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article imageOp-Ed: Should Jimmy Carr pay more tax?

By Alexander Baron     Jun 22, 2012 in Politics
The comedian Jimmy Carr has come under fire from no less than Britain's Prime Minister for his aggressive tax avoidance, but this time, David Cameron is barking up the wrong tree.
Call Me Dave made a typically limp wristed attack on what he called Carr's morally wrong tax avoidance on Wednesday. Firstly, Jimmy Carr's finances are not a moral issue but arguably a mental health issue, because it remains to be seen why anyone would shell out good money to watch his so-called comedy routine. Incredibly, he is said to have paid eight and a half million pounds in cash for his North London home.
Having said that, Carr, along with all other visible high earners, is an easy target for this sort of rhetoric. Back in the 1960s and 70s, British rock stars and singer-songwriters conquered the world, and were massive earners for this country. They were rewarded with punitive tax régimes, and like both James Bond author Ian Fleming and Noël Coward before them, many, including the Rolling Stones and Wishbone Ash, became tax exiles.
In his autobiography, Keith Richards referred to tax thieves, and it should never be forgotten that as Chris Tame used to say, taxation is theft.
The claim that Carr practised aggressive tax avoidance is a semantic nonsense, one might just as well argue that a housewife who buys a jumbo sized packet of washing powder is practising aggressive shopping, and that she should have bought several smaller packets for a greater price.
It is of course playing to the gallery to bash the rich, but Carr isn't the only rich man in this picture, so is Cameron, who is free to give away his money to the taxman, to charities, to the homeless. Does he? Will he?
There is a widely held misconception that if Carr were to pay more tax, this would go to benefit the less well off. Sadly, that is not the case. To begin with, if he did so, he would have less money to invest, and less investment means fewer of everything for all of us. If Mr Carr were to pay even an extra million in tax, where would it go? To pay down the deficit, as David Cameron never tires of telling us. In fact, a loan re-paid to a bank is cancelled out of existence, as Major Douglas demonstrated. Check out the mathematical proof in his book Social Credit, or one of the excellent videos about the money rip off that can be found on YouTube.
The bottom line is that the rich are not rich because the poor are poor, and making the rich poorer does not make the poor richer. On an individual basis and a small scale, it can. If a multimillionaire were to give away half his fortune to the poor and needy, that would make a lot of people happy, but expropriating the wealth of every billionaire and multimillionaire would leave us where? Check out what Ayn Rand said.
Carr has now apologised for not breaking the law and for not giving away his wealth to people who have proved they are far better at expropriating it from others than making it themselves. In view of the at times extremely unfunny nature of his jokes, it may take some time for the public to decide if this apology is intended to be sincere, or simply laughed at.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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