Friday, February 4, 2011

Japanese Government Tax Madness

The foolishness of the government of Japan officials never ceases to amaze me. We have had a budgetary problem and debt problem in this country for over twenty years. Our debt is over 200% of GDP. The government's answer to this problem is never to cut government expenditures, but to always raise taxes. When will these people ever learn?



Incredibly, officials of the current Japanese government of Naoto Kan have once again  proclaimed that instead of cutting the budget and government expenditures, Japan needs to increase revenues by increasing Sales Tax by more than 200%. Are these people insane? They have even said this in public!

Are they intentionally trying to get booted out from office? I mean, to think about raising taxes is one thing, but to say that in public!? Where are the nice men in white suits when you need them?

Hakuo Yanagisawa, who was just appointed to a government panel on social welfare, says that a "10% Sales Tax is not enough" and that those taxes must be increased by more than 200% from its current 5%.

Madness. What a looney!

Yanagisawa must be totally and completely out of touch with the lives of the people he is supposed to be serving. The question that needs to be asked is if he is crazier than the guy who just appointed him, Naoto Kan?

Writer's rendition of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

The economy is stagnate, interest rates are near zero, people's savings have dried up all the while Japan has a huge problem with a large percentage of society reaching retirement age. On top of that, Japan's debt rating was just lowered.

With all this bad news, these government wonks think that the solutions to our problems lie in increasing taxes!? These people are completely nuts.

The Japan Times reports:

The consumption tax needs to be more than doubled to shore up the government's finances, given soaring debt and welfare costs, according to a member of Prime Minister Naoto Kan's tax and social security panel. "I don't think an increase to 10 percent is enough," former financial services minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said Tuesday in an interview at his Tokyo office. "Our discussions must be based on new realities."

I wrote before that the government of this country will never recognize a crisis until it is too late. They will never understand that raising taxes and raising taxes has been tried in the past, yet our debt bomb continues to grow. Once again, I'd like to reiterate that I predict that the government of Naoto Kan will be booted from office this June.

Japan Times continues:

Raising the tax may have political consequences. The Democratic Party of Japan did poorly in the Upper House election last July after Kan floated the idea of raising the levy. When the tax was last raised in 1997, the economy went into recession.

Duh! Do you think it's going to happen again?
The Japan Times article starts to defy belief when they say that, according to a survey, that 60 percent of voters believe that taxes must be raised. If you believe that, I have a portable ramen stall that's sitting in front of the train station to sell you. 

More than 60 percent of voters believe raising the tax is necessary while 35 percent disagree, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey published Jan. 16. The paper polled 1,069 people on Jan. 14 and 15 and didn't provide a margin of error.

There's no way I can believe that Joe Japanese guy on the street would ever say that he is not taxed enough already. If those survey results were true, if 60% of the public believe that taxes must be raised, then why did Kan's party fare so poorly in the last election?
Just let them try to raise the taxes and see just how badly they get trounced in the next elections.
By the mere virtue of saying in public that taxes must be raised by more than 200% and then adding that these discussions about taxes, "....must be based on new realities" just shows how far out of touch with the regular people, er, I mean, us peasants, these government fools are. I wonder how much longer Joe Japanese is going to put up with this?

When the problem is government debt, why can't they ever come up with ways of cutting spending - like eliminating military exercises (that must surely be against Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution? Why must it always be increasing taxes? 

These people have to go.... I need to have a drink.


Anonymous said...

What's so crazy about it?

Keep in mind that sales tax rates of 20% to 25% are not uncommon in other countries. In fact, only Andorra (4.5%), Iran and Jersey (both 3%) have lower sales tax than Japan. In most European countries, as for all other industrial nations, the average sales tax is 20~21%. Even in China it is 17%.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Are personal income taxes 45 ~ 48% in those countries? No.

Andorra has no income tax. Iran is only 15%. Jersey is 20%. China starts at merely 5% ~ 25%. To compare Japan with those nations is comparing apples and oranges.

Great. You compare Japan to Europe? You want us to be in the fine shape that Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc. etc. are?

mike in tokyo rogers said...

PS: Unlike most countries, Japan even has Sales Tax on basic foodstuffs like milk, eggs & rice. I know for a fact that there is no Sales Tax on basic food stuffs in the USA in states like California (Sales Tx in USA is state run) and have never seen them in the few European countries that I have been to.

Anonymous said...

The income tax rate is up to 48% for earned income. If your income comes from capital gains, it can be as high as 70+%.

I sold stock last year and my income tax rate in Japan was to be nearly 70%... So I had to leave the country and change my place of residence.

I enjoy living in Japan and the people. I do not love the taxes and, since I am a foreigner, I can escape, Japanese people cannot.

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