Charlotte Gore on paying tax, gets it spot on:
People want every social problem in the world fixed by the Government, and they love – absolutely love – their free money that comes from some mystical, magical source. But – and this is an important but – they want someone else to pay. I mean, what’s the point of demanding the Government fixes something if they then go and make you pay for it? Doesn’t that defeat the point (the point being you want the Government to fix it and the Government to pay for it. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it?)
Tax is crap. Paying tax is crap. That’s the truth. The gap between what people would like to pay versus what they actually pay is huge, and in that gap are thousands and thousands of public services, including “free” schools, “free” healthcare, and “free” money. That ‘gap’ is the bit that other people are supposed to pay.Go and read the whole thing. It's good.
People are stupidly ignorant about where the money comes from. It's almost like we were still children, taking our pocket money like good little boys and girls, but believing that somewhere our parents have a pot of gold that buys the house and car and the holidays. We don't know how much it is, but it must be massive - and therefore, if I can't have that doll or that toy car, it must be because Dad is mean. And if I need some money - for something really important - surely the money is there?
I have said before, that there is one simple way to counteract this wrong thinking. Have the following inscribed above the portals of Broadcasting House, at the top of the mission statement of every quango, on the grant application forms for every 'charity' seeking funding, and on every piece of paper sent out by Her Majesty's Government or any Local Authority:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOVERNMENT MONEY. THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T HAVE ANY OF ITS OWN. THERE IS ONLY OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.
Mrs Thatcher is supposed to have said "The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." I've tracked the original down, and it was said in an interview with Thames Television's This Week in 1976:
Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money.
Close enough. But why do we need this demonstrating to us every 20 years or so? Do we forget so soon?