David Lesperance and I need to get a move on with publishing The Flight of the Golden Geese. Many of the predictions in the book are coming to pass even before it sees the light of day.
One particular prediction is already happening in the UK. We say that the popular political rhetoric of squeezing the rich ‘until the pips squeak’ is total bunkum. There simply aren’t enough wealthy people around. Taxing them at 100%, or even confiscation, would not generate sufficient funds to cover the waste of profligate politicians. The target for tax collectors has always been the hard working middle classes and upper working classes. Our prediction is that the situation will get even more critical when the mobile rich, the Golden Geese, fly away from increasing tax demands, leaving those suckers with an even bigger tax bill.
Today in the UK, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are experimenting with bully-boy letters sent to a thousand higher rate tax payers demanding to know why their self assessments require the payment of less tax than persons with similar earning profiles. No checking if the assessments are valid and the avoidance of tax is legitimate. A threatening letter was sent to an elderly widow who had made a large charitable donation, thereby legally reducing her liability.
By definition roughly half of tax payers in any profile will be paying less than average. People will end up paying more than they need just for the taxmen to go away. Over the last year the HMRC has been very successful in intimidating more money out of people with this ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach. Soon we can expect to see these threatening letters rolled out across the whole country.
The HMRC is behaving like their counterparts in the Bible, and like in those times, tax-collectors will become pariahs in society.