Friday, January 11, 2008

text tax

Something must be basically wrong with a ruling government that looks upon the citizens as its servants if not downright slaves, that considers them as one big fat milking cow for its own selfish profit and advantage. It is not enough that the people are by and large poor, with millions of them leaving their dear families to find work abroad while thousands of families migrate to other countries for a hopeful future. It is neither enough that the same administration drives away lowly vendors and demolish their make-shift houses after elections—not before less votes were lost to its loyal political candidates. Most of all, much less it is enough that the same supposedly public servants by and large serve the general public only by glorious statistics and glowing developmental projections. Never mind the inconvenient fact. Never mind the living reality in the ground.

It will be good to make certain realities definite and defined: When, this and that national or local public official "gives", "grants" and or "donates" something—like housing, livelihood, scholarship programs, inclusive of bridges, roads, water pumps even and other allegedly "Project of" or “Courtesy of" someone's office—all these customary favorite terms and phrases are just that—words, words and more words. The solid reality is that the money for any and all public works comes from the people—categorically not from the pockets of the public officials concerned.

The standing fact is that more often than not, these characters even make money for themselves from such "official" acts through the infamous "SOP" practically observed all over the land. In short, most public officials do not give, grant or much less donate. Instead, they get, they receive, they keep—as a matter of course. This is the premise of the saying made famous by a well known past President of the country: When a public official is poor, he or she is a downright fool.

Taxes—not only direct taxes but also vat e-vat, r-vat or whatever—these are the money making schemes continuously eyed, desired and pursued by this administration with preferential attention and affection. And as if all those taxes were not enough, lately someone even brought out the brilliant idea of a "t-vat" , i.e., taxing even one and all text messages sent by kids and adults alike! Thus it seems that those in this government have it deeply engraved in its psyche that taxing people as much as possible—the poorest of the poor included—is the best principle. So what if they barely have some money to buy their food, with no more money left to buy their needed medicines. So what if the people were given but token public welfare services provided these promote the narrow self-serving political interests.

In other words, the present government is so eager, ready and willing to impose more and more taxes on the already impoverished people. Yet, it is so reluctant, unwilling and adverse in but lowering the already long existing heavy taxations. This is exactly the case of the reported miserable 1% tariff reduction on fuel. And the catch is what the government loses by the miserable reduction, it intends to get back much from the citizens precisely through the t-tax.

O.V.CRUZ, DD
11 January 2008