the host variable appears in an SQL statement, the DB2 precompiler places this CCSID into the structures that it generates for the SQL statement.

That didn’t help me very much. All I want to do have a stored procedure with some local variables.

From vendors that aren’t actively trying to piss me off:

* SQL Server: DECLARE
* MySQL: DECLARE

Exhibit B: Redbook “Linux Connectivity with IBM i5/OS”

This is a 100+ page document. A while ago I wrote a blog post telling anyone who needed this how to do it in about 200 words (minus the background info I provided)

Exhibit C: IBM Director 5.2: Hardware and Software Support Guide

In order to answer the question “Will this product work with our infrastructure?” you have to sift through a 50 page PDF, and oh-so-attrocious Table 6.

Table 6 is lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng:

Long table is lonnnnng.

Who cares? As long as the job gets done…right? Wrong. Solely relying on IBM makes your IT department reliant on IBM, locked-in, and intellectually crippled. Why have pay highly skilled workers if you’re just paying them to be IBM liaisons?

IBM: There’s a better way. Start by ditching the PDFs.