I will never understand why the private gambling debts of the banks had to be socialised. When there were profits they were private but when stupidity by the private banks began returning losses, these losses became all of our responsibility. Regardless of the soft-soaping by politicians, this was immoral and wrong and for the religious among you, it was also sinful.
But short of a violent revolution, (????), it has taken root and the financial problem, not of your making or mine, now has to be repaid by us we are told. Now here is the second thing I don't understand. Every economist and political commentator agrees that the debt is just to large to be repaid. There is common agreement that whoever we owe it all to, is never going to get their money. The reason for this is that the economy is knackered. With a knackered economy we are not generating the surpluses to pay anyone we are indebted to.
That leads me to the third thing I don't understand. To get a knackered economy going again we need investment. Investment stimulates growth with resultant jobs and profits and this gets the economy going again. But instead of investment we opted for austerity and job losses so the economy shrank. We in fact, reduced our ability to pay anything.
So then they really baffled me. We borrowed so much money to give to the banks that our debt interest alone each year is eight billion euros and we're struggling to even meet that without ever addressing the capital sums. You see, what really perplexes me is the idea of borrowing your way out of impossible debts. I just don't get it. None of us right now knows whether Baldy Noonan is borrowing billions to meet the billions in interest we are supposed to be paying back on previous money.
But then I read an interesting fact about the euro, (and all currencies). The value of a euro is one euro only because all of us BELIEVE it is. If we ceased to believe it the euro would be worthless. By extension then, if we ceased to believe we really owed a 'squillion' euros to some foreign Johnies then this un-payable debt would simply disappear.
That is what I am beginning to understand because in amongst the deceit and lies of the last seven years one thing has become very clear. Money, as in currency, is worthless and its only value is to scare and enslave us to those with true wealth. That is what all the bullshit is about!
I am grateful to my friend and mentor "Grandad" for the following incomplete list of the taxes we are all subject to in Ireland.
- Airline surcharge tax
- Airline Fuel Tax
- Airport Maintenance Tax
- Broadcasting Charge [tax]
- Building Permit Tax
- Capital Gains Tax
- Corporate Income Tax
- Death Duty Tax
- Dog Licence [tax]
- Domestic Oil Tax
- Driving Licence Tax
- Environmental Tax
- Fishing License Tax
- Food License Tax
- Goods and Services Tax
- Health Tax
- Income Tax
- Inheritance Tax
- Interest Tax
- Liquor Tax
- Luxury Taxes
- Marriage License Tax
- National Car Test
- Personal Income Tax
- Petrol Tax
- Property Tax
- Prescription Drug Tax
- Recreational Vehicle Tax
- Retail Sales Tax
- Road Fund Licence [tax]
- Service Charge Tax
- Septic Tank Tax
- Stamp Duty [tax]
- Telephone Tax
- Tobacco Excise Duty [tax]
- Value Added Tax
- Vehicle License Registration Tax
- Vehicle Sales Tax
- Water Tax
- Workers Compensation Tax
Growing up here in the seventies and eighties it was a lot simpler. Central taxation was underwriting local Government and as a result, we paid for our water, street lighting, domestic waste disposal, street cleaning and roads among other things via income tax and VAT. Car tax came in after that and it was the first indication that senior Civil Servants were looking for ways to rip us off. Cue property and water taxes! We even pay our bin charges to private companies now. Traditionally when we bought our homes we paid all of the property tax up front in a lump sum called Stamp Duty. You paid for water in the subvention grants to local authorities who supplied it.
This begs the question, what do we pay our politicians and public representatives for? What is it that all those hundreds of civil servants do for us at such a high cost? The answer is truly amazing. Politicians repeatedly claim that do NOT create jobs nor are they supposed to. The 166 of them who collect in Dail Eireann from time to time maintain that they are elected to "MAKE LAWS." You didn't know that, did you? For a hundred grand a year plus the same again in expenses, these joker's sole purpose in life is to make more new laws. And if you look at the laws this current Government have made since entering office you will discover that most of them have to do with raiding your wallet ………. LEGALLY! Oh, and the Civil Servants do what the politicians tell them to do and nothing else.
It has become an infinite loop in fact. They introduce laws to give them more of your money so that they can bribe you to vote for them at election time and the three main parties have been doing just that for years. Even worse, they want you to understand that it is a public service to us. How's that for pure brazenness?
You couldn't make it up.
I listened to Bertie Ahern yesterday talking with 'Miriam,' (our next President), and two thoughts struck me in quick succession.
Despite what we know and despite what resulted from his light-touch approach while in office, Bertie is still likable. I was introduced to him once and both then and yesterday, it was like listening to an ordinary bloke in the pub. He was down-to-earth without any of the airs and graces normally assumed by our politicians. It is hard not to like Bertie Ahern and many of us believe during the Peace Process that even Paisley began to like Bertie.
Then I also realized that I don't like Enda Kenny for fairly obvious reasons. He led us to believe that if elected he would change the face of Irish politics and we know now it was a damned lie. He opposed Irish Water in opposition and couldn't wait to set it up when in Government. The Mayo schoolteacher feigns a Statesmanlike demeanor when talking down to us but all I see and hear is a haughty teacher. He bluffs and he blusters and mouths inanities before striding away to his State car and driver.
No, I don't like Kenny and more importantly I don't trust the man. I don't much care for his cabinet either though I'l admit a sneaking regard for Varakar. Kenny had barely got his arse in the chair before he began appointing his cronies all around him. For me, this was an utter lie because it was this very practice that he was bleating against in opposition. His references to the 'Galway Tent,' were aways in relation to the practice of 'Jobs for the Boys.' Considering who to vote for at the time, I was taken in by Kenny's apparent sincerity and it was a bitter lesson later to discover it was all a lie. So if he is the leader of Fine Gael then by extension, they are all like him, that is they not to be trusted.
But liking and trusting are two different emotions and it makes me wonder which of those emotions decides the ordinary citizen faced with the ballot box. Even after his credible defense of his time in Government yesterday on radio, I still don't know if I'd trust Bertie. But I neither like nor trust Kenny so I'd probably vote Bertie instead because I like him.
Last Christmas we were told that, "€30,000 a year is spent for every homeless person, (http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/30000-a-year-spent-for-every-homeless-person-30804910.html). That amounts to €577 a week or €2,300 a month for each and every homeless person in the State!!!
WHAT? I'm struggling for words here! Why is someone who pockets €577 a week homeless? I brought up two kids, paid a mortgage and ran two cars for almost the same amount of money. But when you read the article you find that the middlemen are the ones pocketing the dough.
The Department of the Environment and the HSE together spend more than €78m of your tax money to assist the estimated 2,663 people who are currently broadly described as "homeless" but the aforementioned homeless don't get that money. It is given to hotel owners who take them in and the inevitable "Charities" have their snouts in the trough as well. There are now 23 individual charities working in the area of homelessness headquartered in Dublin alone and that's a lot of snouts.
Registering as a charity in Ireland is a matter of who you know, not what you know but if you do know the right people then it is a tax-free ride at the citizen's expense. You do not have to tell anyone what you spend your grants on so all you need to do is mouth the right platitudes once or twice a year, keep your head down and pay yourself richly for fuck-all.
With the kind of funds currently available, if you just gave it directly to the true homeless people the problem would disappear overnight, right? Well no, because you see the charities and all of their leeches would then be out of work and they would become homeless instead.
Mad, isn't it?