Friday 31 March 2017

Efé's Thoughts in March


Unless you're living in Monaco - you know you're an adult when you start paying taxes.

Taxes are the bane of life.

And nobody has been more vocal about it than my mother. I have these images in my head of when I was younger and seeing her open up her pay slip. She'll take one look at the tax deducted from her gross pay and would go off on an angry rant because she was being charged too much tax and what pissed her off even more was the thought of what her tax money was being used for.

And we come to the main point of this essay.

My mother always got mad about pregnant teenagers who were provided rent-free, fully furnished council flats complete with a weekly/monthly stipend that had them earning more than her simply for having their legs open and not using a raincoat (as my mother would say lol). Damn right she had every right to be mad.

And not just that but what about people who claim ''job seekers'' allowance but hardly spend their time looking for work, instead they spend their time buying the latest items that even working folks cannot afford, or they spend it on booze and other miscellaneous activities that doesn't add to their life positively.

The system is fucked up.

I remember once I met a homeless man, and I was in conversation with him asking how he got himself in such a situation. He told me that his girlfriend broke up with him and kicked him out of the house. Now this was a man who had a good paying job as an accountant but unfortunately had been made redundant and he now found himself sleeping on the street.

When I asked him why he couldn't apply for job seekers allowance he told me that because he'd never claimed benefits before he was refused financial support. Now this was someone who had always been in employment, who was paying his taxes. Yet in his time of need he was refused what should have been his immediate right.

Yet the ones who have been in the system since their youth, claiming benefits not in anyway contributing to society are just twirling on in life spending other people's hard-earned money. Now tell me, how can you pay your taxes and not stay mad?

And then motherfuckers have the fucking audacity to say immigrants need to leave their country. Bitch, your grandfather should have gotten the fuck out of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and anywhere his damn nose clearly didn't belong in. And then we wouldn't be in this mess.

Many of the countries in Western Europe was built of the backs of immigrants, immigrants who paid their taxes.

The audacity that the British government had to charge Salt Tax to the Indians stupefies me. The absolute audacity. And now their coming with their Brexit shit to 'protect their borders'. Bitch please.

And yet this is what the Bible says about taxes and governments.

ROMANS 13:1-6 (NIV):

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

As a Christian, I admit it's hard for me to reconcile with the fact that God wants me to submit to the decisions of the governing body in the nation I live in especially when I believe it's not in the best interests of its citizens. 
Yet Jesus says, “Give unto Caesar, what belongs to Caesar.”

But what about if Caesar doesn't deserve it?

Yes, I do understand that the purpose of taxes is to pay government workers, maintain civilization as well as protecting it. But why should the government have a say on how they spend our hard-earned money?

So I propose a new way we should pay our taxes. People should get a choice on what their individual taxes are spent on.

What I appreciate the most about taxes, is that in most, if not all, European countries, basic healthcare is at no extra charge. I think about a country like Nigeria and the amount of people whose loved ones would still be alive today if only free healthcare was not a thing of the past. The lack of money should never be the factor as to why someone cannot receive treatment, but unfortunately that is the current situation in so many other countries.

So I would say that if there ever was a tax reformation where citizens were given the choice to choose what department they want the tax that they paid to be allocated to, healthcare would always be my choice without a doubt.

Now for the year 2016/2017 the United Kingdom apparently spent £45.6bn of taxpayers money on defence (http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/government_expenditure.html). Honestly, that's a ridiculous amount of money.

And speaking of defence - I don't support the military. Now that's an essay for another day. But yet if I were to pay taxes a portion of it will go there or into research to making the next most destructive weapon.

And do I really like the thought that with my money children soldiers in Syria are being trained how to hold a gun, aim and fire?

Is that not a valid reason to be mad to be paying taxes?

And then to add insult upon injury huge corporations like Google and Apple, the latter a company that is set to probably be the first trillion dollar company pays copper coins in taxes? You can read more on it here.

How is that fair? People who are bottom or near bottom the food chain have to be the ones carrying the weight of the mass.

I don't blame wealthy people who hide their money Switzerland or Bermuda.

Why is it that even though we are adults we are told how to spend a portion of the money we worked for?

And not just that but we never received one lesson about taxes in school. A school that for many of us is government-funded too by tax payers money.

Yet grown-ups were the ones who always said we should be grateful to have “free” education when we moaned about going to school. What exactly were we learning when we were not being educated on the things we were supposed to fundamentally know?

And as soon as we start earning income we're signed up for something we never agreed to.

See, governments have their citizens ignorant and most people are too apathetic to care.

But then there's those who stay mad and do something about it. Because the truth is taxes are as certain as death. Whether we like it or not – it's always going to happen. It is just a matter of knowing how to make the system work for us.

If you were given the choice on where the money you pay in tax should be allocated to, what would be your three choices?

Let me know in the comments!

Enjoyed reading this and want more? Click on the links below:
Don't forget to click the thumbs up button!