Monday, 3 October 2011

Words of wisdom

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."
Mark Twain
Having said that, as a taxpayer - even though retired - I am proud to be paying taxes in the United Kingdom, supposedly to benefit my country's financial standing; and that of it's elected representatives - however I could be just as proud were I paying half that I do!

You listening, George........?


Richard said...


WitteringsfromWitney said...

R: Rhetorical question - as you no doubt realised........?

Besides being blind and an idiot the man is deaf too!

Edward Spalton said...

A great friend of mine, a farmer with wider experience, became a representative for a very respectable farm finance company. After he had gone through his basic training, he was allocated to an area - with very definite instructions to follow.

He told me of being right on the edge of his territory with a perfectly good proposition to finance a slurry spreader - but he could not contact his line manager to get approval and phoned his director to save another long journey. "It's all very well" said his director "But what do we do with it if he can't pay?"

"You spread pig shit with it" he replied, hearing a roar of laughter and realised he was through to a board

He also visited a Polish farmer whom I knew. The man had clawed his way up from refugee to quite a substantial but cash-strapped tenant farmer. My friend explained that he could buy his livestock and machinery and lease it back. The deal was tailor made for this man's operation. It was quite genuine.
"Yes, but your interest rate is too high" said the Polish farmer.

"But you can set all that against your tax" said my friend.


My friend had to bring his line manager in to overcome this objection. He did not succeed.

It was a bona fide company. When I went into business on my own, I leased my first car from them and was able to set the whole cost (plus interest) against tax over (I think) two years which was a much better deal than buying it and depreciating it according to Inland Revenue rules.

outsider said...

Yes, I once had a certain pride in paying tax to pay for common services and support others less fortunate. I also once thought it right to obey the law because it was the law. Stupid boy.

It does not seem quite the same when I pay tax to fund pressure groups to persuade the government to pass laws to stop me doing what I want with the money I have left.

Bill said...

All tax is theft, in my book. It's all very well saying it goes to help those less fortunate. I've been one of those less fortunate and that help doesn't exist even if you go through the tunnel of hoops the civil servants have devised. It's a myth put out to justify taxation. Similar to the 'think of the children' myth that is used time and again to shut down discussion about things that just shouldn't be.

If there is to be taxation to fund a running of a small state doing the things that the people want done there needs to be a written contract between the taxpayer and that state to make it lawful and so both parties can see clearly what they are doing/paying for.

Now what do they call such contracts?

TomTom said...

Taxation used to be as the motto on the Us Treasury Building in Washington DC states: "Taxes are the price we pay for a Civilised Society"

But we don't have a civilised society. We do have politicos developing Moral justifications for taxes on smoking, driving, energy etc....and because their morality is flawed, I start to see absolutely no moral case for taxes

Anonymous said...

"Taxes are the price of a civilised society" eh?

A quote from the famed Amrica Judge Learned Hand. When he said it, most Americans didn't pay income tax at alll and the Federal government was much, much smaller. Here are some more pearls from the great man you may enjoy

Anonymous said...

This is worth readong

You are all 'europlastics' unless you pull your political weight

WitteringsfromWitney said...

ES: Two nice stories highlighting the stupdity of laws devised by politicians who do not think things through.

Or: Ah, the delights of the political fix in which we find ourselves whereby govt funds fakecharities to lobby for what the govt would like to do....

Bill: I believe its called a manifesto at present......

What we need is a tad of "Referism" and my ideas in the "Consitution" series?

TT: There would be a case for taxes - see response to Bill above?

Saot: Thanks for reminding me of a good source of quotes!

DP111: Yes, have seen and read, thanks.