You can have your paycheck when we’re done with it

September 20, 2010

It’s annoying enough to have the government force employers to withhold money from one’s paycheck, but the new government in the UK wants to take it one step further. Under a new proposal, employers will send employees’ paychecks to the government, first. Then, when they’re done with it, the government will give what’s left to the employee:

The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)  stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

And this from a Conservative government? Obviously the word means something different on the other side of the Atlantic than it does here.

Fausta points that this is how foreign employers pay their workers in … Cuba. The company gives the government the check, and Havana gives the campesino what’s left. Some may wonder what the substantive difference is between this and normal withholding. In my opinion, the difference is huge: while the government takes a cut under the withholding system, the check is still a matter between the employer and the worker. Under the Cuban-British model, the worker becomes dependent on the central government for his money, no matter where he works – or if he works at all, given welfare. It’s another way of turning a free citizen with his own property -in this case, a paycheck- into a ward of the state.

I can sympathize with the desire to make tax collection more efficient in order to get the money the government is owed, but maybe HMRC should consider something radical, such as a low-rate flat tax that will leave more money in the hands of the citizen, who will then use it to generate economic activity and, in turn, increased revenue for the government. That pesky little Laffer Curve in action, again:

But that kind of logic is alien to the statist, whose answer to every problem is the expansion of government power and its further intrusion into every aspect of one’s life, inevitably hobbling individual liberty. What next? Simply declaring everyone to be an employee of the State Crown?

LINKS: Ed Morrissey points out the many practical problems of this proposal, such as giving government access to everyone’s bank accounts. Power Line asks “Whose money is it?

UPDATE: Dan Mitchell calls it “Orwellian.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Physicist throws global warming under the bus

September 20, 2010

Shrieks of “HERESY!!” and “APOSTASY!!” must be echoing through the Cathedral of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming right about now, as a former University of Ottawa professor says that fossil fuels are insignificant to the amount of CO2 in the air:

The present (2010) historic maximum of anthropogenic (caused by humans) fossil fuel burning is only 8% or so of global primary production (GPP) (both expressed as kilograms of carbon per year, kg-C/y). GPP is the rate at which new biomass (living matter) is produced on the whole planet. And of course all biomass can in principle be considered fuel that could be burned with oxygen (O2) to produce CO2 gas, H2O water, energy, and an ash residue.

This shows the extent to which anthropogenic energy production from fossil fuel burning is small in comparison to the sun’s energy delivery to Earth, since biomass primary production results from the sun’s energy via photosynthesis.

(…)

Given all the fuss that is made about the present rate of fossil fuel burning (2010; 0.8 x 10^13 kg-C/y where 10^13 = 10,000,000,000,000 with thirteen zeros), it is important to keep in mind that this represents an amount of CO2 release comparable to or somewhat less than the CO2 released by simple breathing from humankind and its domestic animals [LINK]. The combined biomass of humankind and its domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, pets, etc.) is in turn estimated to be only 0.04% of Earth’s living biomass (all expressed as kilograms of carbon, kg-C), which is a lot more CO2-producing breathing. (Ants, for example, are estimated to represent ten to one hundred times the biomass of humankind and ants can be argued to have “transformed” the planet and its ecology far more than humans.)

Emphasis added.

Dr. Rancourt has a very Left/Progressive outlook, but a portion of his conclusion is worth quoting:

For left progressives to collaborate with First World governments that practice global extortion and geopolitical wars in order to pass carbon schemes to undemocratically manage and control the developments of non-First-World communities and sovereign states is obscene, racist, and cruelly cynical.

This conservative finds it hard to disagree. Well, except for that “global extortion” and “geopolitical wars” part. Can’t have everything…

But he touches on a good point: the AGW cultists and alarmists not only want to cripple Western economies and establish bureaucratic-statist control over the lives of individual citizens, but they want to keep poor countries poor, too, by denying them the very means the industrial and post-industrial nations used to become wealthy. It’s no wonder that both China and India have refused to sign on to the global-warming farce; the measures the alarmists demand we take to fight a problem that does not exist would absolutely derail their economic development.

In the great scheme of things, this is just another small crack in the vaunted scientific consensus. By itself, it means little. But, the more cracks appear, the sooner comes the day when the AGW cathedral collapses.

via WUWT

UPDATE: Is the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming the Beauvais Cathedral of our time? Via Dan Collins.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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