Christmas and taxes


IT’S Christmas time again. A special time to spend with family and friends. It could have been more special – were it not for the political elite determined to milk us our earned income – through taxes.

Have you ever thought how much you’d be earning, were you not paying taxes? Do the math. Your Christmas holidays would have certainly been much better.

Seldom do we people question government’s taxation policies and their disturbing impact on our lives. That I take as serious ignorance from our part. We keep silent as politicians tirelessly take our money, deny us a better Christmas, and spend it on their ineffective and inefficient programs.

Government taxes us every day. Every day. When we buy a meal they tax us, we fill up at petrol station they tax us, we buy nice clothes for Christmas they tax us, we buy booze they tax us. That’s separate from taxes they take from our monthly salaries. They are surely making hell of a lot of money this festive season.

What makes things worse – is that the return on the investment is sub-standard. The quality of our government services is disturbing. Truly indicative of the necessity of tax reforms that aim to slash taxes and boost economic growth.

I have always been wary of the state intervening in anything through tax payers’ money – education, parenting, healthcare, business etc. States tend to always overreach in their interventions in these areas – because of politicians who want to look good and get votes at taxpayers’ expense.

However, given the fact that we live in a world where some people – like my parents who could not afford sending me to university – grapple with life trying to make ends meet – there has to be some form of government intervention to uplift those people.

Then the challenge, I believe, is how you keep that intervention as limited, pro-human choice, pro-market as possible. This basically means taxes must be limited.

We have to change our thinking on taxes, and acknowledge that taxes destroy prosperity and ought to be as low as possible. That thinking won’t be brought by politicians for sure. Most politicians want our tax money so they spread it around for the purposes of getting more votes in the next election. So we cannot expect much from them.

The initiative has to come from us active citizenry. We will first have to confront the fact that it is dead wrong of us to vote politicians who promise us “free goodies” into the public office. The “free goodies” concept is a classic left wing fraud – that envisions a society where things are free – don’t have to be paid for.  Such a world is a fantasy – it doesn’t exist and will never exist. Nothing is free. They, politicians, will use your money for these “free goodies” – and deny you a better Christmas with your family and friends.

On taxes and politics, my favorite economist, Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution, once said “Someone once said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. That may have been true when he said it, but today taxes are mostly the price we pay so that politicians can play Santa Claus and get re-elected.”

It’s very hard to disagree with Thomas Sowell. Indeed, today’s taxes are the price we pay so that politicians like Jacob Zuma, play Santa Claus by providing “free” education. All in desperation for votes.

Christmas comes once a year – and I believe all of us should be grateful every time it reaches us. It’s a special time with the people we love. At least it ought to be one.

It is the political elite who constrain us from having a better Christmas through high taxes. We deserve better. PM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



  • Michael <span>November 25, 2019 at 4:26 pm</span>

    Great article Phumlani!

  • Brian <span>December 24, 2019 at 11:50 am</span>

    Well done Phumlani,
    An excellent article as usual.
    The Average South African now has to work for the first 141 days of the year for SARS (until 21st May!). Only then do they start to keep what they earn for themselves. This is be of the highest levels of tax in the world.
    As you say though, the really distressing thing is that so very much of this money had been and is being wasted on malign corruption, abject incompetence and blatant theft.
    Cry the beloved country!

    • Phumlani Majozi <span>December 31, 2019 at 11:51 am</span>

      Thank you very much Brian. Cry the beloved country! Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2020.


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