The kids are like used cars: their value depreciates (tax-wise) while the cost to maintain them goes up.
Mrs. Nod is working on the taxes; it seems that even though our withholdings remained constant from last year, the numbers have worked out less in our favor. Instead of getting a return on our taxes, we might owe slightly on the Federal side. (But since I under-withhold on the State side, it may still be net positive.)
One of the factors seems to be that the Bush tax cuts are dwindling. The initial plan doubled the traditional child credit from $500 to $1000 per child; now they are about $700, and should be back to $500 by 2011 (if I understand correctly).
Since the kids are our investment and their value is dropping precipitously, do they now qualify as a "troubled asset" a-la TARP?
Hey, can I get a bail-out over here?