He said that the announcement had prompted him to seriously consider moving back to America, where he lived during the 1970s and 1980s as a tax exile.
"Tax got to 82 per cent [in the 1970s] and I thought this was kind of unfair," he said. "Also, I see... that the government has taken it up to 50 per cent and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America.
"I will not pay the Government more than I get. No way, ever. So they've reached their limit with me. That's the lot."
Of course, when one factors in National
Why the fuck should they take that much? The fucking government isn't the one having to haul themselves out of bed every fucking morning; they aren't doing the work; they aren't doing anything at all except force you to pay for their personal morals.
There is absolutely no moral justification for it at all. But worse, as Caine points out, there is no economic case for it either.
"You know how much they [the government] made out of that high taxation all those years ago?
"Nothing and they sent a mass of incredible brains to America. Yes they did. The most stupid act you've ever seen in your life."
Some people, of course, did stay: my grandfather—a rather eminent cardiologist, who also had a private income—stayed, for instance, teaching medical students in Cardiff and paying a fuck load of tax for the privilege. But many, many people did leave in the Brain Drain. Why the fuck should they stay?
"We've got three and a half million layabouts laying about on benefits and I'm 76 getting up at six o'clock in the morning to go to work to keep them.
"Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not to keep sticking it on."
Whatever the motivations of those who set up the Welfare State, in reality it has been a fucking disaster. And the people that it has been most disastrous for is the poor; as the Welfare State has become increasingly expensive, successive governments have had to slap more and more tax on.
And because there are far more poor than rich, the burden of taxation has fallen disproportionately on them because that is the way that one raises money. And then governments, realising the potential for vote-buying, have taken advantage of that to create a "client state" in which the poor are taxed and then made to beg for some of their own money back—always threatened with the notion that "the other lot" will stop their hand-outs.
And as the hand-outs have increased, and the tax got higher, more and more people have found themselves caught in the Benefits Trap—for many, it is no longer worth going to work, for they would be worse off.
And as these extra benefits payments and benefits claimants have increased, taxes on businesses and on employment have risen. The inevitable result is that businesses have employed technology (or any other method) rather than people, and so the number of jobs available has contracted; and, since there are fewer jobs available, businesses have been able to choose those with the highest qualifications and the most skills.
And so the poor have become poorer and, crucially, with no hope of bettering their lot. And still the governments pile on the tax on the productive, whilst paying the unproductive not to work and to have babies who will also be unable to work.
It's a fucking shit situation. For everyone.
How might we possibly improve the situation? Well, as people like myself have been banging on for years, you might start by not taxing the fucking poor—it's an argument that Timmy makes, yet again, at The Register.
We need to have a thorough overhaul of the UK's income tax system. It's not that many decades ago that you only started to pay income tax as your income approached the average. Now you pay income tax if you're working part time on the minimum wage (no, really, 20 hours a week or so will get you into that tax net).
The mechanism that has been used to get us to this horrible state is "fiscal drag". In most years (the current perhaps excepted) and certainly over time, wages rise faster than inflation. This is the end result of that useful thing which capitalism alone amongst economic systems manages: a general and sustained increase in the standard of living. But successive Chancellors have raised the personal allowance in line with general inflation and not the higher rises in wages. So ever more people on ever lower wages get to pay income tax, with the absurd result that for many we are now taking income tax away and then paying it back to the same people in the same week in benefits.
The Budget itself recognises this: there are some 2 million people who face marginal tax rates of over 60 per tax. Hundreds of thousands face even higher rates than this with the combination of income tax and benefits being withdrawn as their working income rises. Yes, just as we think that there are Laffer Curve effects on the rich, we also believe that exactly the same happens to the poor. Yet in this monstrosity of a tax system we tax the working poor at higher marginal rates than we do the rich.
The solution to this is well known: to raise the personal allowance. The Adam Smith Institute (where I'm a Fellow) has been shouting in the wilderness about this for years. As a simple rule of thumb the personal allowance should be the same as working full time all year on the minimum wage. Some £11,500 or so. At the moment it's around £6,400.
The Joseph Rowntree Trust produced a survey on what it is to be poor in the UK. It concluded that you needed a pre-tax income of £13,400 in order not to be poor. That's just about that £11,500 after tax. Yes, we really do insist that those we define as poor pay income tax. UKIP (where I'm also involved) has had the same policy for some years. Last week Oxfam urged the same and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats unveiled his third tax policy of the past year and urged the allowance be raised to £10,000.
As happens so often, good ideas start out way way out there, and then as people consider their merits they approach the mainstream. Or at least, they can do. And that's what I think has been the biggest mistake of this budget. Sure, bashing the rich for a few pennies here and there will always get cheers from Labour backbenchers, but we should really be concentrating our attention upon the poor. And the best thing we can do for them is to stop bloody taxing them.
Absolutely. But remove the poor from the tax system, and you remove much of the incentive for them to keep voting for you—because you are no longer paying them those lovely free benefits, you see (if only because you can no longer afford them).
That's my complaint: that Darling's allowed a good crisis to go to waste.
Darling, like his fucking one-eyed organ-grinder, is not really interested in the poor, and never has been. The politicians are interested in only one thing—power.
To be in power, they must be elected, and to have even the faintest hope of being elected, the politicians believe that they must, at all costs, retain their client electorate.
The Budget was gesture politics at its worst: the lack of spending cuts was designed to keep the client electorate voting Labour, whilst the extra tax on the rich was designed solely to appeal to said clients' most evil sensibilities.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: if you really want to help the poor, then stop fucking taxing them.