TLP: Coming in the Back Door. It's Only Stealthy if You're Not Paying Attention
Maybe it's true that politicians are smart enough, at least in this economy, to have given up on trying to raise income taxes. Everybody needs a job these days and why do something stupid to lose yours? Especially if it comes with all those sweet government perks.
So don't count on them looking deep into your eyes and purring when they give it to you. Just be ready for that hard FAP! from behind. You know it's going to leave a mark.
Matthew Saltmarsh spills it in the NYT:
At a time when political leaders in Europe and the United States are committed to no additional income-tax burden on the middle class, they also share the advantage of raising revenue without drawing too much attention to the tightening fiscal noose.
As a result, analysts say, taxpayers from California to Copenhagen should brace themselves for more “stealth taxes” — indirect levies like sales taxes, or microcharges on services once provided free, like registering a pet.
Such charges can have many benefits for tax collectors. For one thing, they are less volatile and less dependent on the economic cycle than corporate or income taxes. For another, they are less prone to avoidance and cheaper to collect. Finally, analysts say, they are generally easier to enact.
"Easier to enact" is code for, "No one will see what we did there." And it really is easier for legislators to pull off stealthy maneuvers on taxes (and all kinds of other shit) when people are distracted by any fucking thing and the ranks of statehouse reporters dwindle thanks to media budget cuts. So, pay attention. Complaining is bad form when you don't know what you're talking about.
Not much is out of bounds, apparently. More tax entertainment from the NYT:
London released a draft bill in January that would establish an animal health body, the cost to be met partly by livestock owners. Equestrians have called it the horse tax and are angry that a leisure industry will have to pay for a measure to aid farmers, who already receive payouts from the European Union.
Di Grissell, a former jockey and the owner of Grissell Racing, a racehorse training facility in East Sussex, England, expects her personal income and business to be squeezed.
“The government’s being very crafty by bringing in back-door tax increases,” she said. “The good guys — people who work and are trying to build businesses — are being taxed to the hilt.”
Points for "back-door" and grrr for "to the hilt." Extra points for saying it in an English accent. Goes down much easier.