For today's dose of sputtering disbelief, I give you this from Britain:
The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.Nanny State says what? It reminds me of nothing so much as a parent going through their kid's Halloween haul, ostensibly to check for danger, but actually so they can identify and hoark the good stuff. Dad gets the full-size Hershey's with almonds, and Junior's left with a pack of broken Sweet Tarts and two boxes of raisins. Pleas to Mom go unanswered, as she's busy with other things.
The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
On a more serious note, such a scheme would, structurally speaking, put every last wage-earner on the dole. And -- human nature being what it is -- why bother working if you get paid either way? It's yet another move toward keeping the populace complacent and docile by making the fight too hard for all but the truest believers. On the flip side: Should this plan go through, I predict an upsurge in under-the-table employment and cash-only transactions. I know that's what would happen if they tried it on this side of the pond.
I admit to feeling a bit of a thrill when I read about this sort of thing. The more obvious the line becomes, the more convinced I am about which side I joined.