Saturday, June 22, 2013

Greedy governments . . . and a potential cure?

Janet Daley writes in the Telegraph about the rise of greedy governments.

David Cameron said something last week that was the precise opposite of the truth – by which I do not mean, obviously, that he told a deliberate falsehood. What he did was simply relay the perversely inverted logic that has become conventional wisdom. What the Prime Minister said was: “If you want a low-tax economy, you have to collect the taxes that are owed.” When what he should have said, of course, was: “If you want to collect the taxes that are owed, you have to have a low-tax economy.”

. . .

If people regard levels of tax as fair (in the true sense of the word, not the Left-wing sense, which actually means “vindictive”), they will not go to expensive and dangerous lengths to escape from paying. The more punitive and discouraging of wealth-creation taxes are, the more they are avoided by stealth or geographical relocation – or by the even more economically disastrous measure of people being disinclined to increase their own productivity. Ah yes, but isn’t this the problem that those heads of government are determined to address? Rather than lowering taxes to levels that those who are taxed find acceptable, they will simply close off all the avenues of escape. There is to be no more possibility, by international agreement (which is to say, the coercion of smaller, less rich countries), of geographical movement for tax advantage. It will not be acceptable any longer for large corporations, or even private individuals whose profits or income are global, to lodge themselves in places that charge low business or personal taxes. These wicked places, known as “tax havens”, are the criminal “fences” of the international financial world: accepting, and sometimes agreeing to hide, the wealth that rightly belongs to other governments.

. . .

What is at the heart of all this is the growth of governments: the treasuries of the world are becoming needier and greedier. And the most powerful countries are going to see to it that no little upstart island or remote corner of the earth can sit on a penny that they might decide is rightfully theirs – even if it resides in those outlying places perfectly legally. We are approaching a defining moment in the relationship between private property and the democratic state. Underlying almost all political debate on this matter now is the unspoken assumption that privately owned wealth is inherently evil, and that its only moral justification is to provide revenue that governments can redistribute.

. . .

To speak of rich individuals or corporations contributing their fair share to the cost of government services sounds reasonable enough but it raises the question of how much government should be spending . . .

There's more at the link.

Heaven knows, we've got more than our fair share of government greed in this country.  Sarah Palin came up with one potential solution to it that I really like.

On Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that the IRS–and much of the federal bureaucracy–needs to be abolished ... suggesting that it would undercut much of the cronyism rampant in Washington.

She said the tax code needs to be simplified with the adoption of a flat tax. "That way we can abolish the bureaucracy that is so burdensome and expensive, and it would allow some sledgehammering of the crony capitalism and the corruption within [government]," Palin said.

Again, more at the link.

I wish Ms. Palin would run for the forthcoming Senate elections in Alaska.  I think she'd have every prospect of winning, and we could use her brand of upstart politics in the Senate to upset all the stuffed shirts there!



perlhaqr said...

But a flat tax on what? Earned income? What gets counted as part of that?

And at what rate? And will there be a baseline below which none of your income is taxed?

Heh. Expect the CPA industry to fight it tooth and nail.

Rev. Paul said...

The local lefties have so thoroughly trash Gov. Palin's history & reputation here that I'm not sure she could win another election. But I'd be happy to see her do so.