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Ritchie of the day

For far too long it has been suggested that people pay tax out of their own incomes and assets but that’s not true.

32 thoughts on “Ritchie of the day”

  1. Is the man evil or just wrong?

    I think of myself as quite charitable, but RM just seems to epitomise the creeping, strangling evil of “Progressive” Fabian politics.

    I feel the same way reading his articles as I did after hearing a Gordon Brown speech – a sort of low-grade disgust, slightly defiled feeling.

    Keep ridiculing the man, for all our sakes.

  2. fucking outstanding – that link goes to Ritchie’s homepage and the “featured article” is a link to a three year old article. Click it and you get a 404.

  3. I’d like to point out that my comment is about the Murpmeister’s incompetence, not Timmy’s

  4. Have you actually read what’s been said?

    Sure, there’s some semantics, but you can only class the receipt of income as income after tax. It is not income before tax because it isn’t yours.

    Have YOU ever seen a payslip?

    You don’t receive the money first and then apportion some away, do you? Brainless….

  5. Arnald
    Why is it called “Income” Tax then?
    What the hell is “Income before Tax” and “Income after Tax”? How can I participate in a “salary sacrifiice scheme” for my pension if it isn’t my money in the first place?
    You’re obviously not self-employed either or am I just playing at semantics?

  6. Arnald? Exactly which planet are you living on? Like probably all of the people commenting here I negotiated my remuneration for job done in gross pounds. Not pounds net of tax. As a matter of fact I was self employed in the UK so that was my money not the bloody government’s. The tax was another bill to pay & amongst those, it was the one that gave the least value.

  7. Arnald, “You don’t receive the money first and then apportion some away, do you? Brainless….”

    Actually, I do, in fact, do just that. As do all self employed folk. And Richie. And if you are one of the waged, have a look at your pay slip and note that the items such as tax, NI, etc are called “deductions”. Note also that your actual wage is quoted first, then the list of deductions from it are underneath that.

    Oh, and by the way, your prose style, that way you go “You don’t receive the money first and then apportion some away, do you? Brainless….”, so like the actual idiot Murphy that you could be him. If you aren’t, you maybe want to increase your reading base.

  8. Arnald,

    You can argue till the cows come home about who pays the tax, whether it is the employer or the employee. All we can really say is that it has been skimmed off the transaction by the State. The employer paid X, the employee received Y, X-Y went missing.

    What we do know is that the employee has a value of X to the employer, but the employee did not receive that value in full. So one good interpretation is that (X-Y) is the equivalent of Marxian surplus value, a theft or expropriation from the employee of his rightful earnings.

    So in that sense, it is more pragmatic to say that the employee lost the money; the employer was prepared to spend that whoever got it, but the employee didn’t receive all that he was worth. The tax is, in this analysis, clearly a theft from the employee.

  9. @Arnald: you have obviously never been self employed. I am, and all my income arrives gross. At a later date I then have to send large cheques to the government. It focusses the mind on making those cheques smaller, I can tell you.

  10. Arnald said: “Sure, there’s some semantics, but you can only class the receipt of income as income after tax. ”

    You are referring to PAY AS YOU EARN. You are the one paying it. The clue is in the name.

  11. I think he means that all money belongs to the state.
    It is due to the state that we have any money and we should be happy to give to Big Brother whatever he asks.

    I don’t believe this btw.

  12. I seem to remember that the divine Margeret had something to say about this along the lines of Labour turning the country into the “Pocket Money” society.

    Article in The Sun – 13 September 1976

    She meant it in exactly the way that Ritchie and Arnald mean it, that “The state is your Mother and your Father”.

    The state will decide intrude into the privately negotiated contract between employer and employee and deduct whatever the state decides is needed for the free and fair running of society.

    What is left after these forced extractions over which you have no control (other than to “vote with your feet”) is the money that the state decides you may spend on your own needs.

    The analogy to pocket money is both appropriate and dreadful. It is quite clear that Ritchie considers himself a propagandist for the ever expanding socialist state (“Usefull Idiots” was Stalin’s name for them).

  13. If you look at a note, you’ll see words to the effect that the government promises to pay the bearer a certain value. The piece of paper might be theirs, but it is in fact a liability to the holder of the note which the government bears. Hence the value of the note, once in circulation, is vested in the holder, not the government.

  14. View from the Solent

    If its not from mine, out of whose income and assets am I paying tax then?
    Whoever it is, I hope they don’t find out.

  15. I’m self-employed. I live in a country which has delightful things such as the Internet, a functional legal system (both in the sense that I can get people to pay me, and in the sense that people won’t beat me up and steal my things), an educational system, roads, railways, garbage collectors, healthcare, &c.

    The suggestion that the $ (or GBP) sum in which I negotiate my income is actually the money I ought to get in full, rather than the money that I think I’ll get after having paid the assorted taxes that are due for creating an environment in which I can live the life I live, is just *weird*.

    I could’ve chosen to move to a tax haven. I didn’t. The same choice applies to everyone. So yes, obviously pretax income is irrelevant, unless you live in Somalia and have a private army (and even then, you should probably class your payments to them in the same column you’d class tax if you lived elsewhere).

  16. To a certain extent john b raises a reasonable point – taxes are paid in order that net income may be enjoyed and so that one can continue to make that income. The fly in the ointment, for my money, is that the state does many things that could perfectly well be done privately. It is also the case that the state wastes money on various things that do nothing to help people make money and nothing to guarantee their continued possession of it.

    One can therefore make a case for a minimalist state on this basis, but it is simply ignoratio elenchi to insist that state provision of certain things justifies, in itself, a large state. Certainly there is no justification here for the sort of arbitrary moral judgements of desert favoured by the retired accountant from Wandsworth.

  17. Internet been nationalised has it John, while we were sleeping? My website: hosted privately in the USA, carried to your receiving apparatus via a series of private carriers. Or maybe you’re posting from the future, after the government nationalised it to protect the children, or something?

    The suggestion that the $ (or GBP) sum in which I negotiate my income is actually the money I ought to get in full, rather than the money that I think I’ll get after having paid the assorted taxes that are due for creating an environment in which I can live the life I live, is just *weird*.

    Weird? You negotiate X with your employer. You are worth X to her. She pays you X. That’s your income.

    It’s clearer if you’re not on PAYE. THe State comes across later, riffles through your accounts, announces an arbitrary amount of money you have to give them or you might have a nasty accident, know what I mean guv? There’s a good boy.

    The point is, it was your money until the State took it. You want them to take it. That’s cool. But to say you’re not entitled to the sum you negotiated is, well, rather *weird* isn’t it?

  18. Ian-You’re correct, IMO. Self-employed or no, John is paying the tax, not his clients.
    But, to John, tax is merely (or mainly) the “protection money” he is paying to “the poor” so that it’s a necessary cost of doing business and he sets his fees on an after-tax basis anyway.
    Really no arguement-just perception.

  19. John B, the niceness of the life you live is dependent not merely on paying the assorted taxes, but also on paying for food, shelter and other nice things such as electricity supplies, gas supplies, beer at your local pub etc. Indeed, it’s more dependent on paying for food, there’s still people alive in Somalia with no functional government, but if there’s no food there’s no life.

    If I understand your logic correctly, it implies that we should be calling income something like “what money we have left after the money we have spent on things that bring benefit to us” – and there’s only two things that this income can possibly go on – charity and savings.
    Of course, if you want to define income as something like “everything left once I’ve paid for my expenses” that’s your right, there’s no central authority for the English language. But I suspect that if you and Arnald persuade everyone to shift to your new terminology, then we’d need a new word to describe what the word “income” now describes to most English speakers. So why do you think we should make this change in meaning?

    The suggestion that the $ (or GBP) sum in which I negotiate my income is actually the money I ought to get in full,

    Well shouldn’t you be getting value for your tax money? You just described the “delightful things” you get from your tax money.
    And I don’t see any justification for the government spending money inefficiently, so we, as taxpayers, should be getting the maximum possible value from our tax money, so it is money for which we should be getting value in full (allowing for some aspects of spending to be regarded as insurance, of course, eg unemployment benefit can be viewed as analogous to home insurance).

  20. Hopefully there’s an accountant who will come out of retirement and tell me how to reclaim all the income tax, VAT, tobacco duty, alcohol duty, purchase tax (I’m old), import duty, petrol duty, inheritance tax- hell all the tax which he says shouldn’t have been taken out of my money.
    Then I could afford to give more meaningful help to two daughters living on minimum wage.

  21. 8
    Arnald you are a moron. Income tax is a tax on your income, whether you get a payslip or not. For those that fall under PAYE the tax is taken strait away before it hits your bank account. For those whose incomes are not entirely covered by PAYE then income tax has to be paid on that income. It is the same tax, paid for by the same people, on the same thing: their income.

    John B: Fail. RM’s argument is not about whether you pay your taxes, but whether you or some third party is paying your taxes. Tim is pointing out that is you who pays your taxes and to claim that somebody else does is nonsense. This is not an argument about not paying any taxes at all to fund a those things that need to be funded by government.

    P.S. The internet is not one of those things.

  22. @ john b and everyone who responded to him
    I am self-employed: so I expect my *gross* income to be slightly less than the value to my client of the work that I do (except in a few cases where we are both happy because the value to him/her/it is much greater than the amount that I am willing to charge). From that I have to deduct my expenses to get my taxable income upon which income tax is based (I pay VAT on the gross). The benefit I get from the taxes that I pay is completely independent of the amount of tax I pay.
    john b has a view that *I* regard as weird. I earn some money and I expect to pay tax on it but I do not equate the tax paid to the benefits provided to me by the state – I do NOT believe that it should equate.
    I inherited an ability to do maths and a physique that allowed me (once) to run a marathon without training (the next time I tried I got my comeuppance) so over the years (but not every year) I have paid a lot more in tax than I have got back. I believe that this is right. Taxation should be based upon the ability to pay.
    How can I, as an honest man, pay tax other than out of my own income and assets?

  23. “Taxation should be based upon the ability to pay.”

    Why? My (highly-paid) exec manager pays exactly the same as I do for a loaf of bread; why should he pay more to have his bins emptied? When you buy your Sunday paper, does the news vendor ask how much you earn before he charges you?

  24. The benefit I get from the taxes that I pay is completely independent of the amount of tax I pay.

    Try telling that to leftists. They keep arguing that the rich benefit massively from the taxes they pay.

    Taxation should be based upon the ability to pay.

    And also on what is necessary for the government to take. I don’t think that the government has a right to take however much money it likes, constrained only by Laffer’s curve.

  25. I was self-employed in Belgium. My tax bill was for whatever was left after I had arranged my affiars in order to minimize the tax – I had a lot of control over what that amount would be. Rent a bigger office, make less profit, pay less tax. Set up a company and take a small salary – pay less tax. (Even salaried, this is true – pay a mortgage, make charitable donations, buy life insurance – whatever the local deductions are, your tax bill is what you owe after you have finished organising your affairs, and you control that yourself).

    These days I live in Dubai (not Somalia) and pay no tax unless I do something in the US, Belgium, whatever, that triggers tax. There’s no iron rule that states can’t function without income tax.

    The whole evil point of PAYE is to stop you realizing you’re being fleeced. Belgian wage slaves already think that way and negotiate etc about their net, not their gross.

  26. Ambrose

    Dubai is hardly a shining example of a democratic and socially progressive state, though, is it? All those slaves and stuff. OK for you with money.

    Tax has built Belgium, which is why most Europeans don’t mind paying a democratically mandated rate in order to provide the necessary infrastructure.

    But you don’t care about that.

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