Thursday, September 24, 2009

McCartney/Lennon on the absurdity of HST

When you think of the Beatles, you think of Great Britain in the sixties. When you think of Great Britain in the early sixties you think of bloated/wasteful government and rapacious levels of taxation. No doubt this motivated McCartney/Lennon to write their song of protest called The Taxman.

The lyrics are quite telling and disturbingly prescient, as they spoof about what government may next find an opportunity to tax, and read:

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.

Well folks, welcome to overtaxed Britain of the early sixties, as we who live in the harsh Ontario climate are being faced with the absurdity only joked about by the Beatles of “if you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat”.

That’s a concept plagiarised directly by Dalton McGuinty’s into his song book on the HST......except his version reads: “When you get too cold - I’ll WILL tax your heat.”

Overtaking of consumers and their basic necessities of life (heat?), is exactly what Dalton McGuinty at the behest of Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty thinks is the right prescription for all that ails Ontario.

Is Dalton McGuinty so utterly na├»ve and misinformed about the real world as to not realize the effect this absurd HST tax will have on the blackmarket? Perhaps he might want to have a look at what percent of cigarettes are sold illegally to avert the tax burden on cigarettes. The market for Illegal cigarettes is only a harbinger of the enormity of the black market that will develop for virtually everything under the sun that McGuity’s HST will apply to, with only limited exceptions.

Dalton MCGuinty’s HST is simply the manifestation of Flaherty’s tirade of a year ago that “Ontario is the last place to invest” in order to cajole the easily cajoled Dalton McGuinty into lowering corporate taxes. So here was are, less that a year later and Dalton McGuinty is lowering corporate taxes and is imposing those lost taxes on the average Ontario resident through bizarre measures like taxing their home heating costs at 13%. Turning a province that few thought was the “last place to invest” into a province that is surely going to become “the last province to consume in and to raise a family and/or retire to.”

The Taxman.....predictions by McCartney/Lennon about McGuinty/Flaherty

One, two, three, four...
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)

Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.


'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.



Dr Mike said...

It`s like the old saying about the dog , they do it because they can.

Canadians continue to let these politicians get away with anything they want including taxing us into the poor house.

"But it will increase the number of jobs" they squeal.

Might be the case way down the road.

In the meantime we are left holding the tax bag---actually holding the tax bag for the corporate elite ----enabling a few million more in stock options maybe.

We get the shaft & we take it.

We are a bunch of wimps who are always threatening to get even at the next election.

Problem is ," once a tax , always a tax" seems to be the way of it.

In a lot of cases we can just refuse to buy the product but how do we live without heat , hydro & water.

They got us on this one.

Why??--Because they can , simple as that.

Dr Mike

Lizt. said...

Why do the Ontario Tories hae it so much?They say they wil repeal it.Can that be done?

Anonymous said...

HST will save businesses $500 million in administrative costs and cost the consumers $2.5 billion   No wonder poverty is on the rise!
Here is what the individual taxpayers will face in 2010:

1.Elimination of the remaining income trusts.

2. Reduction of the dividend tax credit.

3. Introduction of the HST.

4. No increase in dividends if they own corporate shares.

5. Rock botttom interest rates.

7. High and stubborn rates of unemployment

8. Possible reduction of indexed pensions.

9. More double taxation of dividends in RRSP/RRIF

10. Possiblity of renewed weakness in the stock market if the recovery falters or is too anemic.

11. Increase in poverty among various segments of the population.

12 Increase in the price of TIMBITS due to the Harper premium!

Anonymous said...

Indian cigarettes here are selling at $14.00 per carton as compared to $80 to $90 in the stores.


CAITI said...


And just imagine how much of our law enforcement tax dollars and resources are spent in fruitless pursuit of cracking down on illegal cigarettes. Cracking down on cheap cigarettes would be like trying to stop water from flowing downhill.


Anonymous said...

Taxman was George Harrison's acerbic and witty view of the inescapable realities of life.


CAITI said...


Thanks for that. I stand corrected. This from Wikipedia:

"Taxman" is a song by George Harrison recorded by The Beatles and released as the opening track on their 1966 album Revolver. The song's lyrics sarcastically attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the government.[1][2] Richie Unterberger of allmusic said that Revolver is where Harrison "came more to the fore, not only writing three songs but also getting honored with the album-opener."[3]

Harrison said, "'Taxman' was when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical."[4] The Beatles' large earnings placed them in the top tax bracket in the United Kingdom, with the band liable to a "supertax" of 95% on top income that had been introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government.[5] In a 1984 interview with Playboy magazine, Paul McCartney agreed with Harrison's depiction of the circumstances surrounding the writing of "Taxman": "George wrote that and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what he'll do with your money."

Harrison got some assistance in the lyrics from John Lennon, who wrote a few one-liners on the song for him. In 1980, Lennon recalled in an interview with Playboy magazine, "I remember the day he [Harrison] called to ask for help on 'Taxman', one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along, because that's what he asked for. He came to me because he couldn't go to Paul, because Paul wouldn't have helped him at that period. I didn't want to do it... I just sort of bit my tongue and said OK. It had been John and Paul for so long, he'd been left out because he hadn't been a songwriter up until then."[6]

The backing vocals include references to "Mr. Wilson" and "Mr. Heath", lyrics added by Lennon and referring to then Prime Minister Harold Wilson (who had nominated all four of the Beatles as Members of the Order of the British Empire just the previous year) and Edward Heath (Leader of the Opposition, later also Prime Minister).[1] Wilson and Heath were the leaders of the Labour Party and Conservative Party respectively, the two largest parties in British politics.[1]

"Ha, Ha, Mr. Wilson; Ha, ha, Mr. Heath" replaced two refrains of "Anybody got a bit of money?" as heard in take 11, an earlier version that was later released on Anthology 2 in 1996.[7]

In 1987, Harrison stated that he had been pleased McCartney agreed to play the guitar on "Taxman". In reference to McCartney's famous guitar solo, Harrison said, "I was pleased to have Paul play that bit on 'Taxman'. If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me."[8]

Ian MacDonald praised McCartney's contributions to the song saying his guitar solo was "outstanding" and his bass part was "remarkable".[1]