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  • Not yet TEA time…

    Posted by Telegram from Innisfree on April 3rd, 2012 (All posts by )

    Yes, the world is abuzz with the fuss that Irish homeowners are making over the Household Tax. To recap, the Household Tax is a precursor to a property tax, which hasn’t been charged until now. Homeowners are asked to pay EUR100 this year, with an eye towards bringing in a proper tax in 2013. The idea is to get homeowners to self-identify themselves to the government to create the database. (Many government (and indeed health and education) records still are very much on paper.) The deadline for paying this tax was this past Saturday – however, at last count less than half of the suspected 1.6 million households have ponied up.

    In fact, there was a protest at the current ruling party’s annual planning conference (called an “Ard Fheis”). An estimated 5,000-plus people turned out to air their rancor against this tax. Indeed, a number of TDs (members of the Irish parliament) have taken to the airwaves to condemn this tax and at least in a couple of cases, hint broadly that people not should pay it. From an American conservative/libertarian point of view, this all looks promising…

    …until you hear what the complaints are all about. Almost no one is calling for a cut in spending. A goodly number are piqued that they can’t pay for this bill at the post office. And other voters and government folk are calling for the property tax to be means-tested. Sinn Fein wants to scrap this tax altogether for a flat-out income tax rate hike (which is what a property tax based on income level would effectively become) . In other words, this is really a broad-based call for more soaking the rich. But let’s see where this tax is going to.

    It’s being sent to the District Councils – local-based government at the city or county level. And what it’s paying for are parks. Swimming pools. Libraries. And streets (remind me what the Road Tax was supposed to be for?) Meanwhile, still no talk of councillors taking a pay cut. Just asking the homeowners to dig deep to pay for “leisure amenities”. Feh, “leisure amenities”. Let’s get this straight. This isn’t a principled fight over taxation. It’s a squabble over who pays for little Sinead’s swim lessons. As King James II exclaimed at the Battle of the Boyne, GMAFB.


    10 Responses to “Not yet TEA time…”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      Are the Irish perfectly happy paying high taxes? Seems like Scandinavia…a friend from Norway tells me that Norwegians feel that “there should be no rich people” and are perfectly content paying near confiscatory taxes – This despite the fact that they are awash in oil.

      The ones who aren’t happy go to Minnesota I think ;-)

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      A fellow I know Moved to Arizona about four years ago. He and his wife spent ten years in Germany on the waiting list for immigrant visas. He is a master plumber and she is a labor and delivery nurse. He said there are no rich and no poor in Germany but he obviously has other ideas, like Joe the Plumber. He said there is no way he could have started his own business in Germany.

      Why is our legal immigration so screwed up ?

    3. The War Against Taxes | THE WESTERN EXPERIENCE Says:

      […] Is it TEA time in Ireland? […]

    4. Anonymous Says:

      Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Why is our legal immigration so screwed up ?”

      Because legal immigrants who become citizens tend to be conservative and vote Republican. I know because I work and have worked with quite a few.

      Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, tend to consume government services, creating a demand for more funding, increased taxes and more “Power To The Bureaucrats!” They can also be a reliable source of Democrat or other Leftist votes in states with institutionalized voter fraud, such as California and Illinois.

      But you knew all this.

    5. John Wolfsberger, Jr. Says:

      Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Why is our legal immigration so screwed up ?”

      Because legal immigrants who become citizens tend to be conservative and vote Republican. I know because I work and have worked with quite a few.

      Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, tend to consume government services, creating a demand for more funding, increased taxes and more “Power To The Bureaucrats!” They can also be a reliable source of Democrat or other Leftist votes in states with institutionalized voter fraud, such as California and Illinois.

      But you knew all this.

      (Please remove the post from “Anonymous.” For some reason, the browser periodically blanks my info and I didn’t catch it.)

    6. lukas Says:

      John, surely the current state of immigration law is a bipartisan “success”.

      TfI: You left out one of the main problems that the many Irish people have with the Household Charge, namely that the introduction of a property tax (of which the Household Charge is merely a first step) was imposed by the Troika (IMF-EU-ECB) as a condition of the bailout.

    7. menottes sexy Says:

      menottes sexy…

      […]Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » Not yet TEA time…[…]…

    8. ice9 Says:

      I can see why the Irish don’t want to pay the new tax; it is not fun to go from paying nothing to paying something. What’s curious is how many Americans don’t want to pay their taxes, or think they should be paying less.

      If you booked under 220K taxable, the last time your rates were this low was 1955, more or less–and that is both total tax burden and federal rates. Depending on locality, you have either paid more in local, state, or property taxes and/or seen a significant decline in services provided.

      Meanwhile Americans are raking it in from their government, though most don’t seem to appreciate or even notice the stuff their government has handed out. As of 2012, the Fed has provided you with between $10,000 and $20,000 per taxpayer over the past 10 years, with a promise that you’ll get another $5,000 to $20,000 into the middle future. This is straight benefit, not means-tested, not distributed unequally to the poor or the wealthy. Now that’s government!

      This is a Republican program, and it’s locked in–the only thing that could possibly reduce the flow would be miraculous technological advances or a breach of contract that would have far-reaching political effects. And you thought the Republicans were the party of austerity and small government!

      This is a powerful argument against your niggling over debt and deficits and so on. It’s way out of the league of liberal nuisance arguments about road use and gas taxes staying the same for decades, or that bridges are falling down while taxes are cut for the wealthy. Who cares that American industry and wealth expanded wildly in the 50’s and 60’s while massive government spending at high progressive tax rates paid war debt, comfortably funded Social Security, expanded the safety net, and built the state-of-the-art American highway infrastructure and electrical grid–which rich skinflints and power-plunging right-wingers shrug away while growing fat on the greed of the ignorant–present company very much included–but so what! The bennies keep coming to all of us, thanks to George W. Bush.

      One small hitch–you’ll have some trouble getting much utility from your portion of the gravy flowing from the Bush administration and the Frist senate. Yes, it was purchased with your tax dollars, but unfortunately it’s, well…put it this way: the utility is mainly psychological. Many taxpayers enjoy their government provided merchandise on a few ceremonial occasions, in a few passing conversations; some still wring a few small drips of political power from their piece, but otherwise it’s more of an abstraction. But what an abstraction!

      It doesn’t matter whether you claim a particular dead soldier or a specific blown off arm or leg as your due, or whether you just lay back and enjoy your small part of the whole project, just as someone might adopt a stretch of their local deteriorating state highway and promise but fail to keep it litter-free because, well, NASCAR. Some people prefer to think of their contribution as paying directly for a dead Iraqi terrorist, struck down while waiting for a terrorist bus or perhaps driving their terrorist car too close to a grade-A piece of American-provided infrastructure like a roadblock or a car-bomb baffle. Others might prefer to lay their hands (figuratively, of course) on ammo, giving as it does a personal feel; perhaps the 30mm M789 High Explosive Dual Purpose cannon cartridge, which goes for about a buck apiece, which makes the calculation easy for those unfortunate taxpayers who live in places where tax rates aren’t low enough to support effective instruction in decimals. 10,000 rounds would last you half an hour, more if you count spool-up. Even figuring for waste, theft, and practice you could reasonable expect to get something for an investment like that–maybe a journalist waiting for a bus, or a child in a suspicious car, or an Iranian arms-smuggler skulking through the Barziyeh with IED materials cleverly disguised as live goats.

      Of course, some of us have to do the hard civic service of accepting as our portion some of the less dramatic fruits of this benificent government program. Somebody has to pay for and enjoy lifetime services for disabled servicemen, or benefits for widows, or for lawyers to present and antiscience legislators to ratify bills that prohibit spending on fake maladies like PTSD. My father was very proud of the fact that his tax dollars had paid for politicians to alternately ignore and reject the effects of Agent Orange on soldiers; sadly, Dad couldn’t enjoy that government-provided perquisite very long before he died of a mysterious liver cancer that was completely unrelated to his service in the defoliated forests of Tra Vinh; he was thankful that his tax dollars had made his last weeks more comfortable by establishing that the 4000 percent spike in mysterious liver cancers among soldiers who served in Agent Orange-defoliated areas was pure coincidence. I can be thankful that US Senator Tom Coburn is still on the job, using his government-subsidized medical education to continue Senator Helms’ work containing the cost of Agent Orange upon servicemen, as well as dispensing numerous other valuable nuggets of government service to we taxpayers, including lots of moral support for the Iraq war as well as that always crowd-pleasing right-wing product, hatred of Al Gore. We should not be contemptuous of those among us who draw the hard duty of accepting rather less noble goods for their portion of the Iraq War benefit–the $20 billion in cash wasted, stolen, or diverted, for example–we can’t all have fun and interesting bits like cluster munitions, armored Ford Expeditions, or catered political fundraisers thrown by Blackwater USA complete with happy-ending for Dick Cheney and Erik Prince then deducted as overhead in 2006 when they made $12 billion and paid nary a dime in taxes.

      Really, it does not matter; we all get to share, and perhaps we can take turns, swapping a blown-off foot for a bag of bribe money, or a bladder of jet fuel for a box of ACOG sights inscribed with passages from Ezekiel, or certified reduced-electrocution-hazard shower for a couple of Belgian Malanois especially trained to scare Muslim men. It’s all our glorious produce, our shared birthright as Americans; we can all be proud together that, when we whine about taxes and roads and litter and health-care now, we’re secretly well provided with government swag which we can take out and stroke only a little erotically when the lights are low. Sure, we can’t actually have it, but we tax-hawks live in our minds, anyway; that’s the problem with Liberals–they have no imagination.


    9. Anonymous Says:

      “Why is our legal immigration so screwed up ?”

      Because legal immigrants who become citizens tend to be conservative and vote Republican. I know because I work and have worked with quite a few.

      Yes – it is part of the general “I got mine, screw everyone else” policy that the Republican Party does so well. This goes back to the Burkean “conservative” which is focused on PRESERVING the POWER of the aristocracy – In other words, making the rich richer – comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

    10. Resume Says:


      […]Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » Not yet TEA time…[…]…

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