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Entering Gordon’s black hole

It is a very nervous time for those of us in Britain stupid enough to be self-employed, in this age of grasping government. Because Gordon Brown is desperately short of cash and he is also desperately scared of raising any more income tax from voters employed by large organisations. So where does that leave him? It leaves him staring at me and a few other hardy self-employed souls standing out here in living-on-our-own-wits land, ready to take the hit to fill his £10 billion black hole of unfunded borrowing.

Gordon Brown is a great fat sweating thieving spurt of the devil and I hate him with every twisted fibre of my being. But I think I am going to hate him even more on Thursday morning, after his UK government budget statement on Wednesday, because the small print is almost certainly going to show me owing Her Majesty’s Government up to 70% of my direct ill-gotten income, which I currently exploit out of the oppressed banks and City corporations of England.

If he does do this, by making me pay all sorts of national insurances on dividend income, for benefits I am ineligible to claim, to try to effectively turn me into an employee of the state, he may be clever enough to remove all of the wheezes we use out here in self-employed land, to get ourselves off the hook.

And if I have no choice but to become a government employee, why become a productive one? My escape route to the US is currently blocked by forces too powerful to mention; there is no John Galt style gulch I am aware of, hidden in Wales; and I’ll be damned if I hand over 70% of my hard-earned cash to that great grasping fat Scottish whore in 11 Downing Street.

So what is a man to do? How can I best contribute to the fall of the state, retain my sanity, and get out of this financial hole? I have the perfect plan. Instead of helping to create a gulch in some unknown Welsh valley I could swallow an even more bitter pill. I could help bring on the ultimate collapse of the British government by doing something so evil, so heinous, I’ll have to destroy all the mirrors in my house to avoid catching my own reflection.

I think it may be time to consider becoming a Tax Inspector.

I will contribute nothing to the government coffers; I will waste unbelievable amounts of revenue on photocopying; and everyone I inspect will find themselves on the end of unbelievable tax rebates, backdated with incredibly generous interest payments.

Obviously I’ll have to beat myself with a nail-studded lash every evening, in strict penance, but maybe we libertarians should stop trying to avoid the state, and infect it instead, to bring the beast down? But maybe they have just got me beaten? Is this what they want me to do, to become another mindlessly destructive deadbeat drone?

Or is there another way out of this hole, to stop me entering this realm of madness? All help and bona fide US passports, stamped ‘Portsmouth, New Hampshire’, gratefully received.

BTW, if there is a man in Britain who thinks he hates Gordon Brown more than me, I am afraid you are mistaken. For it is impossible to hate Gordon Brown more than me without your head blowing off. I am the daddy.

35 comments to Entering Gordon’s black hole

  • toolkien

    My escape route to the US is currently blocked by forces too powerful to mention

    I’m not sure what use coming to the US will have for you. While I was practicing in Public Accounting I reviewed the tax return of a self-employeed chiropractor. He paid roughly 35% effective rate in income taxes to the Feds as well as both sides of FICA tax to the tune of 15% (factoring out the built in effect of a business ‘deduction’), 7% to the State of WI. Toss in real estate taxes, sin taxes, sales taxes, etc etc he paid well over 60% in taxes to various levels of government. I don’t know what other taxes you blokes have above and beyond Her Majesty’s Taxes, but I don’t know if the differential is all that great to get a sense that one is fleeing tyranny by coming to the US. Taxes are just as likely to rise here as well unfortunately.

  • Mark Ellott

    OMG and I just returned to the ranks of the self-employed.

  • Rob Read

    So what do you think about TB?

  • Andy:

    It’s even worse.

    39% of the population don’t even know that Brown is the Chancellor. Not only that: some of them think the position is held by Greg Dyke!

  • Julian Morrison

    “Cash in hand, no questions asked”. When the taxing gets tough, the tough go grey-market.

  • After 18 months in Dublin, I flew back to Portsmouth, NH, without looking back. And I was willing to swim it, too. Just the whole concept of buying something in a store and not paying any VAT. I almost cried.

    And the beer……mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…beer…

    Seriously, it sounds like Gordon is only shooting at his own feet faster, and with a bigger gun. If he is going to hit the self-employed hard, this cannot help the employment picture. And increase liabilities on that part of his budget…

    But look on the bright side. You could be living in France.

  • Andy Duncan

    Rob Read writes:

    So what do you think about TB?

    Like all people driven by religion, there is something very dangerous about Tony Blair, but, you know, I still can’t help, occasionally, liking the man. I know. What can you do?

    Intellectually, I know he is the most dangerous man in Britain, because he is the head snake of the millions with their snouts in the trough, and he is the chief uber-protector of useless Guardian Readers everywhere, but I think he genuinely thinks he is doing the best that he can, for the people of Britain.

    That he is so totally wrong, is obvious, but I don’t think there’s anything actually evil behind him, except perhaps his harpie probably-secret-marxist wife, and that what we see is pretty much what there is (ie. an insubstantial ham-actor lightweight with an onion in his pocket), though perhaps through the Machiavellian lens of much smoke and mirrors.

    So I don’t hate Tony Blair, who I’m confident was never a covert Marxist, merely feel sorry for him (as he robs me blind, and destroys my life), especially as he sees Cool Britannia, and that glad confident morning of 1997 turn to ashes and dust in his mouth, as the rusting machinery of state runs into the sand. Oh dear.

    Though as his life and his dreams fall apart, and socialism is once again seen as busted, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer man.

    But that Gordon Brown? Now that is just pure evil, with something dreadful inhabiting him, like some ‘Needful Things’ talisman creature from a Stephen King novel.

    No, I’ve got to stop thinking about him. It just makes me feel ill.

  • Andy Duncan

    David Farrer writes:

    It’s even worse.

    Crikey!

    They’re the idiots who probably voted the Labour Party in, then! :-)

    Democracy. Don’t ya love it.

    Sylvain Galineau writes:

    And the beer……mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…beer…

    That’s it. Sold! To the gentleman with a penchant for Samuel Adams, and Belle Vue Kriek cherry beer. I must overcome these forces holding me back, and head for a land where I’ll pay 60% tax rather than 70% tax. Hey, it’s only 10%, but just think of how many Sam Adams I’ll be able to get for that?

    If there are any wealthy directors of large NH-based corporations reading this, who can make me an offer which can overcome a terrible force holding me back, I’m even willing to forego self-employed status to get an eventual US company-sponsored green card.

    Your mail room needs me!

    Oh, and I make a cracking cup of tea.

  • Rob Read

    New Labour – Dark Carnival?

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380729407/002-2290706-9762430?v=glance

    I just love the relevance of this to my feelings about “The Project”

    Book Description
    The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.

    To me it just sounds like a New Labour autobiography!

  • Rob Read

    New Labour – Dark Carnival?

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380729407/002-2290706-9762430?v=glance

    I just love the relevance of this to my feelings about “The Project”

    Book Description
    The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.

    To me it just sounds like a New Labour autobiography!

    Personally I hate them both with venom!

  • toolkien

    Assuming these numbers are right (or here) I still don’t see a huge differential in taxation between the UK and the US that justifies the notion that we are some haven from tyranny. Sure 7-8% is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s harldy night and day. If you do well for yourself in this country, they take a big, wet bite out of your ass, and the Do Gooders clamor for ever more and more. Now that the Republicans have joined in the hand-out fest, there is little doubt that taxes are going to have to increase sharply to pay for the give aways so far charged on the national credit card. All I can say is hunker down, grab the ankles, and take whatever comes. When it gets wholly unacceptable, find a map to the local armory with some like minded fellows and draw a line in the sand.

    P.S. though I will say that it appears that the US is in a better position relatively when the boomer-retirement effect hits. We will likely have a somewhat larger base to spread the screw-job over than most European countries, so depending on how long you’ve got to go on your work life, there might be a slight advantage to come to the US.

  • Euan

    Just the whole concept of buying something in a store and not paying any VAT. I almost cried.

    I’m temporarily in Houston, TX at the moment, far from my normal haunt of Edinburgh in Bonnie Scotland ™. Sometimes I can’t wait to get back: just the whole concept of buying something in a store where the sticker price is what you actually pay and you don’t have to mentally add on 8.5% sales tax….

    Swings and roundabouts, I suppose.

  • Frank P

    “Entering Gordon’s Black Hole”

    If only someone would – a la Edward II – a touch of the Berkeley Castles would be scant revenge for over nearly 7 years of stealth tax.

  • Is there something we should know about you and Gordon Brown? I think trying to sweet talk him in such a fashion is tasteless and I doubt that he will do anything special for you in his budget however much you creep.
    I think maybe we should start a blog site which is devoted entirely to finding derogatory terms to describe both him and Obergruppenfuehrer Blunkett. There would be no shortage of contributions

  • Tim Sturm

    …you don’t have to mentally add on 8.5% sales tax….

    Anything that makes taxation more visible is a plus in my view.

    People only seem to comprehend the moral implications of taxation when their tax bills smack them in the face (e.g. TV licence fees, council tax). Only then do you start to see some sort of defiance, however minimal.

  • Tim Sturm

    Just one more thing which relates to my previous post:

    I would always favour a Gordon Brown over a Tony Blair because Brown is so much more upfront with his wretched beliefs. It’s much easier to fight what you can see.

    (He’s also a hectoring oaf, which is makes him an easy target. I like that in a politician)

  • As a pro bono service to help the media and the public prepare for the eventual decision of the highest Court, I have collected astounding historic photos and information about the pledge. http://members.ij.net/rex/pledge3.html(Link)

    As an attorney, I am fascinated by the Newdow case. On March 24, arguments are scheduled before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.

    In the process of researching the Newdow case, I built the only site on the internet that collects and displays historic photos of the original Pledge of Allegiance. http://members.ij.net/rex/pledge2.html(Link)

    The pledge’s history is suppressed because it is so un-libertarian. The original Pledge of Allegiance was written by a self-proclaimed socialist in U.S. “Nationalist” clubs and the original salute to the flag resembled and predated the salute of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. As strange as it may seem, the ideas that inspired the pledge’s author also resulted in mass atrocities worldwide.
    http://members.ij.net/rex/pledgebackward.html(Link)

    Please inform the public about the history of the salute and pledge, to prepare them for the coming decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Sandy P.

    However, there are 7 states in the US which have NO personal income taxes. If you like gambling, I think NV is one of them.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    Texas is another one…and we get occasional rain.

    Julian Morrison is right about moving to the grey market. Onerous taxation is right up there with the War on Drugs in providing incentives to break the law and, to me, that’s one of the worst things the state does…providing real incentives for criminal behaviour.

  • Ron

    Andy,

    “That [Blair] is so totally wrong, is obvious, but I don’t think there’s anything actually evil behind him, except perhaps his harpie probably-secret-marxist wife”.

    Have you noticed the likeness between Cruella de Vil (animated version of 101 Dalmatians, not the film version) and Cherie Blair…?

    http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/101/char_cruella.html

  • Ron

    Another thing about Cherie Blair – every time she gets into trouble for some out-of-place political activity and puts on the “poor little oppressed wifeikins, juggling all the blahblahblah, etc, etc” act, just remember that she was once an official Labour Party parliamentary candidate herself.

    She stood in Thanet North (1979 I think), but was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP Roger Gale.

    (This was before the time when Tony Blair was trying to get cheap votes out of Sedgefield Irish Catholic voters by having some of his Labour Party election addresses printed in green instead of red…! – see photo 8 in Jon Sopel’s “Tony Blair the Moderniser” biography).

  • Verity

    Rob Read, your question wasn’t addressed to me, but I am going to elbow my way and take this opportunity to respond to it.

    T Blair. Self-congratulatory, self-regarding opportunist. Dimwit, glory seeker, hectoring, preachy prig. Serial liar and fantasist. Delusions of grandeur. Destructive. A legend in his own mind. Ham actor who chews up the scenery in a manner that even Laurence Olivier would have thought in poor taste. The school sneak. Tranzi pinko. Like most conmen, he is very easily fooled himself, which is why Jacques and Gerhardt can play him like a violin.

    Married to a pinko of limited intellectual abilities, fishwife tendencies and a trailer park trash first name. Greedy. Used the taxpayer paid prime minister’s press office to try to get herself off the hook for her property speculation. She insults us all be refusing to curtsey to our head of state. Frightening mouth. Looks like an axe murderer in a French b&w movie.

    Well, Rob, just a personal take on the personality profile of T Bliar.

  • Andy Duncan

    Cass Brown (hopefully, no relation :) writes:

    Is there something we should know about you and Gordon Brown?

    Step forward one ex-Marxist former ‘Brownite’, follower of the faith of Gordon. Yep, where once I loved him, now I feel the opposite emotion.

    Hell hath no fury like a former Brownite who woke up one day and realised what a fool he’d been for all of his mentally active life up to that point.

  • Verity

    Andy, why don’t you just move offshore and commute to Britain to work during the week? It should be a very easy commute from St Malo or Calais. In fact, you could work in Britain three or four days a week and do the rest of your work from your home in France or wherever. Eurostar’s expensive, but driving onto a ferry is cheap.

    Also, I don’t know what they are, but I understand there are tax advantages to living in the Isle of Man.

    OK, it’s not Henley, and you couldn’t socialise with your beloved Boris so often, but everything has its price…

  • Andy Duncan

    Hi Verity,

    Thanks for thinking of me! :-)

    Alas, the forces too terrible too mention, indoor sorts of forces, are simply too powerful.

    The only thing I think will do the trick are for the film rights to my (eventually) forthcoming novel to be snapped up by a content-hungry Hollywood, for gadzillions, when I can finally get my New Hampshire residence and sail a small boat off Portsmouth to seek inspiration for the second trilogy, or some benevolent multi-billionaire offers me a position offshore for an amount not less than 150k a year (sterling) p.a. – though all other reasonable offers considered! $-)

    I have to be able to make an offer to the forces involved which cannot be refused, in the face of all furious opinion against them.

    It’s either that, or Henley’s going to get an extra cash-only-guv taxi driver cum odd-job grasscutter/you name it guv, I’ll do it, cash only, please, type body.

    That it should come to this, to even be considering this, is just an outrage, that we should be entering the Soviet position where everyone stops doing what they’re best at, and starts doing what gets the state off their back the most, but at least we saw what happened to the Soviets when most of the non-government population dropped out to spend its time avoiding any kind of work the government could tax.

    I’m hoping the same will happen to Gordon when he crushes the self-employed sector on Wednesday. He may get a few extra quid in the VERY short run, but in the medium and long run he’s finished, as those falling tax revenues from those of us in the employed and self-employed sectors who actually generate tax, rather than consuming it, fall even further.

    The man with a brain the size of a planet, and he just doesn’t get it. Well, sod him.

    I wonder if that tax-subsidised tax-pensioned tax-consuming Boris Johnson needs someone to do his garden in Nettlebed? He better offer cash, as a lawnmower in the side of the limo often offends.

    Rgds,
    AndyD

  • David Gillies

    You poor bastards. All in all, I forfeit about 25% of my income to the government, and that’s including sales taxes.

  • Guy Herbert

    Andy:

    It’s either that, or Henley’s going to get an extra cash-only-guv taxi driver cum odd-job grasscutter/you name it guv, I’ll do it, cash only, please, type body.

    Better not buy anything with it. Who do you think the extended money-laundering regulations are aimed at? It’s for plumbers and odd-job men. Proper criminals actually launder the money. It’s about their only overhead. They don’t need to buy capital goods or pay rent to an estate agent in cash.

    I wonder if that tax-subsidised tax-pensioned tax-consuming Boris Johnson needs someone to do his garden in Nettlebed? He better offer cash, as a lawnmower in the side of the limo often offends.

    Until his accountant has to turn him in under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

    It isn’t legislative bricolage, you know. It is gradual so as not to frighten the horses but joined-up government is in sight.

    Next stop: “generalised anti-avoidance regulations” = abolition of the fundamental rule of taxation law.

  • Tim Worstall

    St Malo / Cherbourg / Calais is the way to go.
    Your investments are placed in an offshore company. As you are not a citizen of France ( and not domiciled ) that company income attracts no tax, unlike a closed offshore company in the UK.
    Yes, you pay French income tax on your worldwide income ( but lying is so much easier ), but this only includes what you take out of your investments, not whatever they are earning.
    You can have 90 days a year in the UK, but days of arrival and departure do not count as one of those days. Early Eurostar into Waterloo, late out the next day and you haven’t spent any time in the Uk for tax purposes. And you deduct the fare from your French tax return as it is obviously a business expense.
    Of course, now that you don’t need a residential permit to live in France, why declare anything ?

  • Andy, 60% tax ? In NH ? Uh ? I pay 39% all included (Federal, Social Security etc). No state income tax in NH. But I work in Massachusetts, so I have ~5.8% extra. Otherwise, it would be around 35%. Actually a bit lower since I have 401k/retirement contributions which are not taxed and I’m not including them in my net.

    You can also try the Green Card Lottery. It’s a purely online deal now. Fill in the form, upload the picture. No costs.

    As for large employers, the Free State Project could be a good start. Although I’d recommend expanding your search to include evil Taxachusetts. At least initially….

    As far as marriage, I’ve spent 8 years here and I’m still single so I can’t really help you in that department…:)

  • Guy Herbert

    Sylvain:

    The British are expressly excluded from the Green Card Lottery.

    Why? [Fill in conspiracy theory here.]

  • David Mercer

    Because Guy, we were all British here until that little spat in the 1770′s…who else would be last on the list of needing to be on a ‘Diversity Lottery’, at least if you take the premise of such a thing seriously.

  • Guy Herbert

    (Wandering further off topic.)

    I find it very hard to take anything branded “diversity” seriously. In the 1770s there were plenty of Irish background, but they’re not excluded. (One more reason to swap to Irish nationality if possible, in addition to the excellent tax treatment of artists and writers.) Welsh/Scottish/English ancestry must be a pretty small percentage of the contemporary US population.

    A little googling found this:


    Oddly enough, the “diversity” lottery originated as a way to bring more whites to the United States. White ethnic politicians in America felt that their distant relatives in Europe had been squeezed out by chain migration from the Third World. So, natives of the 14 largest sources of legal immigrants ? such as Mexico, India and China ? are banned from participating. In particular, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., saw a “diversity” lottery as a way to boost the number of legal Irish immigrants.

    Fascinating, though I don’t know how reliable the source is.

  • Verity

    We might have known that the dab hand of ace driver Teddy Kennedy was involved in this.

  • Guy,

    Oops. I forgot. Actually, the official explanation is the following : The law states that no diversity visas shall be provided for natives of “high admission” countries. The law defines this to mean countries from which a total of 50,000 persons in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories immigrated to the United States during the previous five years. The UK is one of those.

  • Mr Optimistic

    Just love this discussion. Notice how Brown is now trying to blame OPEC for high fuel prices ? Actually, as reported in yesterday’s FT, there is a glut of crude but tight petrol refining capacity. The fellow-travellers at the BBC don’t make mention of that.