High spenders don’t intend to pay more themselves

The failure of not just one, not just a couple, but three of Obama’s top team to qualify for high office reveals the reluctance of some high spending big state Democrat/Labour figures to pay for the state they want to expand. All three perished under questioning for the same reason – they had failed to declare or pay all the tax they owed under the (relatively) low tax Bush regime they had criticised or opposed.

So many advocates of bigger and dearer government want other people to pay the tax, but don’t fancy it themselves. If it had been three low tax advocates who had been delaying payment you could at least say they were showing consistency between their public positions and their private actions, even though as law abiding citizens they too have to accept the state can take what the law says. For three leading Democrats to be so reluctant to part with their cash to the state when they support a new Administration who think the Bush regime was not spending enough is humbug. Higher spending must lead to higher taxes. If they want the higher spending they should willingly pay the existing taxes. Maybe they should send in a bit more too. If I receive the odd letter from a high paid person who thinks taxes are too low, I tell them there is nothing stopping them making a larger contribution to public services if they wish. The best test of whether you really think taxes are too low or not is whether you personally want to pay more.


  1. TomTom
    February 4, 2009

    I had thought Obama was checking the backgrounds of candidates for cabinet but he no has three dodgy candidates withdrawing…..Daschle obviously has an unfamiliarity with the principles that link Income and Tax….and the frequency of self-serving approaches to money and public office leaves the voter wondering if these people have any moral fibre at all…or whether they are simply opportunists and careerists.

  2. Colin D.
    February 4, 2009

    For those politicians that were found out, it is a case of ‘do what I say, not do what I do’. This is something at which the politicians in our government are truly expert.

  3. APL
    February 4, 2009

    JR: “delaying payment”

    Of course, you mean avoiding payment.

    Over at Guido Fawkes you can find that the Guardian Scott trust has been taking advantage of every possible tax loophole to reduce its tax liability.

    From the same stable our ‘lovely’ Poly, She who has received David Cameron’s endorsement, wants to pay more tax. Poly, it’s simple. Get your check book out and pay more tax. Poly the dear never quite gets around to it though does she?

    I hear Tony Blair can now afford a substantial pile, reputedly worth 6 million in central London. Fancy paying more tax Tony? After all, it looks like you can afford it.

    With that sort of money, one could do some real good in the more deprived areas of Sedgefield. But no, a Socialist and his (our) cash are not easily parted!

  4. Ian Jones
    February 4, 2009

    Obviously this sort of hypocrisy could never happen in the UK!! We would never get ministers declaring the need for “social justice”, attacking the middle classes for using private schools/healthcare and raising taxes whilst they send their little darlings to private schools whilst pocketing vast expenses and pensions!

    At least the US system didn’t let them into the Govt! Our system seems to encourage them…..

  5. Acorn
    February 4, 2009

    Just imagine if we had a similar system of approving ministers. I suspect we would never get a full set of ministers in any Executive!

    The difference would be that if ours got found out, they would get a knighthood or a barony. How many of parliament’s sitting hours would it take to get “Parliament confirmation” for nominees.

    Unfortunately, we do not elect our Executive separately from our Parliament, but I am not going to mention that today.


  6. Stuart Fairney
    February 4, 2009

    On that note, a certain very well known climate alarmist, was recently caught using 20 times the electricity of the average American and the “offsetting payment” was made to a company he owned. So no hypocracy there then. And don’t even start me on the film…

  7. Neil Craig
    February 4, 2009

    I am coming round to the view that tax avoidance may be ethical in terms of society at large. If I am correct in thinking that much of government, particularly at the margins where it is growing, has a negative worth then preventing them being able to pay for it is beneficial.

    Of course if you believe in big government like the Democrats then it doesn’t arise. In exactly the same way all those ethical Greens who believe in windmillery & not nuclear happily offer to pay double their electricity bills (unfortunately the companies would take a dim view of supporters of nuclear only paying half.

  8. michael, islington
    February 4, 2009

    Re: Warmfront

    Item on Radio 4’s “You and Yours” today (4 February)

    It’s responding to an NAO report. 600,000 people helped, 8/10 satisfaction, it is value for money, but there are concerns about the way it is set up, in particular the use of Eager and the high cost of central heating installation.

    Eager was the subject of a You and Yours in October.

    NAO advises the introduction of competition – which, no doubt, will bring a warm glow to your heart.

  9. Aethelbald
    February 4, 2009

    There is an assumption in your post that taxation has the same place in US culture as it does here. It does not.

    Firstly, it is immensely more complex. So it’s easy to make a genuine mistake. Second, there is very little enforcement.

    I was amazed when I first saw the returns an accountant had drawn up for my small business in the US. Apparently I had made several mistakes in my initial presentation. I had wildly understated my charitable contributions and I had, get this, “earned too much”. He helped me out on both counts.

    This was all at substantial risk to himself because when the IRS audits it starts with the accountant and then works through all his clients, effectively ruining the accountant. But he knew they would never come and they never did and now the statute of limitations has thankfully drawn its veil.

    So US taxes only apply in full to their PAYE people.

    I finished up paying about 15c on the dollar, like a lot of other self-employed. It’s my contention that a substantial and highly productive minority of US taxpayers are systematically defrauding their government. These frauds (you might know them as hard-working church-goers and the like) will tolerate people like Geithner, who are not too greedy, because they know that if the pols have to clean up then everyone will have to clean up.

    The US tax system is a mess because it suits an awful lot of people to keep it that way. Most of these people fall into a demographic that has tradionally voted Republican.

  10. Adam Collyer
    February 4, 2009

    Don’t forget that the Bush regime might have been a low tax one, but it certainly wasn’t a low spending one, with the State deficit approaching a trillion dollars even before the credit crunch. Looks like Americans have had a choice between Big Government and Even Bigger Government. Sounds rather familiar actually.

  11. Graham Hamblin
    February 4, 2009

    As Stuart says Al Gore is the same with his global warming/climate change scam, trying to get everyone else to reduce their consumption while he carries on as he always has!

    The film well, I think it was called “The Earth in Balance” by the man, a set book when I did my OU stuff and it wasn’t included in the course as an example of good science, the exact opposite.

  12. James Strachan
    February 4, 2009

    I seem to remember that The Spectator recommended a system of voluntary income tax some years ago.

    No volunteers could be found.

  13. rik
    February 4, 2009

    This post clearly highlighting the hypocrisy of the New Labour movement. Public schools are so good that (some Labour fiigures d -ed) send kids to private education. Politicians are too greedy and sleazy. (others -ed) fills boots at the first opportunity and the list goes on and on. For me the fundamental difference between conservatism and Socialism is envy. If a Conservative observes somebody doing well for themselves, they will be inspired by it, support it and wonder how they can achieve the same. If a Socialist observes somebody doing well their knee jerk reaction is envy followed shortly by resentment. They will conclude the person is operating underhandedly and wish to undermine it.

  14. Adrian Peirson
    February 4, 2009

    The reason we have to pay Income Tax is because our Govt is NOT our Govt.

    Westminster Borrows our Money to pay for Public Services like the Police, the Health Service, the Armed Forces.
    Of course we all know we have to pay taxes to pay for these services, it’s patently Obvious isn’t it.
    NO, that is Wrong, We DO NOT have to pay Taxes for these services, we coudl get them all for FREE.

    The Money we Borrow is Worthless Paper, yet Westminster declares it as legal Tender and it works very well.

    We, the British People, coudl simply Print and Issue our Own Currency FREE OF CHARGE and issue that into the economy.
    The only reason our Worthless paper money has value is Because Westminster Declares it as Legal Tender, IE nothing else is Legal Tender.

    So if We, the British People coined our Own Money, we could issue it into the economy FREE OF CHARGE.
    We woiuld not have to Borrow it from the International Banksters.
    No Loan or Interest to pay back, No Govt Borrowing, no Govt Debt, hence absolutely no need for Income tax at all.
    All these Services would be Free.

    Ideally Money shoud be Backed by something of Value like gold or Silver, the second best option wouild be as above, simply coining our own money, without Borrowing it.
    The Worst option is the option we currently operate.

    A £50 note costs the International Bankers only 1p to print, yet Westminster Borrows these AT FULL FACE VALUE.

    We work 40 hrs per week, Govt takes over half our earnings, hands it to the International Banks, the International Banks use this Worthless paper to Buy up British assets ( AND OUR GOLD ) and hands us back the Worthless paper money.
    NET RESULT, we are slaves, and the International Banks end up Owning the entire ( REAL ) wealth of the Nation.

    We need to stop Borrowing Worthless bits of paper at FULL FACE VALUE and take contol of coining our OWN money, preferably it should be backed by Gold, Silver, Platinum, Vanadium etc . That way, No one can conjure the stuff up out of thin air and arrange systems like we have lived under for well over 100 yrs for THEIR ADVANTAGE.

    The reason this Fraud against us is allowed to continue is because the Executive does not work for us, it is a Front for Globalist Interests

  15. chris southern
    February 4, 2009

    Whilst you do have a very good point Adrian, simply printing more money casues inflation due to the currency becoming devalued.
    Stopping the fractional reserve practice of the banks would go a long way to cutting out inflation (also would force them to act more responsibly)

    All goverments should have limited capability to print money, limited to an amount agreed upon by all countries that is based on the population in said country every 20-25 years.
    this could be used to fund projects.

    By cutting out income tax, the people can decide where abouts it will go to in the economy, and not the state.
    Local councils should also be minimal in size as this would keep down council tax, as well as changing the rules on how their budgets are spent (it’s a costly nightmare to the public at the moment)
    This would help the local comunity to fund education, maintenance of parks etc.

    Buisness rates should go to the local council as well, this can be used to help maintain the infrastructure of said area, especialy as the improvements would usualy benefit said companies.

    without corperation tax, income tax etc people can invest their own money into what they wish (also helping to promote self reliance and responsibility)
    sales tax instead of vat would go to the goverment giving them money to maintain national infrastucture.

    basicly, we can create a simple method that promotes responsibility, gives freedom and minimalizes the state so that it performs a function for society, instead of society performing a function for the state (which is what we currently have)

    1. chris southern
      February 4, 2009

      Foegot to mention, this would actualy encourage business to move to the UK and operate here, whilst get rid of the need to use the rules to avoid tax (avoidance is legal rember as it’s not evasion)

      1. chris southern
        February 4, 2009

        oh, and in response to the main subject, i think it’s great that obama held his hands up and admitted he made a mistake.

  16. Matthew Reynolds
    February 4, 2009

    It is amazing just how ‘right-wing’ the liberal left become over taxes when it applies to their own finances and over education when it applies to their children. Obama’s mates seem as adverse to taxation as Adam Smiths admirers when they have to pay it and Harriet Harman & Tony Blair seem to love parental choice when exercising it for their children. The left are very hypocritical indeed – their attitude seems to be : ‘ Do as I say but not as I do.’

    But if you proposed a Reagan style 30% cut in income tax rates & big cuts in the size of the public sector and school vouchers then the very lefties who dodge tax ( personal eg left out -ed ) and who love LEA run schools while having had a good private schooling like many Labor MP’s would denounce plans to give ordinary people the advantages that wealthy Guardian readers have as extreme & dangerous.

    Ending the QUANGO state to fund vouchers and a flat rate basic personal tax allowance of say £15,000 p/a would end productivity & social mobility through the roof . If the right wish to be progressive how is that for starters ?

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