From The EastWing, An IRS Letter, Hobby Lobby, Facts & Fiction

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

A couple weeks ago a lady called the office in a fairly high state of panic. Seems that she’d prepared her own personal and business tax returns and now had a letter from the dreaded IRS. Sid she needed to see me right away. Her appointment was first thing the next day.

Upon reviewing the IRS Letter and also her tax filing information, it became apparent that she had committed two of the four most common mistakes people make when they prepare their own business taxes. My assurance that this was a simple fix and no long term problems would result made a happy morning for the client.

After the tax matter was resolved, the girl knowing that I’d worked in the health care field in a different life, asked what I thought about the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby Case. I told her that it didn’t really affect me one way or the other so I’d not paid too much attention other than was aware of the decision of the court. I asked for her thoughts. She was more than willing to state her thoughts.

WOW! For 15 minutes I was told how unfair the Supreme Court had been. How a bunch of “Old Bastards who didn’t have a clue” had taken away a constructional right of every woman in America. That the employer should never have a say in the female employee birth control. It was at that point the conversation was joined. Now I didn’t say anything about that constructional right thing, ‘cause that’s too dumb to talk about.

I said “yes, I agree, the employer should not have a say in the female employee birth control. And with that agreement, surly you would also agree it is not right to ask an employer to spend their money on anything that they should not be involved in to begin with.” A different point of view on the legitimately of asking the employer to fund birth control. I do believe the girl had never thought of the question in that light. She as much as said so. From there on, we talked of other things.

That same evening I realized I knew very little about the court decision and decided to enlighten myself of the actual details of Hobby Lobby’s position and what makes Hobby Lobby tick. The research was easy, it’s all public knowledge available to anyone interested enough to look. What I found was eye opening to say the least.

Most everyone is familiar with the current Supreme Court case, but there are many things about Hobby Lobby that are not being reported by the mainstream media. For example, did you know Hobby Lobby sets its own minimum wage, which currently exceeds the national by 93%? The facts stated here may shock you. For sure they shocked me.

With the company being regularly belittled in the news due to their religious views and current conflict with the Affordable Care Act mandate for birth control, it’s time to set the record straight and give this company some of the positive publicity it deserves. Here are some details about Hobby Lobby and its founders that you probably haven’t heard about on the news. I for sure did not hear.

First, while the media continuously states Hobby Lobby does not want to offer birth control through its insurance plan, this is completely inaccurate. The company already covers 16 of the mandated 20 drugs under Obamacare. The controversy started when Hobby Lobby owners claimed it would be a “violation of conscience” to provide the remaining 4 drugs that cause “end of life” rather than standard contraception. Hobby Lobby doesn’t object to covering all contraception, only the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella and intrauterine devices (IUDs), which they believe are abortifacients. These abortifacient drugs are not what would typically come to mind when most people hear the words “birth control.”

What’s most interesting about the case and protests are that those most up in arms about Hobby Lobby contesting the mandate are not their employees. Hobby Lobby was founded by David Green on August 3, 1972, and as of August 2012 the chain has 561 stores nationwide. The Green’s founded and grew the company on Christian principles, which have been long standing. These principles were not an issue until the Obamacare mandate. This is not a movement of protest by the employees. This is a protest by forces outside the company that have never had any contact with Hobby Lobby. It is an effort o destroy a company because the company does not demonstrate a liberal agenda. UUUGH ! As a matter of fact, at this time the company has 4 out of 5 stars for employee satisfaction on indeed.com.

While reading the reviews on indeed.com, you will find that some of the benefits of employment at Hobby Lobby, as cited by their employees are those that are in place due to the Green’s Christian principles, such as Sunday’s off. The Green family are unarguably devout Christians who run the company based on biblical principles. Besides closing their stores on Sundays, other principles include starting staff meetings with Bible readings, paying above minimum wage, and using a Christian-based mediation practice to resolve employee disputes. With these practices and policies in place and long standing, the Christian-based values that the company was founded on and continues to run on are no secret to the employees, who choose to work there.

Just look at the pay Hobby Lobby offers. While the news has been inundated with Hobby Lobby’s issue with the “birth control” mandate, why wasn’t their recent hike in wages equally reported? I think it would surprise most of you to know that in 2013, Hobby Lobby raised their minimum wage for full-time employees to $14. According to Charisma News in 2013:

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc …. announced … a minimum-wage increase to $14 per hour for full-time hourly employees … The company also announced a minimum wage increase for all part-time employees to $9.50 per hour.

This is the fifth year in a row that the company has raised wages for full-time hourly employees, who earned a minimum of $13 per hour in 2012. It’s the fourth year in a row for the company to increase the minimum wage for its part-time hourly employees, up from a minimum of $9 in 2012.

This increase for full-time hourly and part-time hourly employees will raise the pay of more than 17,726 employees nationwide. Hobby Lobby’s new minimum wage for full-time hourly employees is 93 percent above the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

In 2013, Hobby Lobby projects continued growth and plans to open 33 additional stores, which will create an additional 1,200 jobs across the country.

It’s safe to say that Hobby Lobby employees, who made 93% above the minimum wage paid at similar jobs would be able to afford to pay for the abortifacient drugs with the generous pay they receive should that need and desire arise for an individual. Arguably, Hobby Lobby gives their employees 93% more choices by providing them with sufficient pay that they can spend as they choose.

Another interesting fact about the Greens is that they are even attempting to build a Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. The Green Collection, assembled by the Green family, is the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts. It is a compilation of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities currently featured via the worldwide traveling exhibition Passages and will eventually form the core of a permanent, national, non-sectarian Bible museum in Washington, D.C. This is just more evidence of the Green’s generosity and passion for the Word of God. Instead of keeping the private collection to themselves, they are making attempts to share it with the world.

It took minimum effort on my part to find out the true facts about Hobby Lobby. Their founder and their business operation practices are clearly public knowledge. It is truly amazing why such unfair propaganda is being spread by those who call themselves “progressive”.

It’s time to set the record straight and share these facts that the “progressives” in our society don’t want you to know.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, An IRS Letter, Hobby Lobby, Facts & Fiction

I Wish You Well,

BobbyRay