[LINK] Why so many of us think we're overtaxed

Saliya Wimalaratne saliya@hinet.net.au
Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:54:05 +1100 (EST)

On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, Chirgwin, Richard wrote:

> > There's more and more reasons for folks like me to move 
> > overseas in terms
> > of taxation - total tax paid by people earning what I do is 
> > much lower in 
> > pretty much every other developed country.
> Sal - so does that mean Ross Gittins is lying? The points he made were
> straightforward enough: that the "Australians pay more tax" line in the
> media is achieved by fiddling how it's reported. We bundle unemployment etc;

Hi Richard, 

Ross Gittins is talking about 'Australians' as a blanket; in terms of
income I'm not representative of most Australians. I accept that. I also
accept that coming right out and saying "I pay too much tax" isn't the 
most altruistic of statements and doesn't put me on the high moral ground :) 

> Am I paying max income tax? Yes. Like everybody who pays it, only on the
> upper margin of my income. Would I like to see it better spent? Certainly.

Could this be paraphrased as "I am paying too much tax" ? (i.e. does "better
spent" mean that you want to pay less tax for the same result; or pay the
same tax for more result?)

One of the main problems with paying a lot of tax is that we don't seem to
have confidence that it *is* being properly spent. If it's *not* being 
properly spent, more tax = more waste - something that doesn't go down well
with anybody. 

> If I believed that an increment of another cent or two in each bracket would
> go to the public infrastructure like education, I'd even submit to an
> increase.

An interesting hypothesis; I don't know *how* unlikely it is that we'll 
actually get to say *where* our tax dollars go, but I think it's 'pretty' 
unlikely :) 

For skilled (i.e. mid-high income bracket) people in Australia:

Taxation is perceived as high
Perceived results are low
Other countries offer a better result/taxation ratio
Skilled people are leaving .au because of the above

> If I sound unsympathetic, it's for good reason. I >am< unsympathetic. If
> taxes were to be cut, I would sincerely hope it were directed to the bottom
> of the scale, not the top.

Taxation cuts are mostly directed at winning votes. Therefore, they
will be offered to the greatest number of people; which won't be the top-level
income earners. Your 'hope' in this instance is almost assured by virtue of
the reasons for the cuts in the first place :)