Monday, March 28, 2005

The Taxman

"Let me tell you how it will be
Here's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman."

George Harrison, in his song 'Taxman' expressed his anger and disgust with the tax system in England, where the highest marginal tax rate at the time he wrote the song in the sixties, was 95%. The top federal plus provincial marginal rate in Canada varies by province but the average across the country is well over 50%. Not everyone pays the top marginal rate, of course. It only applies to those who earn over a certain threshold and then only to the amount earned over that same threshold.

It might surprise many people to know that teachers, policemen, union workers and others who are not usually considered as among those reviled 'rich' can actually be in the top marginal rate. That means that for each additional dollar they earn, on every raise or bonus they get, they give over 50% to the federal and provincial governments. Then, whenever they spend the paltry 47% or so they have left after income tax, they are obligated to give the governments another 15% on nearly anything they purchase -- cars, clothes, furniture, etc.

What the hell do these bozos do with all the money they take from us?

"Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman."

Every year around this time, I get angry. I pull together all the stuff that my accountant will need to prepare my personal tax return and fume. I haven't done my own taxes for about thirty years. I refuse to put myself through the frustration. So, like millions of other tax slaves around the world, I pay someone to do it for me. To have to do so is ridiculous. To add to the injury of having to pay punitive and unreasonable taxes, we have to pay specialists to figure out how much we owe.

Do we need all the so-called services we get from our governments? I don't think so. Neither did George Harrison:

"If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet."

Things haven't changed much since Harrison wrote "Taxman," have they?


  1. Mr Harrison may not like paying taxef yous, but without taxes their would be no police, and with no police thier would no copyright enforcement, and with no copyright enforcement their would be no royalities. Do you think Mr Harrison was so taxophobic when he was growing up in Liverpool? Taxes are the price rich people pay for keeping what they have, If you do not believe me check out what happens to rich people during revolutions. If it helps, think of taxes as wealth insurance

  2. Wow. An actual, real live comment from a reader -- incoherent babbling, implied threat and all. This person must be a product of our current and failing public school system, where one is likely to be taught to blame the rich for everything, where critical thinking is suspended and where grammar and spelling are among the casualties.

    Taxes as wealth insurance? Interesting concept. I always thought the best form of wealth insurance was to work hard, save your money, invest wisely and refrain from spending foolishly.

    But then what do I know?

    I will write more on this in a post next week. Right now, I have to go do stuff, you know, earn more money so I can pay more taxes, so the person commenting here, and others like him or her, won't revolt and come take my money by force.