Pied Piper Pitt's Bartender Won't Be Happy After Reading This
Let's see... If you spend most of your waking hours as well as even some of your sleeping hours in a bar, the LAST thing you ever want to do is piss off your bartender. So what is the worst thing you can do to piss off your bartender? Call him a name? Nope. They are probably used to be being called all sorts of things by drunks. Challenge him to a fight? No problem. The bartender merely needs to signal to Ty the Bouncer and out the door you go. It turns out that the absolute WORST thing you can do to a bartender is hit him in the pocketbook which is exactly what William Rivers Pitt has done in this DUmmie THREAD titled, "Dirty Little Trick #33,671." According to Pitt, a lot of our federal deficit problems are caused by bartenders and other members of the service economy who make only a small amount on the books but make a lot more in tips under the table which is mostly untaxed...at least according to the misinformed Trust Fund Baby. Great going, Pitt. I sincerely hope you show your DUmmie post to your bartender. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if it results in your permanent tombstoning from Bukowski's. And for you that would be an unbearable tragedy. So let us now watch William Rivers Pitt blame his bartender for the federal budget problems in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, already envisioning Ty the Bouncer tossing Pitt out into the Boston street, is in the [brackets]:
Dirty Little Trick #33,671
[Being played out at Bukowski's right now.]
This one is titled "How Your Favorite Waiter/Barkeep is Screwing America In Order To Pay The Rent, And Why This Makes Some People Very Happy."
[When your favorite waiter/barkeep at Bukowski's reads this, it will make him VERY angry.]
The word nowadays says we have a “service economy” in America…yes, our economic engine runs on people buying stuff from other people who wear nametags and run cash registers, or wait tables, or tend bar, or manage money, or perform some other kind of “service” as a job. Wartime economic footing? Billions and trillions spent on defense? Pish posh.
[Being a Trust Fund Baby, Pied Piper Pitt has no personal experience himself of working in the service economy.]
I know dozens of people who do “service industry” work, young and old alike, and the only ones I know who “manufacture” anything are the ones making bicycle frames from scratch at Independent and Bikes Not Bombs. The others are, for the most part, just trying to survive.
[And now you are threatening their survival by highlighting the tips they make under the table.]
But did you know this setup is substantially depleting the amount of tax dollars being collected, that each year brings less tax revenue than the year before (said decrease being inversely matched by the increase in “service industry” workers)…thus, we have less money each year to fund highway and infrastructure maintenance, public schools, emergency response people, health programs…and basically every other tax-supported thing in America besides warfare and space shuttles.
[All the fault of Pitt's Bukowski's bartender. Pitt blames him. I would definitely check carefully what is poured into your drink the next time you crawl up to the Bukowski's bar counter, Pitt.]
[Pitt now prepares to rub salt into his Bukowski's bartender's wound.]
The restaurant/bar industry, which employs millions of people all over the country, operates almost entirely on a cash-only basis. Waiters, waitresses, bartenders, line cooks, busboys, barbacks, bouncers – nearly all of them - make something like $2.15 an hour in paycheck-delivered wages, but make the real money through tips. That’s tens of thousands of dollars annually earned in tips by professional waitstaffers/bartenders, give or take, and pretty much all of it is undeclared and therefore untaxed.
[The Trust Fund Baby reveals the financial shenannigan's of his hard working Bukowski's bartender.]
Every bartender I know has a dresser drawer literally filled with ones, fives, tens…but the tax man only sees $2.15/hr x 52 weeks on the W2, which barely cracks five figures and which, by law, means they’re “in poverty” and exempt from taxation. None of them declare all that cash…ever. Bear in mind, we're not talking about megabucks here; if these folks make $30K a year on tips, I'd be amazed. They make enough to stay afloat (and drink/eat either free or cheap), so individually they aren't blowing holes in our public funds...but 50,000 of them? Just in one state?
[Too bad those bartenders didn't have the foresight to be born a priveleged Trust Fund Baby like the Pied Piper.]
No, they don't declare that cash...unless they have to. All my barkeep friends avoid getting featured in one of those indy-mag “Our Favorite Bartenders 2007” articles, I mean they avoid it like the black plague. Why? Because every bartender who gets featured in one of those annual “Best Whatever” stories ends up, without fail, getting their whole ass audited off by the IRS. If they’re a city “favorite,” goes the thinking, then they must be making gobs in tips, but somehow their last tax return didn’t reflect this, hmmm…yes, the agent will see you now.
[Meanwhile Pitt features his Bukowski's bartender in this post about the EVIL bartenders and their under the table tips. As a result, I predict Pitt's bartender will now avoid him like the plague.]
[So say goodbye to Bukowski's.]
That’s a neat way to “drown the government in the bathtub,” yes? Undermine the revenue stream, undermine government’s ability to function, run for office on a “Government don’t solve problems, government is the problem” platform (thanks to generous campaign contributions from certain persons and/or entities who are just dying for a chance to vacuum up whatever Social Security/Medicare tax dollars are still available), and finally privatize the whole damned thing once and for all.
[Pitt just found a neat way to drown himself in a world of hurt. BTW, if anybody out there lives in the Boston area, you might want to consider dropping off a printout of this DUFU edition at Bukowski's. Hee. Hee.]
I mean…we can’t raise taxes, right? Even if we did, there still ain’t going to be any tax money collected from those “service industry” cash-only workers, which is just more proof that government doesn’t work, so let’s privatize everything from soup to nuts to Grandma’s dialysis treatments…and besides, we can’t afford all these public entitlement programs while there’s a war on (Or is it two wars now? Three? Whatever). That’d be plain old un-American of us, right?
[I think Pitt is trying to make a leftwing point here but in doing so has cast unwanted attention on untaxed bartender tips. Sorry Pitt but on your way to make some sort of collectivist case you just highlighted something that your bartender would have preferred you had just kept your big fat mouth shut about.]
[Slick as a wet Bukowki's floor that you be sliding across after your bartender reads this post, Pitt. And now to hear from the other DUmmies...]
Absolutely spot on. The lower the wages go...the less tax revenue we receive, but even more important....the MORE that goes out (think Earned Income Credit). Not complaining about the ones who receive that, it is just an unintended consequence.
[One unintended consequence of Pitt's post will be his permanent tombstoning from Bukowski's.]
Let's see. I'm friends with a dozen bartenders at least, a dozen more waitstaffers, six or seven chefs/line cooks (who are mostly on salary but get a cut of the tips each night) two valet drivers, and a handful of hostesses/maitre-d's (sp?) who likewise get a cut of the nightly tip take. Maybe 50 people total, all making two bucks an hour on paper but pulling in hundreds a week off the books. That's three bars and five restaurants. Multiply that by however many restaurants and bars there are in downtown Boston alone, and...
[Let's see. You WON'T be friends with ANY of those bartenders any more, Pitt. By putting a little feather in your collectivist cap, you have focused unwanted attention on the major source of their income. Nice going, Trust Fund Baby!]
P.S. The money's that tall because these places are either right by Fenway (and thus gouge like maniacs), or are on posh-as-all-hell Newbury Street, where the elite meet to greet and spend zillions on shoes and designer garbage.
[P.S. The bartenders right by Fenway and Newbury Street are also now pissed as hell at you Pitt.]
Do a lot of people pay in cash in Boston? They didn't on the Cape (again, 18 years ago).
[Do Trust Fund Babies pay cash or use the credit card?]
Cash-only bars. Tips wind up getting automatically tabulated and declared when they come via credit card. Cash tips...woosh, like the wind.
[I can already envision the Bukowski's bartender's fists balling up in anger getting ready to punch Pied Piper Pitt in his big fat mouth.]
Here too. My friend waits tables and she is "charged" a percentage of all her checks, whether they tipped the "proper amount" or not.. Mass must be "old school".. My friend hated it when this became the rule, because if she got a $5 tip, and the percentage amount ended up being $7, she paid taxes on $2 she never even got
[That's when cheap liberals like Hillary sat at her table and stiff her.]
i always try to leave a cash tip when i use a credit card. as a former waiter, i know that it's greatly preferred.
[That's actually a pretty good tip. Whenever I use a credit card at a restaurant, I make sure to leave the tip in cash.]
cash-only bars? never heard of one. and even in the places where the tips are all cash- you still have to declare a certain amount for the tax man. that's just how it's done. sorry.
[The facts of service economy life are explained to the Trust Fund Baby.]
Fair enough. I am apparently misinformed. Lots of cash bars in Boston. Keeps the students honest, and cuts down on the bullshit.
[Pied Piper Pitt admits error but still manages to take a swipe at the bartenders.]
I think Pitt's point holds water when it comes to the true "professionals" with established clientele working busy places. I know some gay-bar bartenders that gross close to six figures - I've done their mortgage loans.
[And what else did you do for those gay-bar bartenders?]
Yes this is a crock Will...and I've always adamantly believed that if their tips are subject to federal income tax....shouldn't they have to make the freakin' federal minimum wage??
[Correct. The last time I checked, the federal minimum wage was WAY over the $2.15 per hour claimed by Pitt. Of course, one would expect a Trust Fund Baby who doesn't have to work to be clueless about such things.]
Actually, the IRS has been cracking down on unreported tips
Part of turning the IRS away from the big cheats has been to refocus the IRS on the little cheats. They've started estimating tips for waitrons. They're quite generous with their estimates
[Waitrons? Is this the new PC word to describe both waiters and waitresses?]
Fact check. The IRS taxes tips at an assumed flat rate as others here have noted. Restaurant service industry workers are some of the worst paid hardest working people in this country. Way to pick on the folks at th bottom.
[Pied Piper Pitt seems to have no problem picking on folks he perceives to be way below Trust Fund Babies.]
a) I'm talking about beloved friends of mine;
b) This isn't their fault.
c) See a and b.
d) This is what they tell me.
[Gee, what a pal you are, Pitt. You expose on the Web how they make a little extra bread in order to make a dopey collectivist point. I'm sure your bartender will "appreciate" what his "beloved friend" has done for him.]
You're so wrong. And you owe bartenders and waitstaff an apology. Restaurant workers are taxed on a percentage of their sales under the assumption that they are garnering about 13% of the net in tips, whether they make that or not. If a waiter rings up a takeout order under his ID number but there's no tip on it, the waiter is going to pay the tax anyway. Service workers get screwed bigtime on this. Check your facts, Will.
[Fact checking isn't exactly a strong point for the one who scooped Karl Rove's indictment on May 12, 2006.]
OK. I meant no offense - as stated above, I'm talking about good friends, and basing this on what they've told me - but I also may be dealing with a few unique situations, i.e. cash-only bars and restaurants. How do you tax cash like that? See post 7 re: credit card tips, that's clearly the deal...but if the place takes no cards, and the tips are all cash, I don't see how that gets reguated unless the bartender/waiter keeps a running tabulation and sends it to the IRS.
[Said Pitt, digging an ever deeper hole for himself in the Bukowski's barroom floor.]
Just read the 20 or so clear explanations here. You should have done a little homework before just taking your friend's words for the literal truth.
[Pitt also took the words of his friend, Jason Leopold, as the literal truth. Gullibility, thy name is Pitt.]
Remind me of that the next time I listen to you.
[Responded the Pied Piper angrily but not nearly as angrily as his bartender will be responding to his post.]
I just asked the mods to lock this
My alert note:
"Sorry to be a bother, but I'd be vastly grateful if you locked this. Either my logic motherboard misfired, I wasn't sufficiently clear with the details, or I didn't hear my friends correctly. This is pissing people off, and I didn't want to do anything like that. Thanks."
Apologies, folks. Sounded great in my head, but...
[It sounded great in your head but you suddenly panicked when it finally occured to you just how much your post would piss off all the bartenders in Boston. Too late, however. Your post will be featured bigtime in the DUmmie FUnnies. Hmmm... Is there any freebie rag in the Boston area that this DUFU edition could be forwarded to? Hee! Hee!]
Yeah, all of these poor waitstaff cheating the government....
I have personal feelings about the IRS and tips for waittresses. Back in college, I was supporting myself by working at the Black Angus. Sure, money could be good and this was back before you really were expected to declare all of your tips. I pretty much did, though- it was easier that way. The IRS came in and audited our restaurant. They ESTIMATED what each waitress should have made, supposedly factoring in the people who stiffed you and the people who sat there for 2 1/2 hours. They slapped all of us with a past due tax bill, mostly interest and penalty. Most of us didn't keep detailed records back then, so we had no proof. If you tried to fight them, they would say, "okay, well lets look at 1983 also". This was before the newer allegedly friendlier IRS. They did it for two years and told me that I owed them about 5K. It was so unfair.
[Look at the bright side. This made a certain Boston Trust Fund Baby happy because you were forced to pay your share of the federal infrastructure.]