Sorry, but I have to rant

It’s hard to be calm when I see my way of livelihood about to be obliterated by this administration if they pass the GOP’s *tax* bill. Small businesses will be going under everywhere you look.

Sadly, if it goes through, I may no longer be able to afford to teach.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, I really don’t make that much money teaching, but I enjoy it. I know I’m good at it. I hear it from my students every time I teach. But, if I can’t write off my expenses, I can’t pay my rent. I could have to give up the job I am best suited for and find some other way to make a living.

I love seeing when my students are so excited by the work they’re doing, having fun while learning and gaining confidence in their skills. To not be able to do that breaks my heart. And all because a bunch of men in Washington want to give themselves, and their wealthy friends, a tax break they don’t need or want!

I’ve been talking with many of my quilting and mixed-media teaching friends and everyone is lamenting how devastating this will be to the industry.

Imagine going to a quilt show with only a handful of teachers, basically only those who can afford to teach for fun. And a vendor hall with just a few booths, because who’s really making enough profit if you can’t subtract travel expenses, shipping, and hotel bills to do shows?  Not to mention how few teachers will be available to travel to guilds. It won’t take out everybody, because not everyone lives on their income teaching, but it’s going to take it’s toll in more ways than we realize.

Times they are a changin… and it scares the heck out of me.

47 Responses to “Sorry, but I have to rant”

  1. Jane Worley Knapp says:

    Thanks for sharing your feelings about this issue. It is good to hear how people will be affected with different jobs/businesses. I hate what may happen if this bill is passed. We know it will cause harm. I hope you will be able to continue your work. I have several of your books, but have not attended one of your classes yet. I admire your work!

    • Julie Reggiardo says:

      I would suggest you look into setting yourself up as a non-profit organization, since you provide a valuable service to the Quilting community. You are a teacher, who brings in a spiritual element with the prayer flags. All monies go into the nonprofit, which pays you a salary for your services and a commission on each book, etc. you sell. The corporation pays your expenses, just like in any other corporation. Unless the rules on nonprofits get changed, you would only pay taxes on the actual income you are paid. I believe nonprofits are currently tax-exempt. Please understand I am not a CPA or tax-attorney, so this is not professional legal advice. It is just an idea for an avenue for you to explore. On a personal note, I hope to take another class from yousoon.

  2. I’m so sorry Judy. Good luck, I hope things work out

  3. Debra C says:

    Rant away. Many of us are angry and afraid of what the future may hold.

    Several Republicans said they are afraid all their donors will abandon them entirely in 2018 if they don’t pass a tax bill that benefits those wealthy donors. They are taking away from the needy middle Americans to give to the wealthy donors that don’t even need it, (exact dollar amount transfer from the many to the few). They don’t care how many of us are hurt or how truly devastating it will be to us. They even admit that they don’t even really know what all is in the tax bill because it will be constantly evolving right up to the minute they vote and no one will even have a chance to review the final bill before they vote for it. A new all time low for the government

  4. I agree with you, Judy. I will have to close my Fiber Arts business also. So many small businesses will go under. We will also consider selling our house and buying a motor home or boat to live on. Every day some new insanity comes out with the Republicans.

  5. Paula White says:

    I am so sorry to hear this, Judy. I’ve been trying to take your class for a while. I work as a nurse and my work schedule hasn’t lined up, but I do hope something works out so that you will be able to continuing to do what you love.

  6. So, while most of us cannot afford to fly around the world to teach-
    Your travels to Germany, Australia, etc. have been financed by the taxpayer?
    There is no reason that you cannot teach in your community.

    • pdxknitter says:

      I don’t think you have any concept of running a business. You should perhaps look into how small businesses work.

      • Sorry, but my husband and I have run a small business for 20 years and have difficulty writing off anything for the last ten years including travel, food, etc. It is not a new phenomena.

        • pdxknitter says:

          Then maybe you should get a new accountant. Travel expenses related to your business, such as air/hotel/food when going to a business related conference for example, are absolutely deductible as business expenses. We’ve done that every year since 1997.

    • My travel expenses are paid by the organizations of the country I go to and there is nothing I deduct on my taxes from trips like that. They are working vacations for me and they are the only way I get to have a vacation. Not to mention the fact that my boyfriend joined me when I finished teaching and paid for all our food and airbnb’s between my teaching gigs so we could see more of the country.

      • If you don’t write it off then you don’t have to rant.

        • I do not write off my international travel! I do not write off travel that is reimbursed! There are plenty of times I travel for teaching that comes out of my pocket for shows that do not cover expenses! I have plenty of other business related expenses that I do not need to explain to you.

          Enough! Now please take yourself elsewhere.

      • ‘… because who’s really making enough profit if you can’t subtract travel expenses, shipping, and hotel bills to do shows?’

        Your words.

        • aknowles13 says:

          Sounds like jealousy to me

        • Mary Gorfine says:

          As a quilter who teaches mostly at local venues, it seems that I will no longer be able to write off my supplies. Every time I teach, I demonstrate to my students. That’s fabric, thread, batting to purchase. It’s tools that wear out and need to be replaced. It’s coming up with new samples to share with venues so they can advertise the class in advance. Plus many other expenses to promote myself to potential venues. If I teach at most shows, they pay none of my expenses for travel, accommodations, food. This is what Judy is talking about. We will have to see how the law is framed. It may be that since we are a small business, our expenses fall into a different category than teachers at schools.

          By the way, I’m confused by some of your logic–I’ll bet you write off your home mortgage–that deduction is apparently going away, too, but I’ll bet you don’t believe the “taxpayers” are paying for your home.

          • Mary when I say rent, I mean rent. I lost my home (and life savings) in the recession when my ex couldn’t find work and the banks weren’t using the money they were given to modify mortgages. People like Steve Mnuchian are now billionaires off of the losses of people like me and my ex.

  7. dmearls2015 says:

    It is so sad to hear how the tax reform will affect so many of us. Although it won’t impact me financially negatively at first, it will impact my life negatively in so many other ways. To think that so many will not be able to teach, to travel, and to expand my learning and my life is frightening. There are so many people impacted by the current political climate that it is a dark time in our history. It is so wrong that the power of the rich can cause so much damage. Ethical, moral compassion for all our citizens has departed in the quest for the rich to become richer at the expense of so many. It makes me angry and so sad. I can only hope that voters realize that it is time to look for politicians that are not in the pockets of powerful lobbies and individuals who just want to promote their agenda whether it is for the common good or not.

  8. dmearls2015 says:

    After rereading my reply above, this will affect all of us and make our world less rich in ways that go beyond money. For those who make a living that will not be sustainable if the tax reform goes through it is devastating. For those of us whose lives are enriched and improved by these people, it will diminish our lives. But, for all those who will not be able to survive in the new regime it is cruel and wrong!

  9. Christine Sandow says:

    It seems the Republicans are trying to do everything in their power to harm the lives, health, and financial security of everyone but the very wealthy. A strong, thriving, and prosperous middle class is vital to a strong democracy and a strong economy, and it is also good for the wealthy and businesses because a strong economy benefits them as well. The middle class are the people who drive the economy. They don’t hoard a tax cut. They immediately recycle it into the economy through their purchases. The Republicans are taking care of the wants of the few at the expense of the needs of the many. I’ve written my unresponsive senators until I’m blue in the face. The majority of people don’t want this, and still the Republicans persist in pursuing the already failed theory of trickle-down economics.

  10. GAIL TERRELL says:

    I’m sure that you pay for some of your own travel expenses, but most of the time the group that hires you to teach pays those expenses. I know our group in Alabama happily paid your expenses and have no regrets. The workshop was great. That said, I don’t understand how some commenters seem offended that you and other teachers can deduct business expenses, but are apparently fine with General Electric and Exon and Trump deducting millions in “expenses” plus getting an absurdly low basic tax rate. It is a puzzle in logic. Hope the GOP fails once again.

  11. pdxknitter says:

    There will be no teachers of anything if this bill goes through. It is ridiculous to not allow people to deduct business expenses. The Great Depression will be nothing compared to what will happen if small businesses cannot deduct expenses.

  12. Jane says:

    Well said—and sad.

  13. cblanco46 says:

    I hope you have expressed this to your Senator and to those who remain on the fence. I have been marching,calling, faxing, emailing, since January 21, 2017. Will continue to until this nightmare ends. I hope that all others who know they or friends and family are going to be affected have been and will do the same.

  14. Diane Evans says:

    Judy — I have made phone calls to politicians, I have sent money to Democratic organizations — I’ve done everything I can do as one person to help you and so many other talented artists like you to avoid this crisis. I’ve decided that all I can do now is pray that enough senators will come to their senses and vote against this horrible bill. Let’s hope someone is listening.

    Stay strong, my friend.

  15. My heart aches for you and the concerns that must be occupying all of your thoughts. I know it is no consolation but please know that you are not alone and that there is an army of citizens fighting this tax legislation day in and day out. The ramifications of it threaten every single one of us, except, of course, the super wealthy. The bill isn’t signed yet, so let’s keep fighting and hope that there are enough fair and reasonable Senators to block the bill from passing. Here’s sending you many big hugs.

  16. aknowles13 says:

    Judy, I love your class when you taught here with the Tampa Bay Desigh Guild. I am so sorry that there are some people so jealous of your success and they post hurtful comments.

  17. fairymama says:

    My dear artists, no matter what your political leaning are, our Country is in trouble. We are becoming so divided I am afraid that we will never be able to come together again. This is how civil wars start and there are examples of this all over the world. When there is so much anger and disrespect how can we come together again? And then who are the winners?
    We, as women and artists can surely find common ground to help create harmony and thoughtful answers to the problems that face all of us.
    There are many women who are using their skills and talent to carry the momentum of resistance forward. Perhaps this is something we should all think about.
    Peace to all of you.

  18. Paula White says:

    How did it go Judy? Will you still be able to travel and teach? I am praying for you. I am praying g for us all.

  19. Rebecca in SoCal says:

    Oh, dear, what a bleak post! (Not blaming YOU). I had only thought of classroom teachers, like city schools.

    And small businesses! I keep reading about how many jobs small businesses create; they certainly need tax breaks more than huge corporations. It’s all just sickening.

  20. Susan Whitfield says:

    Judy, I am an attorney and I work with artists and arts businesses. I agree with your views and am more than appalled by what is happening to our country. As I understand it the loss of deductions by employees will not effect the ability of a small business to deduct its business expenses. If we cannot stop the legislation, you may be able to restructure the way you treat your expenses and still be able to deduct them as ordinary expenses of your art business. Please check with your local arts attorneys or SCORE chapter of SBA. Call your representative and Senators even though it seems useless, and tell them what their bill will do to you.

  21. Susan thanks so much for your information, it has all been so confusing. I think it will be at least a year before we find out all the horrible things this bill has crammed into it. I have since learned as a *sole proprietor* I can still make deductions which is huge relief. I feel really sorry for my friends working in the underfunded schools of our country that can longer deduct all the supplies (paper, pencils, art and music equipment, etc) that they provide for their needy students each year. Not to mention all the small businesses with employees that barely get by now. This bill has huge ramifications to the lower and middle class that we will watch unfold in the years to come, and if our students can no longer afford to take classes as time goes on, a whole creative industry will slowly disappear.

  22. Leah says:

    As a Canadian, I didn’t realize this would be one more of the negative results of this very destructive and wrong-minded administration.

    Thanks for venting, for explaining this very sad possible outcome.

    Not a datmy passes that I don’t hope for impeachment, or anything else that puts your country back on a sane route forward.

    Wishing you the best, and hoping you can continue doing what you do. You are a great teacher!

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