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England, September 11, 2000

Taxation Without Representation

Welcome to Britain, now pay taxes!

Red Stripe clouds Leo's culinary skills
Even Leo the Lion is pissed
They'll be better off riding bicycles anyway
Not a single car at the pumps
Today I was surprised in the middle of my resume writing by the UPS guy. Usually I am very happy to see these men in brown, for they always bring good tidings like Birthday and Christmas presents. This morning was an exception. The UPS guy brought me a morning of woe.

My friends Rob and Gailyn had sent me a package of newspaper classified ads from the USA (I'm job hunting all over the place) and a Lands End shirt. I was happy for the surprise shirt gift till the UPS guy gave me the bill. Yeah, a bill, a bill for 22£ ($33) of taxes that shocked me, for the Estimated Value of the whole package was only $30! Check out the bill:

Taxes: £ 8.06
Duties: 4.30
Brokerage Surcharges: 10.00
Total: £22.36

I always though that taxes and duties were the same thing and the best (or worst) part of the tax bill was a 10£ charge for 'Brokerage Surcharges.' Do you know what that means? The British Customs charged me 10£ to tax me 12£! What the hell kinda logic is that?!

This whole week Brit's are blocking oil refineries and London streets demanding lower fuel taxes. At first I was behind the government taxing gas at 4.50£ a gallon to discourage car use, but now after seeing just how tax-a-holic the UK is, I'm gonna join those protesters. This is ridiculous! I can only console myself with the valor of those American patriots who stood up to their government and demanded lower taxes in the 1700's.

And on the subject of taxes, every American should sit down and kiss that IRS form each April. England, at 40% taxes after 30,000 per annum, is insane. Rivaling Australia's 40% and Russia's 35%, it makes me wonder what I am doing trying to find work in this country.

I do believe that UK has the same mentality as Australia that is to tax the hell out of anyone who tries to make anything more than just enough to get by. This of course, is completely against the American mentality that any tax is bad, and less is better.

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