July 11, 2012
Tax Really Can Be Taxing
The drones will love this. The libertarians will scream. The anarchists will be incensed.
I am merely disgusted.
Disgusted and fed up.
Disgusted, fed up, and angry.
Disgusted, fed up, angry, and rebellious.
From my inbox this week. Here we go:
"Tax his land.
Tax his bed.
Tax the table at which he's fed.
Tax his work.
Tax his pay.
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow.
Tax his goat.
Tax his pants.
Tax his coat.
Tax his tobacco.
Tax his drink.
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his car.
Tax his gas.
Find other ways to tax his ass.
Tax all he has then let him know
That you won't be done till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers, then tax him some more.
Tax him till he's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin.
Tax his grave.
Tax the earth in which he's laid.
When he's gone, do not relax.
It's time to apply the inheritance tax.
Here’s (a few) of those damned taxes:
Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Driving License Tax
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Marriage License Tax
National Insurance Tax
Personal Income Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Tax (VAT) on Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
And now they want a blooming carbon tax!!
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago - and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle class, a huge manufacturing base, and Mum stayed home to raise the kids.
Could it be the lying parasitic politicians wasting our money? Oh, and don't forget the relatively new bank charges. And we all know what we think of Bankers!"
For those not too downhearted to continue reading, here is a short history lesson:
"The Romans had taxes, remember the census from which Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt.
Now that we are in Egypt and way before the Lord Christ: During the various reins of the Egyptian Pharaohs tax collectors were known as scribes. During one period the scribes imposed a tax on cooking oil. To insure that citizens were not avoiding the cooking oil tax scribes would audit households to insure that appropriate amounts of cooking oil were consumed and that citizens were not using leavings generated by other cooking processes as a substitute for the taxed oil.
Now lets nip across the Med to Greece where we find that in times of war the Athenians imposed a tax referred to as eisphora. No one was exempt from the tax which was used to pay for special wartime expenditures. The Greeks are one of the few societies that were able to rescind the tax once the emergency was over. When additional resources were gained by the war effort the resources were used to refund the tax. Athenians imposed a monthly poll tax on foreigners, people who did not have both an Athenian Mother and Father, of one drachma for men and a half drachma for women. The tax was referred to as metoikio.
There are many earlier examples of taxation but I guess the idea became universally acceptable thank to good old Rome, there the earliest taxes were customs duties on imports and exports called portoria. Caesar Augustus was consider by many to be the most brilliant tax strategist of the Roman Empire. During his reign as "First Citizen" the publicani were virtually eliminated as tax collectors for the central government. During this period cities were given the responsibility for collecting taxes. Caesar Augustus instituted an inheritance tax to provide retirement funds for the military. The tax was 5 percent on all inheritances except gifts to children and spouses. The English and Dutch referred to the inheritance tax of Augustus in developing their own inheritance taxes. During the time of Julius Caesar a 1 percent sales tax was imposed. During the time of Caesar Augustus the sales tax was 4 percent for slaves and 1 percent for everything else. Saint Matthew was a publican (tax collector) from Capernaum during Caesar Augustus reign. He was not of the old publicani but hired by the local government to collect taxes. In 60 A.D. Boadicea, queen of East Anglia led a revolt that can be attributed to corrupt tax collectors in the British Isles. Her revolt allegedly killed all Roman soldiers within 100 miles; seized London; and it is said that over 80,000 people were killed during the revolt. The Queen was able to raise an army of 230,000.
The revolt was crushed by Emperor Nero and resulted in the appointment of new administrators for the British Isles.
Just a bit more for those truly interested in Our glorious Motherland and how things developed here: The first tax assessed in England was, as I just mentioned above, during occupation by the Roman Empire. Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon woman who lived in England during the 11th century. According to legend, Lady Godiva's husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia, promised to reduce the high taxes he levied on the residents of Coventry when she agreed to ride naked through the streets of the town. When Rome fell, the old Saxon kings who liked their pound of flesh as well, imposed taxes, referred to as Danegeld, on land and property that the Danes were quietly stealing and accumulating. The kings also imposed substantial customs duties.
The 100 years War (the conflict between England and France) began in 1337 and ended in 1453. One of the key factors that renewed fighting in 1369 was the rebellion of the nobles of Aquitaine over the oppressive tax policies of Edward, The Black Prince.( Good old John, for it is from himself, the very person that I personally have secured a bit of a title, and some land rights in perpetuity, but then my ancestors had to be pretty good with the longbow and slaughtering a few heavily armoured French knights who expected chivalry and not butchery on the Medieval battlefields.
Taxes during 14th century were very progressive; The 1377 Poll tax noted that the tax on the Duke of Lancaster was 520 times the tax on the common peasant. Under the earliest taxing schemes an income tax was imposed on the wealthy, office holders, and the clergy. A tax on movable property was imposed on merchants. The poor paid little or no taxes. Charles I was ultimately charged with treason and beheaded. However, his problems with Parliament came about because of a disagreement in 1629 about the rights of taxation afforded the King and the rights of taxation afforded the Parliament. The King's Writ stated that individuals should be taxed according to status and means. Hence the idea of a progressive tax on those with the ability to pay was developed very early. Other prominent taxes imposed during this period were taxes on land and various excise taxes. To pay for the army commanded by Oliver Cromwell, Parliament, in 1643, imposed excise taxes on essential commodities (grain, meat, etc.). The taxes imposed by Parliament extracted even more funds than taxes imposed by Charles I, especially from the poor. The excise tax was very regressive, increasing the tax on the poor so much that the Smithfield riots occurred in 1647. The riots occurred because the new taxes lowered rural labourers’ ability to buy wheat to the point where a family of four would starve. In addition to the excise tax, the common lands used for hunting by the peasant class were enclosed and peasant hunting was banned (hooray for Robin Hood).
A precursor to the modern income tax we know today was invented by the British in 1800 to finance their engagement in the war with Napoleon. The tax was repealed in 1816 and opponents of the tax, who thought it should only be used to finance wars, wanted all records of the tax destroyed along with its repeal. Records were publicly burned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer but copies were retained in the basement of the tax court."
So now you know.