At least, that was the case when Muldoon was Finance Minister. The latter power has now gone, as today's pre-Budget summary in the Herald demonstrates, but the former power still remains -- as today's pre-Budget summary in the Herald of what we alrady know about the Budget demonstrates (sadly the summary is not online). In fact, the power to tax like hell is now greater than ever; greater even than when Muldoon was the government's finance un-wizard; greater even than when Roger Douglas was reading the Budgets (when the tax take was at a previous all-time high) ... greater than at any other time in New Zealand history.
“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.” Frankly, the government does a lot of plucking; the only limit is the hissing you lot put up. If the tax take is a measure, you're not doing enough hissing.
Who's being plucked? YOU ARE. Whose money is it? YOURS. It's your money. Governments produce no money of their own. Every dollar spent by government first has to be taken from you. IT'S YOUR MONEY. As Fulton Huxtable said in a piece that's become a modern classic:
True enough. Get that hissing going! After all, it's you whose being plucked. Or are you one of the moochers we're being plucked for?
Consider the logical implications of the idea that your money is yours. Money is a repository of the time in your life it takes you to earn it. If your money is yours, then it means the time in your life it takes to earn it is yours. If your life's time is yours, then your life is yours, yours by right and not a single minute of it should be taken from you without your permission.
If your money is yours, then you, not others, have the right to it. If your money is yours, you, not the state, have the right to control its use and disposal. If your money is yours, then you have the right to spend it as you please and no one — not the state or your neighbours — has the right to forcibly direct how your money is spent....If statists lose their claim to your money, then they will lose their battle to bring you under their control.
If you want to win the battle against statists who seek to deprive you of your rights and freedom, then fight to spread the idea that your money is yours. We need a rising chorus of voices chanting: "It's my money." If we begin to hear this, it will be the best news for freedom that we have seen in decades.
NOTE: If you simply must follow every word as it's delivered, TVNZ have their Budget Special live-on-air and streaming live on their site from 1:50 to 4:30pm tomorrow. Details here.
LINKS: It's Your Money! - Fulton Huxtable, Free Radical
Budget coverage 2006 - TVNZ
Are New Zealanders paying too much tax - Phil Rennie, Centre for Independent Studies [8-page PDF]
TAGS: Budget_&_Taxation, Politics-NZ, Libertarianism