October 01, 2012

How Much Is Enough?

Income tax is an emotive subject. And rightly so.

I have yet to meet anyone that wants to pay more than absolutely necessary. Apart from politicians, that is. They will lecture us intensely on the need to grab more and more and more from those of us that work, largely, it seems, to hand over to those that won't work.

Lately we learnt that we are to increase foreign aid. This is not necessarily evil, but it would be nice to know that the money is being used wisely in the third nations who need a helping hand. But it isn't. It is used for a plethora of "initiatives" that have nothing to do with feeding the hungry, or supplying medicines or mosquito nets or clean water. Instead, it either goes directly to a Swiss bank account for the current leaders pension, or for weapons, or for useless vanity projects that help almost no-one. It gets worse when you learn that £12 billion of your money will be disbursed by that insidiously corrupt outfit we know as the EU. And we all know how clever they are with our money, don't we?

 I was going to show you a series of charts that explained how much our European brethren and sistren are paying but, I don't really care about what they do or don't pay. I care far more about how much I am forced to pay. One chart I looked at showed that in the "developed" world, we pay much more than those in developing nations. This is to be expected. Many of those in Africa, for instance, either do not have jobs, or they have no efficient tax collection system or, (much more common), they earn so little it would actually be theft to take even a single groat away from them. Although many of those nations have a fairly vibrant economy, it is based on cash deals that their governments cannot get at.

"Civilised" banking, was our downfall.

That, and a ruthless government that simply has to know everything. Every transaction down at your local branch is logged, registered and reported. Your employer is also in cahoots with the government. Slavery is defined as being forced to work for no pay. Yet your employer has to have people in HR to process your pay and ensure that income tax is deducted at source. For this they are not compensated. This is slavery. If they don't take and pay your taxes the government reaches for the only tool in the box: the big club.

So, instead of attempting to fix the worlds tax problems, I thought we would have a shufty at what we pay.


Not a huge difference between the two, but the worrying portion is that slice called "Remainder".

I'd be extremely interested in finding out why the largest slice just got larger, and exactly what it is being wasted on. I say "wasted" because I know they are awful at spending on education, welfare, health and pensions so it stands to reason that they are performing just as poorly, if not worse, on the unexplained segment. It represents one third of spending wasting so just what are they doing with that £220 billion?

I am being (purposely) simplistic here but if they can help themselves, these MPs, to £80 million for expenses, and cheerfully announce it to all and sundry, where does the rest of our money go? Is it payments to fake charities? Does it reside in a big fat pot that they dip into to hand out to countries (like Brazil) with more oil than we will ever extract from the North Sea? Does it go to countries (like India) with a space programme despite them having 800 million people living in abject poverty? Does it sit in a war chest? Or is it all genuinely wasted?

We know that a large chunk of our earnings are stolen at source. We also know that we "donate" billions every day to the government in other taxes. Most of the price of a pint goes to the Treasury, as does most of the price of a litre of fuel or a packet of smokes. VAT, often quoted as the least worst tax because that is truly voluntary, is ever-present, and now sits at 20% because the EU demands it. A simple repair bill in my home which should cost £100 now costs me £120. I could go on with examples but you know the score.

Benjamin Franklyn said, in the long ago, "It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income."

10%. Ben reckoned that 10% was too much. I agree.

If they cut out waste, and it's the first thing I do when my income drops, we would be paying a damn sight less than we pay now. But they can't. They are addicted to our money. If you are on the higher rate of income tax, that, coupled with stealth taxes, means that you part company with 83% of the money that you earned.

If you use all the services that the "government" provides, then even that amount is obscene. But who amongst us, those who work, I mean, needs those services? Seriously.

I enjoy good health and I very rarely need health services. Apart from my little fracas with the system over my speeding thing, during which time no less than nine officers were dispatched to my home, I never see the police in my wee village. I claim nothing from the state in welfare payments, and I was done with education 34 years ago. My pension is paid up. I have chipped in for the requisite 32 years and I had a letter a year or two back to say that I had paid enough. (Although, they did not cancel my National Insurance contributions). Will I get a pension when I get to 65 or will they continue to extend the age at which it becomes payable (probably) and will there be enough in the pot to pay me what I paid in (probably not) over those years?

I happen to know that I can spend or waste my money far better than the government can. If I did not have to pay (as much) tax, my life would be considerably better. As would the lives of my nearest and dearest. I give nothing to charity now. Mostly because I no longer trust them. recently I bit the bullet and bought a car with a hair dryer for an engine. Why? Because I knew that paying £240 a year to the inept was far too much. I now pay £30 a year. My motorbike costs me £16 a year for road tax. I try my best to deny them as much as I can, using fair means or foul. I don't hide any money because there isn't enough left over to hide. Will I argue over every demand they make? Absolutely. Will I avoid paying tax at every opportunity? Of course. If you do not, you are insane.

So, I am in that zone where the government does almost nothing for me yet I continue to pay in. I continue to pay in large chunks of my earnings for really annoying things, two of which are waste, and wasters. The government wastes my income on those wasters that will not work. Do I mind my money being spent on those who absolutely need a leg up? Absolutely not. I don't begrudge a penny that is spent on our defence, either. We need a standing army to protect us from those foolish enough to invade us. I do begrudge spending a single penny on useless actions like Afghanistan.

And don't get me started on the cost of the EU to British taxpayers.

We all pay far too much tax. All of us. Maybe the question isn't "How much is enough?" but "How much is too much?".

EDIT: Here is an example of FAR too much in my opinion. He is lauded for paying his "fair" share. I argue that what he pays is a criminal amount. Reduce a few zeroes and we are in the same position as this (all too honest) entrepreneur.

Unlike that idiot Francois Hollande, I do not believe we should steal more from the rich. They are wealthy for a reason. And I do not discriminate between those who earned and those who inherited. The first group, the earners, have my gratitude. They took risks (I know they did because I did the same in the late 80's) and they created companies that gave those of us that wanted to work a reason to get up in the morning, to improve our lives and those of the people we love. The second group, the inheritors? Well done. By pure accident you are one of the wealthiest sub-set of people in the world. Should I be jealous, envious, outraged at your wealth? Hell no. Should we steal money from you because you have more than others? Hell no.

Until the sun grows cold, there will be poor people, people with enough for a comfortable life, and rich people. It is what it is.

Tax is the problem, not the solution.

Reduce tax, for everyone, and the economy will be revitalised. As Winston once said "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

 The LibLabCon have not yet discovered this truism.

Let's hope and pray that one day soon, they will.



Oldrightie said...

The LibDums and Chip-on-Shoulder lefties are a force for evil and poverty. The present Tory bunch are little better. If the tax system allowed for us to choose where it is spent billions would not be wasted. Good to have you back, Cap'n!

microdave said...

David Blunkett has an article in in the Mail today,which he says (amongst other things):

"It is a fallacy to think we could run our society successfully without elected politicians. How would competing claims for money be reconciled without them? How would tax rates be decided or budgets settled?

How about asking the people who contribute without any say-so, Mr Blunkett? I suppose it's not PC to quote "There's none so blind as cannot see" in his case...

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks OR!


Captain Ranty said...


Thanks for the link.

My jaw smacked off the edge of my desk.

Blunkett is just another in a long, long line of self-serving cunts.

We definitely do NOT need him and his dysfunctional pals to run the nation.

Look at Belgium for an example of this.


Dr Evil said...

Had to have my car fixed the other day. It cost me £1000, and the tax on top was £200. Bastard government and nothing I could do about it. Filled the car up with petrol and handed 80% of the cost to the government. Yet more of my money to waste on nonsense projects or some dictator's gold taps for his bath.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece Ranty, but a couple of clarifications if I may...

""Civilised" banking, was our downfall.

That, and a ruthless government that simply has to know everything. Every transaction down at your local branch is logged, registered and reported."

I am sure you know this CR, but these are the same thing. The government and the banks are indistinguishable.

"We need a standing army to protect us from those foolish enough to invade us."

The standing army concept is not for OUR protection, it is for theirs CR...

You might have noticed that in the most democratic state in the world, Switzerland, they do not have a standing army, however, the demos is the most highly armed demos on the earth... They have a well trained a citizen army, and consequently all of the "kratos".

All the time the government has the guns, any people led reform is almost an impossibility.

Remember that the difference between the newly developed federal United States of America (12 states I think), had a standing army, but the remaining states, the so-called confederacy, south of the Mason Dixon line, had only a citizen army, which fought a bloody good fight to keep their independence, but lost out in the end because the fuckers in the north were messing with the dollar... quantitative easing I believe is the modern lingo, for stealing the people's cash, and as such they had unlimited amounts of it.

Which is, as you so accurately point out, precisely the situation here. Somewhere between 70% (which is what the Adam Smith Institute thought in a publication a couple of years back) to 95%, which is what myself and a friend worked out, by taking into consideration the tax on tax concept, which turns the whole system into a very clever multiplier.

Captain Ranty said...

Dr E,

I hear you brother.

It is a constant source of my anger and disgust. greed for greed's sake.


Captain Ranty said...



I had actually meant to say that if we were ALL armed, there would be no need to pay for our own Men of Violence. I got distracted halfway through and forgot to add that paragraph.

I settled on 83% because I once worked out that that was how much I personally "donated" to the cause.

I have no idea what I wasted the remaining 17% on.

Food and electrickery, I think.


Twisted Root said...

£47.2 Billion in debt interest for 2012 would account for about one fifth of that 'remainder' figure. That's the interest on £1 Trillion of debt, money the government has spent into the economy after getting permission from their banking masters who send the permission back with interest attached. Money an honest government could simply print debt free, but on the rare occassions this is attempted life expectancy of those doing it plummets.

Just to boil your piss a bit more; net debt is projected to rise to £1.5 Trillion by 2016/17.

Source: www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05745.pdf

Captain Ranty said...


The last time I passed water-based urine was about 8 years ago.

Nowadays the very best I can produce is steam.


Anonymous said...

Great post Captain.

There are better pie charts if you go into the individual years and if you want to boil your piss a bit more you can drill down into all the categories as well:


The 2012 figures thus go:

Pensions £127.2 billion
Health Care £121.3 billion
Education £91.7 billion
Welfare £116.1 billion


Defence £45.9 billion
Protection £32.3 billion
Transport £20.2 billion
General Government £17.2 billion (inc. £8.3 billion on "Executive and legislative organs")
Other £75.4 billion
Interest £47.2 billion

Total £694.5 billion

This total is slightly different than the pie chart, but is the data on which the chart is based and the link above lets you display a different one with all these things included in it.

"Remainder" is thus Defence + Protection + Transport + General Government + Other + Interest

"Other" at £75.4 billion includes a sub-division, also called "Other", at £29 billion.

According to these absurd figures the total expenditure dips a teeny bit next year (a mere £10 billion or so) and then ramps up again in 2014 and 2015, to £735 billion.


Oh, and as to "Public needz politicians, sez politican" shocker: in fact, is it not the exact opposite?



DC said...

You just can't stay away from this blog can you Ranty ;)... or did I miss an announced return?!


Captain Ranty said...

Thanks TSL.

I found so many variations it made my head spin. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that they obfuscate deliberately.

Thanks for the link.


Captain Ranty said...


I found out (pretty quickly) that there was no finer place for my outrage, my disappointment and my piss & vinegar.

There was no announcement. I just sneaked back in and resumed...


Furor Teutonicus said...

XX right_writes said...

You might have noticed that in the most democratic state in the world, Switzerland, they do not have a standing army XX

Bloody RUBBISH!!!

XX The armed forces consist of 134,886 people on active duty.....of which 4,230 are professionals, with the rest being conscripts or volunteers. XX

Anonymous said...

have you got the dates the wrong way around on your charts?
( or am I being thick?)

Glad you're back,
Paris Claims

Captain Ranty said...


Thanks, it's good to be back.

They aren't my charts. I just cut & pasted them from the site.

What is wrong with the dates?