Tag Archives: Money

Where does the money go?

Having just got back from the UK, I’m wondering about all the taxes on, well, just about everything. These extra taxes acting as a drag on the rest of the economy. So I asked myself, where is all this money actually going? Cui Bono? Who benefits? Does taxation, as so many of its advocates claim, actually increase, or decrease ‘fairness’? These are all fair questions which need fair answers.

At present UK public spending outdoes the tax take by an estimated £84 billion per year. Most of that disparity is interest payments an the estimated £2.2 trillion public debt if you factor in the public ownership, liabilities and support of RBS, Lloyds TSB etc. Total 2012-13 tax take by HMRC, about £468 billion. According to their own figures. So where’s the £648 billion figure come from? Confused? Join the club. £180 billion isn’t just chump change. Besides, government doesn’t make money, it has none of its own and only spends taxpayer dollar.

The approximate 2013 UK public spending breakdown is as follows. Public Pensions for well, people the workforce has decided it no longer needs. Let’s ignore all those overpaid leeches on salaries well above their real pay grade for the moment; £139 billion. National Health Care, you know, for that wonderful ‘free’ service which includes such joys as the ‘Liverpool Care Pathway‘ and compensation payments to Ambulance chasing Lawyers; over £124 billion. State Education, the edifice which no amount of political meddling seems to improve; over £87 billion. Defence, for all those wars the UK really can’t afford to fight, including the one the EU wants to declare on Russia; about £42 billion. Social Security, which includes all those ‘tax credits’ which would be cheaper to run if the tax wasn’t taken in the first place; over £117 billion. State Protection, whatever that means; over £31 billion. Transport about £17 billion. Which is a lot to cover cones, contraflows and potholes. General Government, an opaque description if ever I saw one; over £14 billion. Other Public Services, hmm, large Rattus Norvegicus smelt here; over £54 billion. Public Sector Interest, on the money the Government borrowed to buy the votes of the ill informed and lazy; over £47 billion. Additional Balance, or should that read ‘petty cash’; over £2 billion. Total Spending about £675 billion, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. The UK’s EU contribution hidden somewhere in those figures is about £8.7 billion. Source here. Somewhere in that lot is the electronic money ‘printed’ by ‘Quantative easing’ of well over £60 billion and paid direct to banks. No wonder we hear about planned raids on savings and other legalised theft like ‘Green taxes’. It’s a financial plughole of doom. Which will be the last metaphorical straw on the proverbial taxpayers back? Bank accounts raided at will?

According to this neat little infrographic from the Guardian, the difference is £84 billion, which needs to be ‘borrowed’. No idea from whom, but £47 billion in interest payments alone? My one remaining reader will note the disparity between the two sets of figures referenced. Hey, but what’s the odd billion or three between friends, eh?

The discerning reader, having done a little digging, will also note the step increase in UK taxation that happened back in 2000 and the flattening in public spending since 2011. So yes, Slaphead and friends are trying, but the purchase of the banks and resultant QE have doomed the UK taxpayer to ever increasing interest payments. Unless those debts and liabilities are sold off, those interest payments will continue to head for the stars faster than a Saturn 5 booster with a nuke up its arse.

Last time it took the UK eighteen years to bring the taxation rate and public spending into financial balance. 1998 / 9 I believe. Then Blair and his pile of grinning idiots were voted in, public debt skyrocketed and the tax take hasn’t caught up since. Figures don’t lie. No wonder the politicians are trying to skim off more and more all the time. We were told all this extra spending was all about ‘fairness’. What it has done is lumber current and future generations with an escalating debt bigger than World War 2. Which I don’t think has been fair at all.

Really scary stuff

We’re looking at our UK based savings following the revelations about Eurozone banks being due to take a Cyprus style ‘Savings Haircut’ on depositor accounts which don’t seem to be idle gossip. HSBC have clamped down on big bank transfers for fear of a ‘run’ on their accounts. Royal Bank of Scotland is 8 billion in the hole. That’s sterling, not dollars by the way. Several Russian banks are in the Ca-ca and preventing depositor withdrawals. Fortunately we use none of these, but there’s a suspicion that despite bail outs, most of the banking sector is in deep, deep trouble. Guess who’s going to end up paying? You’ll need a mirror to find out.. Take your time.

The current UK ‘recovery’ is running on the back of yet another housing led bubble-boom. Which brings me to ask; does nobody learn from History, even recent History, any more? There was the housing boom and bust of the early 1990′s, 2007, and now this time. It truly fits the definition of insanity, making the same old mistakes in the same old ways and expecting different results. Pass the straitjacket matron.

All this bank piracy makes me want to buy a boat and stock up on dry goods before taking an extended trip around the world. Although we’d avoid the Philippines, Suez and East and West Africa all the way south to the Seychelles. Apparently the Pirates down there are using ‘Mother Ships’ to run small groups of raiding craft. None of ‘em look like Johnny Depp either.But they look nothing like real pirates Or the recent revelations that the Mexican Government is seizing tourist vessels over seventy buck permits.

From piracy on your hard earned savings to piracy on the high seas and even in tourist marinas, it doesn’t leave you with many options, does it?

What are these people on?

Browsing the Torygraph this morning (Because I like a smug giggle), I came across this article in the Financial section about the electrical retailer, Comet, going tits up. Nothing to gloat about. I feel sorry for the people both in the stores and head office losing gainful employment. Did a couple of small contract jobs for that group back on the late 90′s. No complaints. What troubles me is the way these stories are presented nowadays. You’d think the taxman actually invested in these companies, rather that the company paying VAT, Business rates on all their premises, Employers and Employee taxes and NHI, and all the other little cheese parings the taxman gleans off every single thing in sight. Yet there are a bunch of dead heads whining that companies don’t pay “Their fair share”.

Bearing that in mind, I’d like to ask what exactly is a companies “Fair share”? The tax rates and rules are set by the Treasury, and any company is bound by law to cough up according to those rules. Unless of course the taxman is a creditor when said company goes bust and there’s no more money. Even then, the taxman has to take its turn. That is the law. Yet the raucous self-entitled are found clogging up the ‘Comments’ section, displaying their complete lack of financial acumen. They can’t tell debt from revenue or turnover, and seem to think that just because there’s a number, you have to pay tax on it.

Talk about dumb……

iDemocracy

Have just been forwarded an email from Guido Fawkes about Douglas Carswell’s latest idea to fix Britain, and perhaps the world’s woes. Regrettably, brilliant man that Douglas is, he will be mostly ignored. His plan to fix Britain was a tour de force, but destined for the scrap heap of good ideas, not because it isn’t good, because it is; but because those in power are there, and they’re staying there, so the buggins turn of two and a bit party politics will continue.

iDemocracy is on Amazon. Worth buying and reading? Almost certainly. The ideas Douglas often espouses are generally well thought through and practical. Regrettably, the status quo of civil service and establishment will not permit such radical paradigm shifts. As for the populace? As has been mooted over at Anna Raccoons, the UK is a sick country, a welfare junkie due to go cold turkey because there has been no real money to feed their addictions for years.

Well, that’s all from me. Just thought I’d drop by and look in at the old place. TTFN

The Tightrope Mendacity

Back in 1973, Desmond Bagley published a cold war thriller about a man who found himself part of the looking glass spy war between the West and the then Soviet Union. The book is called The Tightrope Men and it’s a bit dated like all books of that genre, but quite a good read nonetheless. On form, Desmond was more than a match for Tom Clancy and a legion of other writers, but I digress.

One of the key premises of Desmonds book was the idea that both sides during the Cold war leaked secret plans intended to tie up the oppositions best brains and stop them from thinking about more critical and workable ideas. Rather like Smart phones, iPods, Computers, Television, Radio, Sudoku and Crossword puzzles distract we mere mortals from actually bothering to talk to other people, and thus make connections to work out our differences amicably. Now gentle reader (Either of you), If I may lead you down a path that smacks as dangerously of tinfoil hattery as some of David Icke’s wilder assertions, please humour me. I will try not to bore you.

Every day our senses are assailed by some rent-seeking tub thumper or QUANGOcrat firing out press releases that we’re all doomed unless someone ‘does’ something about an alleged problem. Video games causing riots, this or that foodstuff causing Cancer or Heart Disease. Shoe sizes and dress restrictions being coded Racism, Gay rights (Why should they have any more rights than you or I? – That’s discrimination that is), the limits of Unfree speech, people who hide in embassies because they’ve pissed off powerful people as well as their ex girlfriends. Talentless people on pointless television programmes, non existent problems that ‘someone has to fix’ (How about ‘man made global warming’ – if the dutch cap fits, as one prostitute said to another). There is a cacophony of voices out there screaming about this or that, mostly drowning out the less strident voices saying; “Er, that doesn’t work – why are you still banging on about it?” Then the strident ones begin castigating those who do not share their world view. Classic examples are meaningless labels like ‘Denier’, ‘Hater’, ‘Truther’, and many, many more. It’s often hard to see where the smoke ends and the mirrors begin, and vice versa. Yet in order to make sense of this world, the mirrors and the smoke must be understood to distinguish the real from the imaginary.

In order to understand what is real and not, one has to walk a philosophical tightrope without falling off. To have a sense of detachment and balance where others, in their rushes to tribal judgement and reliance on narrow, tick box thinking, fail to apply the principles of critical thought, thus ignoring the real issues. It’s a freedom trap, which even the brightest and best of us fall into. We allow ourselves to fall prey to the glittering horde of daily distractions; Family, Friends, wild eyed activists, various attention seekers and the fools gold of misinformation which the lamestream is heavily laced with.

Friends and family demand attention. At least if you want to keep them. They have to be included in the discussions about the real. Their views cannot be discounted lightly.

However, the first class of opposition to automatically dismiss are the ones coming from people using various parroted shorthand terms, threats and name calling. They have nothing worth listening to. They are the scum on the pond. The second are the single issue ranters, who bang on and on about their pet topic, trying to hijack threads to their own purpose. The third are the verbose, those who insist on boring everyone to tears with two paragraphs of comment-waffle before they even begin to make their point. Worthless trolls to a man (Woman / whatever). I must confess some comment streams have me yawning fit to crack my jaw, especially when certain people can’t simply cut to the chase or keep on topic.

The issue above all issues is the economy. How to get the economies of the west away from their current kamikaze nosedive. One thing is certain, Government spending won’t do it because of one simple economic fact; Governments do not and have never created wealth, they only spend money earned by taxpayers. Inflating the debt away by QE or printing money won’t do it. The Weimar Republic tried it, Zimbabwe is doing it and QE does not work. Even Keynes, the originator of the economic philosophy behind the current mess said that Governments had to put aside funds in the good times to prepare for the bad. Yet what did the Governments in question do? Piss taxpayer dollar up the wall and weaken the nations financial position during the good times before for the inevitable downturn. Now what are they up to? Robbing ordinary people of their hard earned, and trying yet another tax grab on those with assets left overseas.

All the time, the rest of the UK is obsessing about a wealthy Junior Army Officer from a famous family blowing off some steam in Vegas and getting his picture taken in the nude. Oh yes, and football, and dumb TV shows. They believe the lies they are fed about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ because those lies stop you from seeing the mendacity and avarice they shield. Give the socially and financially inactive money earned by others to keep them quiet and stop them rioting. Pay off the potentially violent because if they really kick off, the army and Police couldn’t shoot enough of them to keep the peace. Better they live with their toys and let the grown ups alone. Tell them they’re being ‘nice’ and their need for self worth will make the poor saps believe. Even if they’re keeping otherwise active people in a sessile state.

Some of us have seen the future and are Getting the Fuck Out (GTFO) of the UK. Yet now it seems that what remains of our assets are in the sights of a committee of UK MP’s. They say they want to prevent ‘capital flight’, but whose capital is it? Not theirs. They didn’t make it. Yet these worthless lumpsuckers want to give the sweat off your brow to others? Not only that but home searches by HMRC have increased by 155%. The politico’s must be getting really desperate. They blew the money on their friends and yet they’re scavenging for more? Yet do we hear of this in the newspapers? Google it for yourself.

There is a large body of opinion who might opine; But it don’t matter ‘cos it’s only the rich wot gets hammered yeah? Which is a rather fuckwitted statement one would expect from the mindlessly dependent. Only brain dead drones unworthy of the breath of life think this way because they cannot see that it is only a matter of time before the greedy leviathan might turn its attention to them. Unfortunately they are either intellectually unwilling or unable to walk the tightrope between the mendacity of the lamestream media, and the non-stories fed via these outlets, and the real facts, often hidden in plain sight but ignored. They believe the deluded ‘best in the world’ stories which demand ever increasing tranches of GDP. Because a time may well come when some moron will propose that the state take over all your major life decisions, and that like some medieval serf, all the fruits of your labour will belong to them.

Then everyone but the insiders who run the system will be equal. It will be ‘fair’ because the all encompassing state will dole out ‘social justice’ whether you personally like it or not. No matter how hard you try, you will go nowhere. Doomed to spin your wheels for the rest of your life, never being able to make your own choices. Your life will never really change because you will have no real say. Won’t that be lovely?

Charities?

Here’s a riddle for you.

When is a charity not a charity?

When it’s primarily a government (or privately) funded lobbying organisation.

This is not a joke.

As one whose real life CV contains a good deal of volunteering for various (UK and Canadian) registered charities, I’d like to think I know the difference. My charity work has always been focused on the practical; restoring, cleaning, delivering, fitting and rebuilding kind of work. From rebuilding computer networks, helping restore a near derelict local facility to full use to scrubbing some horrendous gunge off various aids for the disabled. That sort of thing.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed an increased politicisation of the voluntary sector. Where lobbyists, disguising themselves as registered charities, do pure advocacy work for various clients, including Government agencies. Where I have no issue with citizen advocates speaking up for the less able and impoverished, what I do have an issue with is Government paying ‘charities’ to further the Governments (and their friends) own agenda.

Let’s take a classic example. Remember the Climate change kiddie snuff porn video by advocacy group 10:10? When I wrote to my UK MP to object, I was told plainly that the UK government would ‘continue to support’ such messages. 10:10 had purportedly received sponsorship from EU and UK sources to produce that obscenity (As well as Sony and O2). Now, forgive me for being as bit dogmatic here, but is that charity? Does it assist the poor or less able? No. It does help the vested financial interests who make their moolah by boosting energy prices and farming taxpayer funded subsidies. Most certainly not the poor buggers who are currently in ‘fuel poverty’.

The Devils Kitchen runs a little website called www.fakecharities.org, which lists the details of some of the UK based lobbyists posing as charitable institutions.

This stuff isn’t new. It’s been doing the rounds on the UK blogosphere for several years now. See Tim Worstall’s 2009 piece on the Adam Smith Institute website. Now the mainstream are playing catch up.

Of course there have always been scam artists who pose as registered charities or who put out collection boxes for said charity with no intention of passing on the public’s generosity to the real organisation. What really pisses me off, as a real life worker for charity, is the biggest fraud of all; Governments paying advocacy groups to lobby for Government policy using taxpayer dollar.

Global minimum tax?

Now I’m presuming this statement only refers to US citizens and companies …..

Appearing in the US Weekly Standard, Gene Sperling, director of the USA’s White House national economic council stated that there needs to be a ‘Global minimum tax‘.

If it doesn’t, I think the global consensus will be a very loud ‘Fuck off’ followed by loud, derisive laughter from all over the world.

No wonder the Iranians feel brave enough to loudly rattle their sabres over the Gulf of Hormuz.

So far, so – oops

Looking west across the the Pacific to Angry Exiles fabled homeland in Oz. In the wake of Standard & Poors downgrade of the USA’s credit rating (Horses mouth here), we hear the Australian State Treasurer say that Australia’s AAA credit rating will remain ‘safe’. Well yes, of course it will. Until they implement that half witted carbon tax that is. Although the Aussies are fighting back with a ‘Convoy of no Confidence‘ In fact 11 Convoys of no confidence. So far.

Guys, based on previous experience with countries that have lost the fabled triple A status, the financial dawn chorus informs me that it takes between 8-18 years of hard graft to get it back. That’s if the US starts tomorrow. Not that it will with the current incumbent in the White House, who was so busy with his birthday party he hadn’t noticed. Rome while fiddling burns springs to mind. (Flat pack Axiom from IKEA, may require some re-assembly)

Home from away

Back home and back to work. Feeling pretty chipper despite having spent 24 hours in airports and aircraft less than 48 hours ago. Two good nights sleep and clean BC air have reset my body clock to a steady tick-tock instead of tick-pyoing!-pchoing!-hic-achoo-ping! like the last two weeks. Bouncing around time zones like a demented yo-yo is no fun at all. Throw in up to (And on one occasion over) ten hours driving a day for half of the trip, and you have an idea of how much fun I haven’t been having.

Why should that be? When not driving all I’ve been doing is eating, trying to sleep and sitting watching whatever televisual entertainment is available in hotel rooms, airports and aircraft. Which, not having TV at home is a novel experience. Although I often found myself desperately channel surfing for some reasonable content while waiting for everyone else to arrive / decide what to do. The BBC and Sky news continual vomiting of the same anaemic content every 20 minutes is less than edifying. I found their lack of depth annoying as ever.

I see that little has changed in the financial markets. The Eurozone is so far in debt that they’re inside some bizarre financial event horizon with no way out but some freakish quantum transdimensional shift. As is the US dollar. The Chinese have an impending property bubble, so they’re potentially in the same sort of fiscal doo-doo that the US and Eurozone are in. Shit, fan, incoming! There a gruesome inevitability to it all, like a slow motion train crash with full musical sound effects.

Elsewhere I’ve heard it said that the man accused of the Norwegian massacre has been described as a ‘Libertarian’. All I can say to that is; is he buggery. That is a foul slur, a monstrous calumny, and complete bollocks, but oh so very predictable. There are elements in the lamestream who don’t like online commentary that they cannot own, and therefore must demonise anyone associated with a certain section, by whatever means. Even if their assertions have about as much truth in them as a G type star has polar ice caps.

Still having a severe attack of schadenfreude over the News International affair. Which newspaper group ‘outed’ bloggers, costing people their jobs for no readily discernible reason? Oh yes. No sympathy. Kamikaze domestic fowl on approach, heading for perches (Evil snigger). Good.

Right. That’s enough smugness for now. Back to work.