Thursday, 19 July 2007

PollyT: Taxation, propaganda and spiteful irrationality.

Polly has been spreading unreason so close to a lie that you could not fit a cigarette paper between them.

Here goes:

Polly, you appear to have a perverse misinterpretation of what goes on.
“All that capital gains tax would otherwise go into the exchequer to be spent according to the democratic decision of taxpayers.”
No, Polly, you are wrong. The only way you can have the money spent democratically by taxpayers is to reduce the tax they pay. This way they each decide for themselves where that money goes. State largesse is NOT democratic.
“Instead the taxpayer sees their own money purloined and spent at the whim of the giver.”
No, Polly, you are wrong. The money does NOT belong to the taxpayer. It never did and never will. It either belongs to the owner or it is purloined, to use your word, by the Treasury and spent at the whim of the Treasury. The Treasury never “gives” unless it has already taken.
“Every time anyone donates to a cat sanctuary or cruelty to dogs in Japan, the taxpayer is obliged to contribute another 28% on top, willy-nilly (and often nilly).”
No, Polly, you are wrong. The taxpayer does not contribute a penny. They never do in such cases. What happens is that the Treasury does not TAKE that 28% for itself, but allows the giver to give all the money they give without the Treasury grabbing its piece. Maybe this “28%” malarkey is confusing people. It used to be either 20% or 40% depending on if you paid top rate tax. This dodge to 28% could be seen as a sly trick to disconnect the relationship between the giver’s tax and the tax refund. It certainly gives your argument a momentary fig leaf, but I am having nothing of it.
“So long as they fulfil the very basic requirements of probity, registered charities may cover a multitude of crankiness and inefficiency:”
The State is incredibly inefficient with our tax money. A tax £ ends up in the Treasury with the spending power of 30p it is so inefficient and bad at its job.
“cut-throat wasteful competition between near-identical tin-rattlers, advertising campaigns that distort important social issues; or empire building charity managers with little genuine assessment of their outcomes. “
Just like government lobby groups, quangos and other parasitical tumours on the Nation’s body.
“Of course many are excellent, but, good or bad, the taxpayer has to pony up that 28% extra for every pound put in a tin.”
As above, this is just wrong.
“Donors with their hefty cheques can cause serious trouble for good charities doing difficult, skilled work. Masters of the Universe are used to running the show themselves in their own companies, and they think they know best how to run any organisation. Sometimes they do, but sometimes the cash comes at a high price. Once they've got all the "toys", the danger is that using their money to run poor folk, their schools, their estates or their children is just the most fun toy of all.”
Just as the State sticks its dirty fingernails into the “third sector”. New Labour is as we speak undergoing a concerted plan to totally ruin this area with precisely the results you accuse private people of. In the case of the State, it is not even their money they are using to destroy things!
“I suggested to this particular Master of the Universe (who happens to give to an excellent programme) that as well as giving by whim, wouldn't paying more tax be a better way for the wealthy to pay their dues? He used the usual high-earner's get-out: governments won't spend his money as well as he can. If he gives it, he can direct it exactly where he wants. No doubt we'd all like to do that with our taxes, but the better way is to elect a government to spend it as rationally and accountably as it can.”
That is not possible, Polly. Do you actually believe that nonsense? Governments are the WORST spenders going.
“There is no evidence that charities spend money better: indeed researchers are too polite to conduct the sort of thorough, value-for-money scrutiny of charities that the state is subjected to.”
Ah, but this is not the point. People can choose which inefficient charity they put their money into. Being charities, they might be inefficient, but with no profits, some redistribution may occur. This is unlike the State, which the payee, the taxpayer has limited or no control over what moonbat causes the State decides to spend money on and when it does it often spends money hiring fat, inefficient private parasitical organisations which siphon of vast sums in consultancies and profits for the non-deserving few.
“The truth is, if the top good philanthropists got together and admitted that they now have more money than is decent, they could make a huge difference. Quite a small group of powerful clan chiefs of the City could change the tax-averse culture of the rich. They could shame the non-domiciled, the private-equity tax evaders, the trust fund inheritance tax cheats and their whole wicked tribe of tax advisers bent on denying the state as much money as possible.”
How about backing flat tax which would pretty much solve the issue and make life easier for everyone, not just the rich? No, you like “progressive” taxation, don’t you, Polly. Nasty, discriminatory and unfair “progressive” taxation that is used as a vindictive form of social engineering.
“They could advocate a top tax rate of 50% on earnings over £100,000. That would only affect the top 1.5% of taxpayers and it would bring in £4.5bn every year. “
No, it would mean more people try to evade tax and that UK PLC becomes more expensive and so less competitive.
“Consider this week's Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on the growing chasm between rich and poor. Earmarked for the neediest, that same £4.5bn would be enough to lift half our poor children over the poverty threshold.”
The best way to lift the poor is to provide a vibrant, low tax, efficient economy so the poor can find work and live their lives. Making the rich poorer is not the way to make the poor less so. As Winston Churchill 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.".
“ (while ordinary taxpayers will be obliged to contribute another 28% to whatever causes take his fancy).”
Repeating a lie is the classic trick of propaganda. Polly, you are repeating a lie yet again.
“ It is good to give - but it's even better to pay your taxes.”
And better still to have those taxes flat and fair!


Phil A said...

Come on. Surely expect sense out of Polly is like expecting a horse to talk!

Less likely come to think of it…

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rog, TW and DK have done this one to death today. Fisking Pol is like shooting fish in a barrel or taking sweets from babies.

Much more fun finding the bits on which you agree with her, i.e. that tax breaks for charities are shit, that there are too many charities all raising money and spending it on advertising and administration costs etc.

Roger Thornhill said...

The scary bit is people believe Pol and that Pol's work is funded by US! Yes, WE fund her because of all the State sector job ads in the Guardian that keeps it afloat!

Mark Wadsworth said...

I know.

Somebody at ConHome had a 100 Policy saying that in future public sector jobs would only be advertised on the internet and in Job Centres. Sub-text: bankrupt the Guardian.

It was adopted as semi-official Tory policy. Since then, the Guardian has been a bit nicer to them.

Roger Thornhill said...

It is not about bankrupting the Guardian, but stopping the subsidising of a Sociofascist rag.

The Remittance Man said...

Governments and big charities both are about as fiscally efficient as I am aerodynamic.

Personally I'd rather keep my dosh and spend it where I think it might do the most good.