Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Send everybody's paychecks where?

Yeah, if this latest proposal in The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be doesn't set someone's warning bells to ringing, it pretty much tells me everything I really need to know about that person. Tests don't come much litmusier.

EDIT: As I halfway expected, comments are trending towards "Boy, I'd like to see them try that here! We'd tar & feather 'em! We'd fetch a rope!"

Right. You mean like we did to them when they passed income tax withholding back in WWII? We sure tarred and feathered and hanged those politicians into shape and made 'em repeal that law!

You let 'em hold X% of your paycheck now and remit you what they say is your due once a year. What is the real moral difference with letting the whole thing pass through their sieve before reaching you?


Nathan said...

I suspect that would not fly here, and that congresscritters who voted for such a thing would fly when yanked upwards by liberal application of rope.

John Stephens said...

Nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only was to be SURE. Anyone who's still sane over there is probably praying for death anyway, like the woman on the wall.

Alan J. said...

There are so many things wrong with this idea that it's hard to even make a list. First off, I would never want some bureaucrat to ever have this much power, it's not their damn money, it's mine. And this just smacks too much of slavery. Second, can you imagine how much chaos that some Russian or Chinese hacker can cause by breaking in to this system? How many times have we heard about other government computer systems being hacked? I don't think that even the Brits could be stupid enough to implement this system, but to repeat a famous quote, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

Bubblehead Les. said...

"Please sir, may I have some more porridge?" I see that the so-called Conservative Gov't. in the U.K. has decided to base its Economic Policies on Dickens's Fagen.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait for them to try that here. I suggest we keep a supply of tar, feathers and a rail handy for responding to the first Congress Critter that suggests this one. Think they would get the idea?

Tam said...

You mean like we did to them when they passed Income Tax Withholding back in WWII? We sure tarred and feathered and hanged those politicians into shape and made 'em repeal that law!

You let 'em hold X-1% of your paycheck now. What is the moral difference with letting them hold the whole thing?

Brad K. said...


Obama's "Do it the European way" one world order is actually in progress.

ObamaCare - or was it "close the bank and make it mine" finance reform? - gives all bank records to the IRS. The new provision that anyone doing $600 dollars business with anyone - business or individual - is required to issue a form 1099 to certify the exchange of money or value lets the IRS track almost all of the under-the-table economy. At some point all cash transactions trace back to someone with a bank account - and those will trigger the audits and trails. Remember - IRS records - that is, bank accounts, now - don't have to be subpoenaed to be used against you. Or they shortly will be readily available to labor unions and LEOs.

I don't think this is something we can assume isn't on the way from the B. Hussein Obama "We care - for socialism" White House. They have already taken the first steps.

BTW - I liked this PeopleOfWalMart.com shirt (http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/?p=18282), "Obama loves America like OJ loved Nicole".

The Jack said...

I thought income tax withholding in the US wasn't mandatory, it was just default?

If true, not being mandatory is a fair difference.

Also there is a semantic difference between having the state take a bite out of your pay before your employer forks it over, and your employer handing it all over to the gov.

Though the real difference is that at the UK proposal is upfront.

They're no longer pretending that there is anything private or out of government control

The Jack said...

To clarify, I think there is a difference between what the US does already and what the UK is proposing.

That being said I can see such a program being enacted over here. Sure it would be massively unpopular, sure it world be rammed through against ill-will, and sure people would protest it in huge groups. But no, no lampposts or tar. And if it does get in it'd be quite hard to ever get out.

Which pretty-much makes it like Obama-Pelosi-Reid-care. Funny that.

Tam said...

"That being said I can see such a program being enacted over here. "

We certainly set the precedent in '43.

BobG said...

"You let 'em hold X-1% of your paycheck now. What is the moral difference with letting them hold the whole thing?"

I have to agree; just because it doesn't go to their hands physically doesn't mean it doesn't pass through the government's control before it gets to you.

Grumpyunk said...

Our FedGov is openly floating the idea of swiping all the IRA-401 type savings accounts and then insuring you a retirement wage right now.

There are a LOT more folks becoming engaged in activity and politics right now and if we see a bunch of spenders turned out in November, it MIGHT help stall stupid shit ideas like having your check sent direct to the Gov 1st.

I'm not gonna hold my breath though. I'm not sure if a Governmental Bankruptcy of some sort can even be avoided given the debt/income projections, no matter what happens in any election.

Hope I'm wrong.

DirtCrashr said...

I think I'll move to The UK and loaf.

DirtCrashr said...

It occurs to me that "they" really are determined to grow their Black Market in parallel (or greater-to) the EU's Common Market thing. That will ensure a healthy and vigorous (and traditional) extra-Governmental system of graft and corruption, to compliment the existing internal-bureaucratic system of Governmental graft and corruption. Vigorish for all!

GunRights4US said...

I'll get excited that Americans are going to shove back when I see millions of new firearms purchases and a shortage of ammo.

Oh but wait a minute... !

alath said...

I think Dirtcrashr's on to something regarding the black/grey market. It reminds me of the old CCCP days, when they had an "official" economy for political purposes and an underground economy to keep the people from starving and/or rioting. The great thing then is that everyone's a criminal for buying black market potatoes, so you've got a ready-made excuse to send people off to the Gulag whenever you want. He's right: a stifled "official" economy and an illegal underground one both play into the totalitarian's hands.

Joanna said...

My gut tells me that armed resistance would only come when gov't agents are actually, physically up in everyone's homes and businesses, smashing windows and what-not.

The reason is that, for the average Joe, it's (personally) more important to make the car payment and get the kid's braces adjusted on schedule. In terms of everyday living, bureaucratic interference is just that -- interference. Kick his front door in, and Joe Schmoe will grab his rifle. Tell him he has to fill out another form and wait in another line, and he'll sigh and roll his eyes and let his shoulders fall a little lower, but he won't storm city hall.

Also, there's a psychological difference between writing a check to the government and getting a check from the government. Doesn't matter if it was your money to begin with; the structure of the system is predisposed to make the "recipients" feel like ingrates if they complain.

Joanna said...

Addendum: If a revolution does start, it'll be because someone quietly declines to fill out a form and gets dragged off with extreme prejudice. The key is that, for the average citizen described above, the first violence will be met with "What'd they do that for?" In other words, storm City Hall and you're a nut; Joe Schmoe will distance himself from your point of view. Let City Hall storm your house, and you're an oppressed victim; Joe Schmoe will rally to your cause. Public perception is key.

Anonymous said...

you can change your withholding each year to have less taken out of your check and fine tune the amount you pay in vs the amount they G holds for you to get back. I might start to err more on the side of 'leave my money alone' and have to pay a big tax bill in April than to try and cut it exactly even. My big refund comes from my mortgage interest anyhow...

St Paul

Eck! said...

jack Said:

I thought income tax withholding in the US wasn't mandatory, it was just default?

If true, not being mandatory is a fair difference.

Well almost. Being self employed I have to make sure I send in tax money quarterly and that I'm close (85% or penelty). However, I have to make it to send some.

The difference is practical Americans feel nothing is free and the only debate is having a fair say in what they pay/paid for. We battled King George on that point, not about if we should pay.


Tam said...


So "practical Americans" would have no problems having their paycheck being sent to King George first so that he could remove a "fair amount" from it before it got to their hands?

DirtCrashr said...

They actually need a more robust underground economy so more people can participate, perhaps modeled on Mexico! I understand Mexico has excellent healthcare, at least from the standpoint of expense.

Philemon said...

The U.S. withholding tax is only "optional" if you don't mind paying penalties, for anybody, and not only the self-employed.

See IRS publication 505.

As I recall, withholding must be 90% of current year or 100% of previous year; if you are higher income, it can rise to 110% of previous year. Another safe harbor is if your tax in the current year is less than a $1,000 or if you had no tax liability in the previous year.

If you don't meet the safe harbor rules, there's an exciting penalty calculation exercise the IRS makes you go through.


Brad K. said...

Matt in St. Paul (Anonymous 1:33),

"I might start to err more on the side of 'leave my money alone' and have to pay a big tax bill"

The thing is - if your withholdings don't cover the tax bite - you can act surprised. And pay the penalties for failing to withhold or estimate (and send tax money in) adequately. Once. After that, though, you have to make quarterly "estimated" tax payments, in addition to withholdings and penalties. If your next withholdings plus estimated taxes paid don't meet the full bite for the next year - another penalty. In order to avoid the penalties, your withholding plus estimates have to be greater than the tax burden the previous year, etc. There is no easy way out, and don't forget that amusing "alternative minimum tax" that they started modifying again last year.

In any case, all the luck to you, guy.

Mark Alger said...

Just to really piss you off -- for those of you who don't already know this -- you know your Fourth Amendment Rights? For your "papers and effects" to be secure from unreasonable search? Apparently, having the IRS plunder your bank account isn't all that unreasonable.

If you don't give the bank your SSN, and your account earns interest, the bank is required to "withold" (read: "steal") an amount specified by the IRS. And, no, you don't get to report it on your Return and get a refund. The money is just siezed. But if you don't report the income anyway, and they know it's your account -- SSN or no -- you go to jail.

We can argue about whether or not paying taxes is a patriotic duty. But INCOME taxes are an affront to liberty.


Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Tam,

Good post. Home of the Brave. Right.

Joanna is the only commenter that "got" your point.


og said...

But-- we can't rise up against them! That will make us JUST LIKE THEM!! Besides, they haven't done anything all that bad yet. When they show up at MY door, then there'll be hell to pay!!!!


In 43- and countless other times since then- the line has already been crossed. The question is what to do about it.

Tam said...

Same thing you did about it last time they crossed it, Og.

Tam said...

And yeah, that's a little unfair, it's just that I've been hearing "zomg teh revolution!" talk on the internet for as long as I've been on the internet, and it's started to wear thin. There's a lot of talk, talk, talk, and not much actual belling of the cat.

Grumpyunk said...

Tam, I see what you're saying but, Besides the polls, Where do ya start? I'm asking, not trying to stir shit here.

Joanna said...

Grumpyunk: I think it starts when the consequences of quiet non-compliance become less important than the compromises necessary to keep oneself unmolested.

og said...

"Same thing you did about it last time they crossed it, Og."

Well, I can probably find the midget, and I know where the engine hoist is, but we ate the goat. I suppose we could find another goat.

In the meantime, don't assume that because I don't SAY i do anything it means I do nothing. I am always on the lookout for a wooden shoe, and when I find one, I always throw it. Ask me sometime in meatspace.

Brad K. said...


The Constitution establishes a nation of laws. We have the right to sue the government for redress of grievance, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

The first amendment lets us criticize and publish compaints about the government. The second amendment assures that we remain armed, prepared to repeat the revolution as necessary - at the point that a charismatic leader, a passionate faction finds itself at loggerheads against a government that ceases to abide by the laws, that disables the lawful means of redress of grievance and compromises due process of law.

It seems there is little incentive, yet, to band together to dismantle a corrupt government run amok and in disregard of the Constitution. Like Tam, I don't see the current ballyhoo erupting into real confrontation, at least it isn't happening in my neighborhood.

As for the "send it to the government" proposal, note that the IRS just took custody of all bank account information, they have been pressuring employers to direct deposit payrolls for years, and they just got that $600/1099 bit - so they can track and flag evasions, etc. What the UK is proposing, ObamaCare put the cap on in the US, and it starts Jan 1, 2011.

In order to make a real change to rectify things, likely we would have to start by closing the Dept of Education as having outlived it's mandate, the DEA and Homeland Security as failed and duplication of effort, and the IRS directed to produce a post-card sized tax form in 20 point font, and forbid taxing corporations and companies more than 2.5% on net income. And not allow any early retirements - extend retirement to age 67 retroactively to 2000.

I don't see that as any more likely than armed resistance. On the other hand, the US would be hard put to field anything like the Civil War Army of the North. Heck, not even Texas has seceded from the Union, and they already have permission.

Derfel Cadarn said...

When they come for my guns I will surrender them ,but I`m gonna give them the bullets first. Liberty or death just like the last time.