End of this series on tax, though as everything is linked, I’m sure we shall return to the subject later. In case you missed it, here’s a link to Part 1.
It is a rare person indeed who doesn’t take every deduction, credit, and legal loophole they can to minimise the amount of tax they pay. They might say how X, Y, or Z thing the government does needs more money, but they don’t put their money (*their money*) where their mouth is, and skip one reduction or another. Perhaps, deep down, they know that the money won’t go where they want it to. Perhaps that many people really do understand, even if they don’t want to admit it to themselves, that tax isn’t all that great.
I’ve mentioned before the contention that “tax is theft”. What is theft? Something is taken from you without your consent. In these enlightened times, you don’t really have the opportunity to consent or dissent, the money is taken from you before you even get it. Unless they underestimated during the year, and decide you owe something extra. Then they take it with interest. If you happen to overpay, they don’t give you your refund with interest.
Now, we might be used to being milked, we might justify to ourselves our property being taken from us. “I’m ok with paying taxes because of X.” But chances are, you’re still unlikely to be that rare person of that first paragraph. If you had the choice between being taxed a larger amount and being taxed not at all, you’d be more likely to pick “not taxed at all”.
So what of the dissenters? What of those (nearly everyone) who wouldn’t pay tax at all if they had a choice? By “have a choice”, of course I mean “able to take that choice without having violent action taken against them”. Arrest, incarceration, possible accidental death during one of those, all violence. We might rail against guns owned by the general population, perhaps even against certain acts of violence inflicted by those employed to enforce the state’s will, but we fail to see that the state can do nothing without the threat of violence.
Someone who gets a large “amount due” notice from HMRC/IRS because of some miscalculation or other clerical error, is rightly frightened (especially if they can’t pay) – not all errors get fixed. Perhaps we can up the charge from “taxation is theft” to “taxation is armed robbery”.
“The Golden Rule” is a title given to the positive version of two sayings. The negative is “don’t do to others something that you don’t want them to do to you”, the positive is “do to others what you want them to do to you.
Purely and simply, do you, personally, want to be taxed more?
If the answer is “no”, don’t wish more taxes on other people.
It really should be that simple, right? Common decency? Basic logic? If you don’t want to be taxed more, don’t wish for other people to be taxed more.
If you want less taxes for yourself, oughtn’t you should wish for less taxes on other people too?
That seems to be the best bottom line to the topic that there could be. Tune in next time as I start a series on the next logical step: “BUT WHAT ABOUT….???”