Reality check on taxes

We hear what we think are historically based phrases like “only two things are inevitable in life – death and taxes.”

So our politicians trot it out, promise to cut taxes, and get lots of rah-rah from the electorate.

It’s true that anti-tax phrases are rooted in our history.  What’s not true is the implied definition of the word “tax.”

The kind of tax mentioned is the only kind of tax there ever was before the revolutions of the 1800s swept Europe. These were what we now call “commodity taxes” – sales, value added, customs, etc. They were imposed by the aristocrats on the commoner’s goods and services and the proceeds were used to benefit the aristocrats.

Ultimately, the populations rose up in revolt against them.

Out of the ashes of these were born liberal democracies, a new, fair tax system was needed to supplant the system which was so punitive against the non-rich citizens. “Income tax” was born.

This system ensured that every “legal person” paid their fair share in support of the needs of the entire nation.

And now, in their nearsightedness, which taxes do politicians say they want to lower? Income taxes. What do they impose instead? Commodity taxes – which shift taxes onto the shoulders of the lower classes.

So, ever so slowly we are manipulated back to the bad old days when people living desperate lives finally rose up in revolt and burned civilization to the ground and everyone, rich and poor alike, lost.

Dean Helm

Victoria