First edition on 28/10/2013 - Updated 01/02/2017
When tax kills...
Income tax, vat, family allowance, family allowances, deductions for high school and university students, local taxes, ... everything is increasing, everything is good to drain. "The French must make effortsThis refrain, repeated over and over again by politicians (whose public opinion is convinced that they are not making any effort), is unbearable, as if life until now had been made up of luxury, voluptuousness and unconsciousness. "We must reduce the deficit" ... but the deficit is not only budgetary, it is also and above all a political credit deficit90% of mistrust, 10% of unemployment, 0% of growth, 100% of deficit: a chronic deficit of solutions to respond to social and economic challenges that no public policy seems to be able to overcome. It is not the debt ratio that is the problem but the appropriateness of the collection and use of public money.
The usefulness of the public levy should be questioned.
For several years, anger has been rumbling. From the "pigeon" VSEs to the antics of "tax exiles", from the administrative and fiscal phobias of our exemplary rulers to the outbursts of small entrepreneurs (who make more noise than the big bosses), or even from the Breton revolutionaries to the angry red bonnets, the tax affairs have caused a lot of ink to flow and created a lot of bitterness and distrust. Obviously, the alleged fictitious employment of current political leaders (several are concerned) does not help the matter and is just another signal sent to an already convinced public opinion. So convinced that it has become disillusioned and therefore ready for anything. The point of no return to fiscal understanding has been passed. And yet ... everything seems to continue "as usual", France now has 2000 billion in public debt and a deficit of 100% of its GDP. Like the student who claims, as if to get rid of the conversation, that he has understood everything, and who tirelessly makes the same mistakes. Our only teacher is reality, and some people think they are better than the master.
Political lines and dogmas do not move, but head offices, investments, tax residences and young people are free to move. In the silence, the "small" bosses despair and run out of steam, and the "small" employees (i.e. the tax base) see their purchasing power squeezed between the inexorable inflation of public taxes and constrained expenditure on the one hand, and the stagnation, or even decrease, of their income on the other. It's the fiscal vice.
The pressure on purchasing power increases as the political depression sets in. The national sport becomes that of escape, like the hunted game, we flee, we defiscalise, we avoid, we dodge, we pay and we cash in under the table (those who can), while waiting to be in the doldrums, the hallali, and finally the slaughter. The problem for the State is that game is becoming rare and thin!
Behind these movements, these outcries, these cries of alarm, there is a lot of commentary and judgement on the lack of patriotism and selfishness of some, or on the other hand, the confiscatory nature of the tax burden. Whatever the case, we can no longer stand this gap between effort on the one hand and irresponsible waste on the other.
For companies and individuals alike, frail boats cannot be transformed into tax container ships.
Beyond the "fed up", we must also hear "what's the point". The deeper, more embarrassing question does not concern those who are subject to it, but also the managers. We too often forget that the acceptance of deprivation, or let us say the effort of solidarity, is directly linked to the perceived efficiency of the use, the good use, of what is given and paid for. It is the use value that counts. A good is not expensive or cheap in itself, but with regard to the service provided. The questioning of the various charges, taxes and levies that make up the totality of compulsory levies is not to be sought solely in terms of their rate, their threshold of acceptance, or a desire to withdraw into oneself in order to "keep to oneself", but also and above all in terms of their perceived effectiveness. Faced with this chronic lack of solutions, it is 'normal' to wonder about the usefulness of public levies. In the end, we arrive at a seemingly inextricable situation, that of growing social needs due to the harshness of the crisis, requiring more and more public money to be taken from increasingly constrained contributors, and yet without solving the initial social ills. For years, public spending has been more of a band-aid than a remedy, leaving the only recourse to be the extension of the prescription. The State is not only bankrupt in its accounts today, it is also bankrupt in terms of confidence and viable, sustainable and efficient solutions, which is also why we are reluctant to "give" it money and to respond to its diktat. The state suffers from the discredit of the doctor without a remedyThis is the reason why the health care system is so important, multiplying tests, lengthening prescriptions, charging for backward diagnoses rather than cures.
This Republic of the taxman maintains a bourgeois and obese state that looks like a cardinal from another time.
From then on, the question is no longer only that of reducing public spending or increasing revenues, which seems to be futile, but that of the efficiency of the public euro, its capacity to create social added value. Increasing the efficiency of public spending is the only way to reduce it, and therefore to loosen the reins. This question will become all the more imperative as public revenue and expenditure are reduced. It is the additional marginal efficiency that must imperatively progress, this is pure arithmetic. This perceived, legitimate and ethical public efficiency is central to making taxes acceptable.
What justifies solidarity, beyond its moral virtue, is the service rendered by solidarity, the betterment produced.
When you donate to an association, you are sensitive to its cause, you trust it, you are convinced of the good use of the money, you know more or less the results obtained and judge them satisfactory. When you buy as a consumer, you expect to "get your money's worth". When you entrust your children to the national education system, you expect it to train and educate them, and a school to prepare them for a job. The same goes for taxes, they are not blank cheques, they also, and above all, involve those who receive them, who must ensure maximum usefulness.
If the French must make efforts to pay more, the State must make the same effort to deserve more.
Tax is not a due payable without compensation by public authorities who are often zealous judges of morality and good conscience. It is certainly a duty of solidarity for the contributor, certainly a duty of result for the beneficiary manager.
Increasing public utility is the only issue, and the only issue of solidarity on which everyone will agree, and win. Earn our taxes!