Polly on Taxation.

"The question between now and the next election is whether Gordon Brown will go on shovelling more money to the grossly rich in the futile hope of appeasing them"

A delightful potted version of Polly\’s world view. Brown isn\’t shovelling more money to the grossly rich: he\’s not taking as much of it as Polly would like.

There\’s a rather crucial difference between not taxing someone and actually handing tax money over to them.

To equate the two, to say that not taxing someone is the same as handing them money is to make the assumption that it all belongs to the State and we only get to keep whatever the State doesn\’t need.

Polly might well think that way but most of us don\’t. Tax is a necessary evil, something we hand over to pay for the things that must be done both collectively and with the coercive powers of said State. It isn\’t the State\’s by right, we being allowed to keep whatever crumbs it allows us.

9 thoughts on “Polly on Taxation.”

  1. I know it’s not what Polly meant, but as chancellor, Brown did shovel quite a bit of money to the grossly rich.

    The government took more and more of our money in taxes (and borrowed more) and much of it was spent with those business that had the government contacts to benefit from public spending. Think PFI, consultancies, etc.

    Another reason to reduce the size and power of the state.

  2. The place where Brown *has* shovelled money has been into the public sector – especially the NHS and education where the expansion of funding has been truly amazing.

    The extra money has gone into inflated salaries for public sector workers, new jobs in public sector managment and various eye-catching new public sector gimmicks (like NHS direct).

    1997 Slogan: Education, Education! Education!

    Reality: School funding has doubled in real terms.

    Result: Average class sizes are exactly the same.

    It was an interesting experiment in determining whether chronically crummy public services were a result of systemic faults or under-funding. And we now have a clear answer.

  3. What HJ and Matthew say, also, there are a lot of regressive benefits like higher rate relief for pension contributions of up to £215,000 per year, subsidies for agricultural land owners etc.

    For sure, marginal tax rates on higher earners are far too high, but in cash terms they get a lot of it back. Ergo, scrap regressive tax breaks and reduce marginal rates seems to be the way forward.

  4. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Or can you?

    Like many on this blog, I would prefer a smaller, low-tax, more libertarian government. But if Polly et al want to live under a high-tax, overly bureaucratic nanny state, I say give it to them, but only to them. Who says government should apply the same rules to all citizens?

  5. “But if Polly et al want to live under a high-tax, overly bureaucratic nanny state, I say give it to them, but only to them. Who says government should apply the same rules to all citizens?”

    If there is serious consideration to Sharia law in parallel, why can’t we have our own tax laws? Polly can live under her Brownian regime in ecstasy, and I can live in a low tax regime. I’ll pay other ways for hospitals, we can both pay tolls for roads, and we can meet up in the same pub.

    Of course, she wouldn’t like that: she thinks that I am owned by the state, and serfs don’t have the right to wander off and pick a new master.

  6. Fact is, Tim, Polly DOES think – if “think” can be used to describe the process – that taxing the rich not as much as she would like is “shovelling money”.

    She is full of envy politics – she is a socialist after all. Anyone earning more than she does is clearly greedy and undeserving to that noodle head of hers.

    At the core of everything is not ‘light touch’ but the wrong timing and placing of the ‘touch’ by the State.

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