Originally, rulers and religious bodies levied taxes and tithes on their subjects for themselves or their organisations, but the people who were taxed got back little or no benefits from this. As civilisations developed, governments collected taxes to pay for infrastructure and social services. Taxation is the price people pay for having important amenities, such as roads, hospitals, public transport, garbage disposal and all those other facilities that no civilised society can live without. However, in many nations, taxation has also become a means of forcing particular political philosophies onto society instead of just raising money for infrastructure and social services.
In modern times, the philosophy of envy has entered the realms of governments, especially the Leftist variety. They perceive that people who make lots of money should be subject to having large parts of the fruits of their toil handed to those less capable of earning anywhere near the same level of income. Those governments call this philosophy "Redistribution of Income" and people who really know what it is, call it something else - legalised highway robbery.
Leftist governments claim that society is more equitable when the incomes of a diverse range of people are not widely spread. In other words, they claim that it is not good to have certain sections of society that are very rich and others that are very poor. However, all governments with that same Marxist socialistic philosophy make one fundamental error of judgement. They do not take into account the most important factor, which is human nature.
The mantra of Marxist socialism is that everybody should be equal and in theory, it all sounds terrific. Unfortunately for the theorists, in real life, people are not equal at all. Every person has different aspirations, needs, desires, passions and other qualities from any other person. Furthermore, no two people are of exactly the same intelligence, perseverance, physical or mental ability, or any other characteristic. Everybody is different, therefore the Marxist socialist model of society collapses, simply on the basis that humans are not ants. This is why no communist regime has ever survived, except by the imposition of terror at the point of a gun. What these people fail to understand is that you cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor.
The use of taxation to take from the rich and give to the poor is blatantly unfair. For starters, why should anybody who has become successful and earned wealth be forced to hand it over to anybody else at the point of a legislative gun? Surely if people earn anything, apart from paying a certain amount of tax to maintain the nation's infrastructure and defence, they should be entitled to keep the fruits of their labour. But it does not work this way.
In many Western societies, taxation is imposed on a sliding scale, which completely negates the principle of equality of treatment. People on lower incomes pay little or no tax, while people who earn above certain amounts are taxed a higher percentage of their incomes, so that these funds can be handed to those who do not or cannot earn the same as the richer people.
This type of taxation system breeds parasites, who know that the government will tax the people who produce the wealth and then support the indolent with these funds. Generations of these parasites have collected all sorts of financial and social benefits for no good reason from the hard efforts of those who work hard to better themselves and earn more money, only to have it ripped off them so that it can be "redistributed" to those who either cannot or do not want to achieve the same level of wealth.
As a truly outrageous example of government squandering of taxpayer revenue on utter garbage, in May 2013, six dancers from a company called BalletLab performed a so-called artistic work at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art at Southbank. This so-called "art" involved them sitting on toilets and shitting into them. The defecation was obviously done in a most tasteful manner, worthy of the best examples of how to take a crap. The dancers were masked and cloaked in sheer golden garments. The toilets were transparent, so that the audience could observe every piece of shit falling from the bums of the dancers.
Those involved emphasised how brilliant the performance was. In an extraordinary and most stupidly preposterous statement, the artist proclaimed that bowel movements were ''humanity's most democratic act''. The centre's director said it was bold and challenging: ''It's wonderful, powerful work.'' Yeah sure, taking a shit is wonderful and powerful, but most of all, completely necessary. It is performed by every person on this planet without requiring costumes or an audience.
BalletLab is financially supported by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art gets its money from Victoria and the Commonwealth, too. It also receives another chunk of money from the City of Melbourne. In its submission to former prime minster Kevin Rudd's National Cultural Policy inquiry, the centre wrote that the arts were crying out for ''proper investment'' - in other words, much more government funding.
This is where your taxes go - to pay so-called performers to ponce around in sheer garments and shit into transparent toilets in front of audiences who obviously are stupid enough to patronise such ludicrously idiotic events. But what we do know is that entertainment companies like this BalletLab would be lucky to exist if it was not for the crazy concept of taxpayer funding for such garbage. Taxpayer funding protects artists from their audience. That it produces more rubbish than inspiration is a common feature. The system is designed to favour indulgent, unpopular work over appealing work. Rather than persuading consumers to pay for their work, artists only have to persuade government bureaucrats to give them a share of tax revenue.
Do Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel need your taxes to pull in packed houses for their performances? Does Kylie Minogue suck off the taxpayer tit to fill whole stadiums with fans willing to pay many hundreds of dollars to see her sing? Does John Farnham have his hand out to the government to fund any of his litany of comeback tours? Of course not. Successful performers do not need taxpayer funding - only the mediocre, unpopular and abjectly worthless performers go begging governments to fund what nobody will support.
Why do taxpayers fund the Australian Opera and dance companies such as the Australian Ballet, Bangarra and BalletLab? Why do taxpayers fund artists whose work is so shitty that nobody in his right mind would purchase it? Pro Hart, Max Mannix, John Bradley and many other Australian artists seem to manage to sell their artworks for vast sums of money without relying on taxpayer funding.
If dance, opera and ballet companies wish to operate successfully, then they should stage performances that will attract paying patrons, not utter shit (pardon the pun) like the Goldene Bendíer garbage from BalletLab. If people wanted to see their performances, they would gladly pay the sort of money that people pay to see Jimmy Barnes or Kylie Minogue. But they donít.
It is an outrage that our tax dollars are wasted on so-called performers so that they could publicly shit into transparent toilets in the name of art. These people are artists all right - bullshit artists. Governments have no business squandering the taxes of people who are not interested in supporting these types of performances. It is time that all funding for the arts was completely abolished and taxes spent on important matters. But this is what governments do with our taxes and that is why it is very hard to be outraged at people who operate tax avoidance and minimisation schemes.
An American, Dr Adrian Rogers made the following observations about taxation and truer words were never spoken.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also stated an immutable truth:
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had an excellent view of taxation:
French Minister of Finance Jean Colbert famously stated:
There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime.
In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.
"You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming."
"When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side."
"The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in Australia under the Labor government. It keeps pushing us toward Communism-Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax cuts, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.
One should always remember two truths - there is no such thing as a free lunch and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself. If you see that all of this wonderful government "help" is a problem confronting the future of democracy in Australia, you might want to tell your friends and try and do something about it. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, heaven help you when the gate slams shut.
Supporting and funding the indolent, lazy parasites and the fake Disability Support pensioners that have nothing wrong with them in the Australian community is part of the driving force behind the inequitable tax system currently in place, because that socio-economic group tend to support Leftist political parties, rather than conservatives, who believe in allowing people to keep the fruits of their labour to a much greater extent. This has turned Australia into a welfare state basket case.
In fact, the welfare situation in Australia is so bad that 51% of the entire population is currently receiving some sort of welfare or other support from the Australian government - yes, more than half of Australia's population is receiving social security or other benefits, courtesy of the taxpayer. This is simply because rampant socialism has made it easy for the government to rip money from those who create the wealth of the nation to support parasites who do not create anything and who squander their lives completely.
Go to any club or pub at any time to see thousands of these welfare recipients, who always seem to have money for beer and poker machines, but not for paying mortgages or rent. These people call themselves "Bleeding Aussie Battlers" and demand that the government provide them with cheap public housing, welfare payments, disability payments, free medical and dental care, free legal aid and many other benefits, but complain about the fact that there are rich people in society who should have their wealth taken from them and handed to those parasites.
Under the current very unfair Australian taxation regime, a person who works harder and earns more pays a much higher percentage of tax than somebody who earns little. For instance, a person who has a nett taxable income of $250,000 per year will be hit with a tax rate of 45% - $54,547 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000. So in actual monetary terms, he will be forced to pay just over $86,000 in tax.
However, a person who earns a nett taxable income of $40,000 is levied a tax rate of 19% plus 19c for each $1 over $18,200. He will pay the sum of $4142 in tax. This highlights the fact that just because a person is more successful than another, he is penalised by not just paying a larger amount of tax in monetary terms, but a higher percentage of his income.
If the system was fair, the same proportion of tax would be paid by all. In the above example where the person earning $40,000 pays 19% in tax, then the person earning $250,000 should pay no more than 19% in tax, being $47,500, not the $86,000 that he pays under the current tax system.
The other inequity is that the person who pays a huge amount of tax not only does not receive anything extra for his efforts, but he is penalised by being ineligible for many benefits and services provided by the government. He will not get a better bed and medical care in hospital than the person who pays no tax at all. He will not get more unemployment benefits than anybody else, even though he was earning huge amounts of money and contributing a large percentage of it to the nation when he was employed. The same goes for all other social services, where a person's contribution to the nation means nothing at the end of the day. The rich person pays much more for just being equal to an indolent parasite who produces nothing.
This sort of iniquitous system breeds either a disincentive to improve one's earning capacity, or it fosters tax minimisation or avoidance schemes. The government loses far more revenue because of tax minimisation and avoidance than it would if it operated an equitable taxation regime that treated every taxpayer the same.
Even worse, many people who are the real creators of wealth, tend to flee to greener pastures when governments rip them off to the point where they feel that they are working for everybody but themselves. For instance, during the Whitlam Labor Government years, when that regime instituted draconian taxation policies to fund its grand vision for a socialistic society, many large employers simply closed shop and went offshore, leaving hundreds of thousands of Australian people out of work.
What socialists do not seem to understand is that when an employer closes his business or flees the country to operate his business overseas and employs foreigners instead of Australians, the nation loses a lot more than just his skill and expertise. When a person has a job that is provided to him by such an employer, that person contributes part of his income to the nation's revenue in the form of income tax. Also, that employed person does not qualify for concessions and benefits supplied by government.
But when that person loses his job because his employer has closed down or fled the country, the nation suffers a double whammy. The now unemployed person not only ceases to contribute any income tax to the nation, but he then takes money from the nation in the form of welfare payments and other social security benefits. Because he now has to live on the dole and has far less money, that person also consumes far less, thus not supporting businesses that rely on his custom and also paying far less by way of GST and other consumer taxes.
Thus the nation is not just losing funds in various tax revenue, but is forking out money to support the unemployed person. Of course this is apart from the loss that is incurred by the nation when that entrepreneur ceases to operate and no longer pays company tax, payroll tax and other contributions to the nation's coffers. When a taxation regime gives no incentive for people to continue creating wealth here, they go elsewhere to operate their businesses and this is to our great detriment.
The nett result of this is that because the government is not receiving the revenue from former taxpayers who are become welfare recipients and lesser consumers, along with the loss of revenue from businesses that have closed or fled overseas to escape harsh taxes, the government has to borrow money to pay those welfare recipients and fund the running of the nation with far less revenue raised. Eventually this leads to the complete collapse of the economy and the fiscal reputation and the nation achieves the ignominous status of a banana republic.
Taxing people at different percentages is blatantly unfair in a democratic society that operates on the presumption that everybody is equal. If people have the same right to vote regardless of income or social standing, if people are entitled to be treated the same under the Australian Constitution, then the concept of sliding percentage taxation completely negates this principle of equality and fairness. How can it be fair when one person pays 45% of his taxable income, when his neighbour might only pay 19% and the neighbour on the other side might pay no tax at all, depending on the level of income earned?
There would be massive outrage in the community if all goods and services were charged on the same basis as tax is levied. Here are the personal income tax brackets for 2014.
To demonstrate how unfair this would be, let's say that a roast chicken is $10, so that would be the base price for a person paying the median tax rate of 19%. This is what the roast chicken would cost people on different income taxation rates if it was priced according to their taxable income. The figures are rounded to whole dollars.
There would be absolute fury in the community if all goods and services were priced this way, with shoppers having to produce their latest tax assessment percentage and pay for items based on their taxable income. Why should a person earning $30,000 in taxable income be able to buy that roast chicken for $10 when a person earning $18,000 in taxable income would get it for free and a person earning $200,000 in taxable income be forced to pay $24 for the same roast chicken?
This is ludicrously unfair, but this is what governments claim is a so-called "fair" way of levying taxation, by penalising people on higher incomes with a higher tax percentage rate, let alone the larger monetary amount that they would pay in any case. There is absolutely nothing fair about this taxation regime. It is designed to rip money from one sector of society for no good reason and hand it to another sector of society using some sort of socialistic philosophy of the "redistribution of wealth", which just means legal robbery at the point of a legislative gun.
For true equality, every person should pay the same percentage of tax, regardless of the amount earned. Of course a person earning more money will obviously pay a higher monetary amount, but at least he will get equal treatment to the person earning less, rather than being punished for being more successful.
So using the example of people earning taxable incomes of $250,000 and $40,000 respectively, under a flat tax regime of 10%, the person earning $250,000 would simply pay $25,000 in tax and the person earning $40,000 would pay $4,000 in tax. Of course the percentage of flat tax would have to be adjusted to cope with the requirements of the nation, but at least each taxpayer would be treated equally, unlike under the current system. The person on the higher income still pays far more tax in monetary terms, such as in the above example where he pays $25,000, more than six times the $4,000 paid by the other person.
The case for a flat taxation regime is overwhelming. Apart from the obvious fairness, where everybody pays the same rate of tax, nations that have adopted a flat tax system have experienced much faster economic growth than those nations that insist on retaining an inequitable tax system that robs the rich to give to the poor.
For instance, although these nations are mostly ex-Iron Curtain countries and thus have endemic economic problems, their flat tax systems have allowed them to prosper much faster than many other nations.
It is interesting to note that not only have these nations experienced excellent economic growth, but the nations with the lowest tax rate seemed to prosper slightly better than the nations with higher tax rates. This merely proves that incentive in the form of less punitive taxes will assist a nation to grow economically at a faster rate. The main benefit is that a flat tax system is incredibly simple to administer and for taxpayers, very simple to understand.
At the moment, any but the very simplest employee tax return is a nightmare. In fact, many taxation experts and accountants claim that they do not understand the requirements of the current tax system. The 2008 Tax Pack ran to 136 pages of tiny print, requiring business operators to spend weeks, even months trying to figure out their tax obligations with complex calculations. It costs the country an absolute fortune to administer the current tax system and it gets worse every year.
A businessman filing a tax return has to complete not only the normal tax income and expenditure sheets, but must cope with the supplementary and business sheets as well. The calculations are complex and it is estimated that most tax returns are full of errors. On top of that, people who earn top dollar employ tax experts to minimise or avoid tax, so the nation loses all the way down the line.
The GST, which was introduced to kill off the black economy of cash payments without declaring them for tax, has failed miserably. Most independent tradesmen now operate on a cash-in-hand basis, only declaring enough income to pay the absolute minimum without arousing the suspicion of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) auditors.
Most businesses that operate on a cash basis, such as fast food bars and restaurants simply do not declare the bulk of their cash income and merely use reverse bookkeeping - calculating the lowest income needed to be declared to produce that minimum tax figure that would not trigger a tax audit, so that little or no income tax is actually paid. But even a tax audit cannot prove that a business is operating some of its work for cash-in-hand and if a businessman was dragged to court by the ATO, it would have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that tax avoidance was occurring.
The GST may have closed the door on some previous cash businesses, but has blown out the black economy by at least triple, according to experts. There is virtually no independent tradesman who will not negotiate a discounted quote for an unrecorded cash-in-hand job and most tradesmen have become experts in successfully hiding or laundering this cash. The same goes for most cash businesses such as fast food stores, restaurants and cafes, hairdressers and literally anybody who sells goods and services for cash.
There is a better way. Instead of people ploughing their way every year through a complex tax return, a flat taxation regime would require no more than a couple of entries. For instance, if a 10% flat tax was imposed on every taxpayer, then a tax return would be ludicrously simple and would look like this:
How simple is this, compared to the nightmare that is the current tax return? Not only would such a system save the nation hundreds of millions of dollars in printing those huge tax packs, but would save an absolute fortune by discarding unneeded personnel. The ATO would not need thousands of assessors to process tax returns and a flat tax return could be processed fully automatically.
Unfortunately, those Marxist clowns who cite the mantra of "Redistribution of Wealth" would never agree to a system where people are treated equally, no matter what they earn. The socialists think that as soon as a person succeeds financially, he then becomes a target to be ripped off to support those who have not succeeded. This stupid philosophy is the prime reason why many successful people have fled Australia and taken their expertise, entrepreneurism and capital with them, at our great loss.
Until a simplified flat tax system is introduced, this nation will keep losing the most valuable people in our society and getting poorer. Not many people will keep trying to better themselves if they are ripped off as soon as they succeed. In the interest of true equality, encouragement of entrepreneurship and the common good, a flat tax system needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
Those who support the grossly unfair tax system that penalises successful people generally do not understand how it works. David R Kamerschen PhD, Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia USA gives a very clear and logical explanation using beer drinkers.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."
Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected.
They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"
They realised that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up actually being paid to drink his beer.
The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, so he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.
But once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got $1 out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "But he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved $1 too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth man and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that is how our tax system works.
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
A young woman was about to finish her first year of university. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be rather socialist and Labor-minded. She was very much in favour of higher taxes to support more government programs - in other words, the redistribution of wealth. She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch blue-ribbon Liberal, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had attended and the occasional chat with left-wing professors, she felt that her father had always harboured an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day, she challenged her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her socialist professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing at university.
Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 90% average and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many university friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"
She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 50% average. She is so popular on campus and university for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."
Her father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the university Chancellor and ask him to deduct 20% off your average and give it to your friend Audrey, who only has 50%. That way you will both have a 70% average and certainly that would be fair and equal."
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my butt off!"
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Honey, welcome to the Liberals."
An economics professor at a US college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no-one would be poor and no-one would be rich, a great equaliser.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A" (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too, so they studied little.
The second test average was a D. No one was happy. When the third test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no-one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no-one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made some very interesting observations, but the best one was this:
This is so true. Socialists and quasi-communists in government always tax and spend as if there is no tomorrow, because it is very easy to spend other people's money, the money of the taxpayers. But eventually the people who are taxed the most, the people who create the wealth and the jobs, become weary of being ripped off and they remove themselves from the punitive taxation regime by leaving for greener pastures or legally reducing their tax liabilities, thus removing funds from the socialists to spend.
This happens in every socialist nation and inevitably the system collapses because the welfare bill exceeds the tax revenue. Socialist governments try to stave off this inevitable collapse by borrowing more and more money, but eventually there is a limit to this and the interest plus the welfare costs lead to default and collapse.
The only way a free society can operate successfully is to encourage the people who create the wealth and the jobs to keep doing so, not punish them for their success. It is not hard to understand that you should never bite the hand that feeds you, but unfortunately socialists do exactly that - they attack the very people who they should be treasuring and eventually their regimes collapse completely.