- Christian Armbruester
Death Before Taxes
Why the government should not have to take more than half of what we earn.
For anyone not living in a tax haven, the government takes a lot of our money. There is income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, value-added tax, corporate tax, council tax, stamp duty, fuel duty, and other business or personal deductions such as national insurance “contribution” (I just love that word). In short, we give away a large share of what we earn to a bunch of people who studied History at Cambridge urging us for wage restraint. Lest there be inflation and you know, half a million quid only goes so far.
The various institutions that are allowed to take money from others in the UK raked in £792 billion last year. That seems like a rather large sum to keep the lights on, but unfortunately it is not nearly enough and we are currently borrowing another £2 trillion. That’s not even the scariest part, because expectations are for this number to only ever go up from here. So, what do we spend all this money on?
A lot of it goes to take care of those that cannot afford to live by their own means. Clearly, society must provide for those less fortunate or suffering from illness, but £171 billion is an awfully large free lunch for the many that simply refuse to work. Remember, we are also paying people to clean the streets, work the fields and pick up the trash. Anybody could do those jobs, hence the term “unskilled labour”, but of course, it is much easier to sit in subsidized housing and collect our money from the government.
The biggest item on our spending list is the public services. It includes the entire bureaucratic apparatus that is charged with the administration of government. It also includes the front-line services, like the police, our defence, or the NHS. You would have to be a super accountant with x-ray vision to work out where exactly our money goes. Certainly no one in government has any idea, and it is estimated that we waste more than £120 billion each year on overspending, unnecessary projects, and sheer corruption.
The thing is all we really need is to be able to operate within a system that allows us to carry on the business of our choosing and as it happens, we are paying for that. However, I would wager that we could get all that we need for a lot less, if we just let people who are trained to perform the functions as required. What we have instead is a form of government that has little interest let alone the qualifications for actually running the country, because its sole purpose is to get re-elected, and dishing out our money accordingly.