Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 20, 2010


UK: Tax man to become paymaster?

In our apparent rush to be just like Europe, I wonder if our leaders would think this was a good idea:

The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

You know, George Orwell was an Englishman and, it seems, knowing their proclivities, he was right on target with "1984". Not the year, the outcome.

Besides the practical reasons for not doing this, the premise under which it operates is horrifying. It says, "the government has first claim on all money earned in this nation." That may indeed by true by law, but this would make it true in fact. It would essentially turn the government into your paymaster.

Never mind the huge and assuredly bloated and inefficient bureaucracy that would grow up around this, or the cost to taxpayers (who ironically, would then get less in their pay check than previously because of it), just what in the world would cause anyone to offer such a suggestion except the belief that government owns all the money anyway?

The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

You see, per the suggestion, it would be better for the government if this was implemented. Not you, government. You would pay for it of course and it would most likely cost you a pretty penny, but then you’re there to support government and make things easier for the bureaucrats – don’t you see?

Move a long citizen, nothing to see here.  Just report to work early or we’ll dock you paycheck.

~McQ


Quote of the Day – master of understatement edition

But, I would guess, a pretty typical story:

"I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," said Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller. "With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work." According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds — in return, it created seven private sector jobs and saved seven workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million.

Anyone – tell me again how efficiently government does things and how we should "trust" it with our money because it will always spend it wisely? This, as we’ve seen, isn’t the only wasteful spending of taxed and borrowed money under the supposed stimulus. We also have funded such things as a study (for $823,000) by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.

Certainly "shovel ready" wouldn’t you say?

~McQ