Why I Pay Taxes

When I was in law school I became friends with a family that had 9 nine kids when I met them and stopped at 12. Until about the time the last two came along, the father was making in the low $20’s a year. They didn’t pay rent on their very old house, but then they did have to open it from 7:00 until midnight every Friday and Saturday and their living room had a stage and it was filled with little tables. It was the local Christian coffeehouse. Otherwise they lived on the father’s salary, because the mother homeschooled. They lived happy and healthy lives. They had plenty to eat, and usually plenty to share, as I often ate in their home. And they never took a single handout from the Government. They were certainly eligible. They’ve just never had a sense of entitlement.

That is who I thought of when I read the article in today’s Daily Mail about a couple with ten kids. The difference is that neither parent works. The mother never has and the father hasn’t for 15 years. They also live rent free in a semi-detached knocked into one fully detached, but not at the expense of strangers tromping through their downstairs every weekend. They also get £32,656 ($58,780) a year in taxpayer money to fund their lifestyle.

Harry Crompton can’t work because he’s got irritable bowel syndrome. Bloody hell. I have IBS and I’m making a lot less and I have to leave the house every morning. Of course his IBS might get better if the £250 a week they spend on food didn’t include so many crisps and bottles of fizzy drinks.

You’d think Tracey Crompton would be satisfied. But out of one side of her mouth she says, ‘We don’t have money worries. We don’t go without things and I think that’s because we are self-sufficient.” Self-sufficient? Self-bloody-sufficient? How do you leech more than my salary every year and have the audacity to call yourself “self-sufficient”?

Then there’s the other side of her mouth. ‘I’m not satisfied with the benefits we get  –  I want more.” While people with real jobs and real mortgages are feeling the pinch, she wants to suck more out of the system. She is happy to take more of their money and is actually glad the economy is in such turmoil. The prices of luxury goods are coming down to meet the ability of consumers to afford them. That means she can get an even bigger TV on which to watch Jeremy Kyle.

Paid to Misbehave

Figures released from the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed more of the nature of the Welfare State. As reported in The Times:

120,000 adults aged 18 to 34 have been on incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance for five years or more.

A further 130,000 have been on the benefit for at least two years.

An analysis of the figures for May 2007 shows that more than a third of the 289,150 adults aged 25 to 34 have been on benefits for more than five years . . .

A spokesman for the DWP said that 300,000 of the 504,000 young people claiming sickness benefit last May had mental and behavioural disorders.

Yes, they are claiming sickness benefit because they can’t behave. With the sort of young people that are leaving schools now, we can only expect these numbers to increase. Kids will have even less motivation to buckle down and do their work – they can be as disruptive as they want to be – even get thrown out when school governors can resist the pressure of the Government to keep them in the classroom – and they will still get an income from the State.