PLEASE, CAN I GIVE SOME MORE?
It is one of the least-used sentences in the English language: I want to pay more tax.
That’s how I feel after analysing Mitt Romney’s financials.
The Republican Presidential Nominee – worth an estimated $250 million – has finally released his tax returns for the past two years. From an income of $13.7 million in 2011, he paid $1.94 million: a tax rate of 14.1 per cent.
Image via Hypernet.com.
This is lower than the rate paid by the average firefighter.
Anyone who thinks this is fair has rocks in their head.
In an eviscerating piece for the Daily Beast earlier this year, entitled Tax Me, For F@#$’s Sake! the multi-millionaire writer Stephen King says most rich folk would, “rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing Disco Inferno than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar”.
(In the interests of gender equality I would like to add the image of rich women setting their fannies on fire, to the strains of Bruce Springsteen.)
This is not about the politics of envy; it is about paying your fair share. Billionaire Warren Buffett famously complained about paying less tax than his secretary, due to loopholes created by George W. Bush.
This prompted President Obama’s doomed bid to pass legislation making tax codes fairer.
Perhaps we should consider similar laws here.
“The income tax system is absurdly inequitable when it comes to taxing the mega-rich, because most of their income comes from investment,” ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons recently told News Ltd..
My stomach churns as I recall the statement by the late Kerry Packer at a Senate Inquiry: “Of course I’m minimising my tax. And if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax, they want their heads read, because as a government, I can tell you, you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra!”
I don’t like to write ill of the dead.
But I’m sure bilious billionaires could spare a few shekels for books for a school library, or medicine for a rural hospital.
Instead, the wicked witch of the west tells us to get out of the pub and work harder – for as little as $2 a day.
I tend to agree with Richard Glover’s contention that Ms. Rinehart is a Marxist masquerading as a billionaire to add fuel to the proletariat fire.
They seem to think the tax taken goes into a big Black Hole.
Instead, it is spent on disability services, roads, public transport, defence, police, fire stations – stuff we actually need.
The people who evade tax are the same ones who bleat about unflued heating in public schools and waiting lists for elective surgery. There’s a special place in hell for those who avoid tax because, “the gummint wastes it, anyway”.
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