Despite the protestations of many economists that our tax system is flawed, I’ve continued to believe that it is what has kept government spending and debt in check, relatively speaking, over the years.
Well, it seems I’ve been proven wrong. I know you can’t believe I said that, but I did. You knew one or more buts was coming didn’t you? But, I still think it should have restrained the borrowing and spending.
We’re now told our taxes/revenue as a percentage of GDP is only 19%, so in the scheme of things we’re under taxed compared to other nations. But, (there’s another one) wait a minute, our GDP has grown substantially over the years, so shouldn’t government revenue have done the same?
If you answered yes, go to the head of the class, because it did. From 2003 through 2008 government revenues totalled $7 billion. But, (one more) guess what, they spent over $8 billion. Not to mention the additional borrowing that took place.
So as the debate turns toward changing the tax regime (read higher taxes) again, because, we’ll be told, import tax is not enough to maintain the country, remember those numbers, and maybe get updated ones through 2010.
But (yes, another one) wait a minute. Isn’t our GDP declining as a result of the economic turmoil? If so, shouldn’t our taxes/revenue as a percentage of that GDP be rising since we’re told revenue is stable?
As I was reminded recently there are three kinds of lies.
While I fully understand the economic troubles we face I don’t think we should pay more in taxes because of our successive governments profligacy. Do you?
The answer, as we all know is to reign government in. It’s far too big and wastes far too much of our valuable tax dollars to be trusted with even more of the proceeds of picking our pockets, just because they can.
Fellow blogger, Chris Lowe, sent the following quote from Winston Churchill: “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.”
As for expecting leadership from the PLP? Well, I reckon we won’t see anything serious from them other than eloquent polemic debate. That’s what they tell is required of them as the official opposition.
They can read the scorecard (economy) as well as, or better than we can though, and many of them are millionaires with far more to worry about than your not so humble blogger.
But, both political parties are in a quandary. If they say too much, they’ll be charged with mishandling the country for decades.
But they are adults, and supposed to be leaders, so admit the mistakes and get on with it.
It’s just occurred to me that if Parliament were to go on vacation for a year or so, and the members were forced by the voting public to do their job without the finger pointing, like we have to do to get by in the private sector, the patient just might heal itself.