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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

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    Brit Belter Sings Out on High Taxes

    By Kyle | May 31, 2011

    Adele is the much-hyped Brit singer whose songs I will soon be checking out. She blasts British taxes of 50 percent on high earners and says public services are crapola and getting crapolier. That stands to reason as socialized meds keep gobbling up an ever-greater portion of the British budget and as successive governments of whatever party vow only to “strengthen” the dismal health-care-by-wait-list NHS instead of demolishing it.

    It is unjust, wrong and immoral for government to take most, or even half, of a person’s pay, and in New York City so-called “high earners” whose standard of living compares not particularly favorably to that of the upper middle classes in nearly every other part of the country already carry a maximum combined state-city-federal tax burden that is just a hair under 50 percent. You and your family simply must be entitled to keep most of what you earn. Any other result in the tax code is contrary to common sense and must be treated with the outrage and contempt it deserves.

    Topics: Economics, Europe | 16 Comments »

    16 Responses to “Brit Belter Sings Out on High Taxes”

    1. Patrick Wahl Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Great set of pipes –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiMK9e0h6YE

    2. K Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 2:15 am

      You and your family simply must be entitled to keep most of what you earn.

      Why?

    3. Kyle Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Because it’s your work. You did it for yourself. You may owe something to the community but that can’t be equal to how much you deserve to keep for yourself and your family.

    4. Obama bin Biden Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 9:58 am

      She’ll still vote for democrats.

    5. K Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 10:07 am

      When you get charged more for government (excuse the term) services than your neighbor because you’re more productive/frugal/harder working than average then that argument holds. But it’s been true since income tax was established.

      So it’s like the joke about the lady in the bar deciding how many millions she’d take to go to bed with a stranger – you’re just haggling over percentage now – and 50 percent seems excessive because you’re young enough to have not experienced the much higher percentages pre Reagan, or the last time progressives held sway.

      Naturally, a moral society has to make provisions for the poor, infirm and weak – so there’s going to be some shifting of burden, but that has to be balanced against the fact that appropriations at a point of a gun – even democratically arrived at – is theft. That last part has become the unsaid secret which needs rather more exposure at the moment.

    6. Brandon Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Well said K. The difference between excessive, progressive taxation and being robbed at gun point is merely the size of the gun.

    7. kishke Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      I hate even 33 percent. It’s a huge portion of earnings, and that’s without sales tax and state taxes.

    8. Sherlock Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      She needs to do what Bono does and incorporate herself in the Netherlands.

    9. brutony Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      I thought the UK had an 85% rate, no? 50% is almost what we got here across the pond, in the colonies, and it still sucks! The colonists revolted over much LESS taxes being imposed by the evil King George III, and all we have from our town cryer are praise for O’Bozo!

    10. Steve Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Another greedy elite entertainer. Get your tax waiver from on Obama, just like Geithner, etc., you bonehead.

    11. Bronco46 Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Governments are being pushed to help the clueless instead of just the helpless. People are thinking with their hearts instead of their brains. Social programs are bankrupting countries all over the world.

    12. Richard Says:
      June 1st, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Remember it is not just 50% on the top levels. At lower levels of income there is a 40% tax and 11% “National Insurance”, tax in all but name, as well as an NI contribution of 9% from the employer – which might as well come from the employee. Both of these are capped, but some income is therefore taxed at a whopping 60%.

    13. cloudbuster Says:
      June 2nd, 2011 at 8:03 am

      “Naturally, a moral society has to make provisions for the poor.”

      Variations on this phrase get repeated pretty uncritically, across the political spectrum. I don’t people really think about the implications.

      It’s not “moral” to force people to give up huge portions of their life and labor, against their will, to the demands of the state.

      You can’t make people better by forcing people to conform to your moral vision.

      And before it gets used as an example, I’m not talking about criminal law, here — even the most extreme libertarians recognize the need for a criminal and civil law system.

      You don’t enforce criminal laws to make people better, you enforce them to protect people from harm by other people.

      Not so with redistributive government tax systems. You can dress it up as much as you want as “just fulfilling our obligations as a community” but it’s still extorting money for people under the threat of government’s fearful power.

      A moral society requires moral people. People under coercion are not moral people. Moral behavior requires free agency.

      The moral fiber of individuals in our society has actually deteriorated under the system of increased government-mandated redistribution.

      A man who voluntarily gives 10% of his money to the poor is a good man. A man who has 30% of his money confiscated to let some bureaucrats redistribute to who they decide is “the poor” is not three times as good. He’s just a victim.

      To have and be members of a “moral society” we have to empower and entrust individuals in the society to be good. We have to believe that when people see other people hurting they will willingly, voluntarily step in to help.

      You are only lying to yourself if you think that confiscating peoples worth under duress to redistribute to those in need makes either the society or any of the individuals involved “good.”

    14. steve In Tulsa Says:
      June 2nd, 2011 at 10:32 am

      I pay over half my income to the IRS. I make 63K a year. You add up all my taxes, Federal, FICA, State, Local, Sales, Property, automobile taxes, For a gallon of gas I pay 32 cents in sales tax and 47 cents in federal tax. There are hidden taxes in my phone bill and in my electric bill. You add it all up and it is well over 50% of what I earn. And Obama not only wants to raise my taxes but he is purposefully forcing up the cost of energy and gas. That is why there are no dilling permits being issued and billions given to Brazil to develop deep water drilling. I SHOULD GET TO KEEP AT LEAST HALF OF HTE MONEY I EARN!

    15. kishke Says:
      June 2nd, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Remember it is not just 50% on the top levels. At lower levels of income there is a 40% tax and 11% “National Insurance”, tax in all but name, as well as an NI contribution of 9% from the employer

      Good points. It’s the same here in the US. Up to the first 100k, you’re paying 14.5% in social security – half from the employer, unless your self-employed, in which case you get to pay it all – which no one really expects to see, since they’ve treated the SS money like just another source of revenue, which, of course, is what it is.

      We also haven’t discussed property taxes, which are very, very high here in NJ, nor have we mentioned all the hidden taxes that come as a result of government regulations that raise costs, health insurance being the most egregious example.

    16. Kenjai Says:
      June 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      “You can dress it up as much as you want as “just fulfilling our obligations as a community” but it’s still extorting money for people under the threat of government’s fearful power.

      A moral society requires moral people. People under coercion are not moral people. Moral behavior requires free agency.”

      Cloudbuster,
      Thank you for your clear explanation. I really like how you stated the case against egregious taxation. I wish we had someone running for President who could speak to this issue as clearly and concisely as you have.

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