Friday, January 02, 2009

Not Talking and Non-Debating on the Net

Over at Richard Murphy’s Blog, “tax and corporate accountability”, HERE:

There is a sort of ‘debate’ on “Tax Freedom Day for some”, a feature posted each year by the Adam Smith Institute that calculates when the ‘average’ taxpayer has paid all the income tax due for the year, which also ‘identifies’ when the rest of that imaginary person’s income is available for personal consumption and investment.

The headline date is slowly creeping deeper into the year as the government thinks up more way to reach into private purses, wallets and bank accounts. Yes, it’s a sort of ‘political hot potato’, embarrassing to the government and a supposed source of indignation to the Left.

I say ‘sort of debate’, because Richard Murphy and Tim Worstall, a Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, the main protagonists are engaged in the Internet equivalent of not ‘talking’ to each other; or, at least Richard is ‘ignoring’ Tim, though Tim appear willing to discuss these issues with Richard.

[I should disclose that I too am a Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute - but I do not know if Richard is ‘not talking to me’.]

In the yesterday's ‘non-exchange’ between Richard and Tim, I offered three short paragraphs on one of the issues they are not debating, namely the taxation of the poor.

Briefly Richard favours taxing the income of the rich more and Tim favours not taxing the income of the poor at all. I agree with Tim. Whether the richer should be taxed more than the poorer is a separate issue, hence the 'debate' on Flat Tax.

Here is my brief contribution:


Without diverting the discussion into that of ‘flat tax’, I think you should acknowledge that Tim, and others, including the Adam Smith Institute, propose that the poor be taken out of income tax altogether by raising the personal allowance (to £12,000 currently; higher if possible).

Lasting change in normal times should be in steps, not in great leaps, in Adam Smith’s view (including on tariff reductions).

What have you got against that reasonable and overdue proposal?




Post a Comment

<< Home