Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tax Payer

Squeezed by taxes

In my country, India, majority, i.e. more than 50% of the population is poor. By poor, I don't mean that they face shortage of basic necessities, like the people in Africa but rather, they are poor compared to the standard of living in other countries. Since they enjoy majority, they always elect a government which favors them. The elected government however, rather than actually working towards the emancipation of poor, just creates a hallucination of hope for them, making them believe that the government is their own.

It is easy to befuddle and woo such illiterate men, and polarize their votes, by announcing reservations in jobs and colleges for the poor, making bombastic schemes for employment and declaring subsidies. The truth is, corrupt politicians never let the benefits of such schemes reach the poor.

And truly you can't expect them too. It is impossible to eradicate poverty in the world. Poverty is a part of life, and has existed since the origin of mankind. No government can make everyone rich. I agree that in some nations the poor enjoy many benefits and their standard of living is higher than their counterparts in poorer nations. But their better living standard is actually obtained at the expense of other nations. Moreover, I think the existence of poverty completes the home of mankind, as without poverty people can never enjoy being rich.

But the real victims of such cozening government attitude and cheap election tricks are not the poor but the bourgeoisie like me.

The government generates subsidies and provisions for the poor by taxing the middle and the higher class. And as usual, the upper class elites always have a way of evading taxes. The lower classes of society hardly have to pay any taxes, and no one gives a damn if they fail to pay. But we, the middle class always have to abide by the laws and pay for running the nation.

Although at first sight the population of educated working middle class seems like a modicum compared to the vast poorer section of the country, the truth is the middle class actually runs the country and its economy. There are several medium enterprises which control most of the inland economic setup, and also many middle classed professional form a large part of the industrial and clerical work force in the country. Exports and imports in the country are shaped by medium capital industrialists, and the nation thrives on their success.

Ironically, we are the most heavily taxed. Taxes are paid on every unimaginable details of our incomes and benefits. For small manufactures, taxes are to be paid at every level of the production processes. We pay it duly because of the tough enforcements on us.

And for all this, we get nothing in return and are made to hear that silly quote, 'ask not how your government fucks you up every time, but what you can do for your country'. The jobs are reserved for either the wealthy by their influence, or for the poor by the government, while the qualified middle classed youngsters have to struggle at every stage of their career.

Coincidentally, the middle class is responsible for a major chunk of government revenue. And even if we are discontented with the government, our votes don't matter because we are a minority, despite our best efforts to contribute for the nations wealth. This is one of the reason why democracy doesn't work in India, because a very few people actually know what's good for their nation, and poverty-stricken masses are easily swayed by mesmerizing political games.

One of the most obvious examples of tax injustice by the government is the 'Property assessment tax'. This is a duty charged by the government for living in a metropolitan city. The taxing is such that the one who starts living in the city has to pay duty on the residential area he owns. However, the tax to be paid is according to rates during the year of construction of your house. The earlier settlers and slum dweller have to pay something like Rs.5 every year, while those who have settled recently have to pay around Rs. 80,000 per year. This tax makes it harder for able men to start their own home in the city, and deprives them of a major portion of their income. The conditions of this itself tax are a joke.

As of now I am a tax payer, because of the tough regulations, but I plan to evade taxes in the later part of my career. The fact that I don't want to be a tax payer is because I don't want my hard earned income to go into the hands of some obese rural asshole who will spend it on third grade liquor at weekends. Its not that I don't love my nation. I am prepared to take a bullet to protect my countrymen as I have said in one of my earlier posts. But as far as the government is concerned, it does not protect the interests of people like me, and so I am obliged to protect my interests with a bit of selfishness and be intolerant towards the prejudice.

Pain in the ass



manoj said...

you have explained your point of view but there is another side to the coin.

Sandeep said...

its an insightful article. You have summed up exactly what our government does, how it does that. Evasion of taxes is another perspective altogether. If not for the taxes, you will probably not get half the things you take for granted eg electricity. But this point apart, I absolutely agree with the remaining notions of your post. The middle class needs an organized movement to galvanize our power and to use it to our advantage.

soudaminee said...

u hav nicely and correctly put the current scenario
but tax evasion is not the way to react in this time. after all we make the govt and we can not refuse to co-operate wid wud rather show that u r not a responsible citizen and r no better than the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.
u might b brave enough to give ur life for the country, but it wud be more practical to be loyal and honest citizen than being a corrupt patriot.

bigvike1374 said...

Clearly there is much about your government I do not understand. And I am sure the definition of poor in your country is much different than the definition of poor in my country. I am definitely not considered rich and you might even call me a poor American. I make $1800 a month. $600 goes to child support $625 goes to rent and the rest is just enough to put gas in my tiny old car, buy food and pay for electricity, phone cable and internet. CLearly if you are going to be poor anywhere you want to be poor in America. I am a very happy poor man. Corruption exists in all governments and taxes are unavoidable. I always say (and I may have stole this, I don't remember) " Keep your pleaasures simple and wealth will never elude you."

Gaurav said...

Its not that I have anything against paying taxes. Taxes are a part of society and I find it fair enough. But my only concern is that the government implements the taxing scheme so poorly that only a particular section of society is targeted, and the revenue they provide is enough to ignore the rest. If the middle class were to evade taxes, the government would be forced to make the tax laws stricter for all the sections of society.