Saturday, 16 April 2016

But, at the end?

Even God was made by God, according to Genesis, but how did he afford the materials? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was Tax. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by God; and without tax was not any thing made that was made. In tax was life; and the life was the light of men. Lately there has been a return to the true religion of taxation as a metaphor for, I don’t know, all that is wrong with the world; if god created the joy, he also created the misery and there is nothing so miserable as the god-given  feeling of envy.

But how and what do you tax and how do you do it? Do you turn up at harvest time and say one bushel for you, one for the state? Or do you wait until the farmer has taken what he needs, sells the rest and tax a share of the money he makes from selling the surplus? But wait, says the farmer, I need to buy seed and pay the men to till the land and sow it. So, being a reasonable omnipotent state, you wait until all that’s been done and tax the rest. But, hang on, says Farmer Jim, I need a new roof and my daughter’s getting married next month; I haven’t any left.

The avoidance of tax is as natural as breathing. Maybe when you can see how your money goes into a community pot to help the less fortunate of the parish you are more inclined to participate, but when your tax seems to pour into the voracious maw of government it is much harder to see how it is spent and just as importantly why it is spent that way and who gets to decide. Without some sense of being a part of the common patronage it is difficult to see why, having already paid more than the man next door you should pay more still. Why should your prayers to the almighty be so much more costly than his?

If the law said you had to pay tax on all the money left in your house at the end of the year, most sensible people would stash what they have in the garden. If the law reacted by defining it as all the cash in your possession it wouldn’t take long for some enterprising souls to redefine possession. When the law must keep on changing to keep pace with the cunning and ingenuity of people who simply want to keep what’s theirs there is something wrong with the system. If a man pays £100,000 a year in tax is it any wonder he feels he is already paying far more than his fair share? I would be mighty pissed off – as I’m sure you would be – if after legally paying what was due, the begging bowl still hovered under my nose.

Maybe what’s wrong with the system is that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the state to pay for everything. Too many have become too reliant on the government fixing everything and because of man’s opportunistic nature wants soon turn into needs and needs into entitlements. You don’t need seven children and the state certainly doesn’t want them if, like you, they believe they are entitled to do as they wish and let somebody else pick up the tab.

Not another penny... Oh.

Is it any wonder that those who can avoid tax do avoid tax? Would you, seriously, do any differently? And above our own, barely accountable administration, there is a supranatural omnipotent entity, the EU, which is beholden to nobody and will extract every penny it can to spend in ways in which we have no control over. In the beginning was the word? Insofar as ‘EU’ is even a word it doesn’t sound like a word we want to take too seriously. 

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