In an interesting tribute to the impact of blogs, the latest issue Centre for Independent Studies magazine Policy includes a lengthy article by Sinclair Davidson, entitled Taxation with Misrepresentation (PDF), which appears to be a response to this blog post, criticising an earlier article in the same journal. If only all the posts here attracted a similar response.
At this stage, it doesn’t appear that the article adds much to the discussion that took place at the time. For example, Davidson has a lengthy defence of the morality of tax avoidance and of Garfield Barwick’s excellence as a judge, but doesn’t respond at all to the substantive point that his figures on taxable incomes are distorted by the effects of tax avoidance/minimisation/effective planning. Call it what you will, the game is about making your taxable income less than your actual income.
One interesting claim is that 60 per cent of households get more in welfare benefits (including family payments) than they pay in tax. Davidson refers to his own unpublished calculations as the basis for this claim. I’ll wait until I’ve seen a bit more detail before responding.
Anyway, as I say, it’s good to see that blogs are having an impact, at least to the point of provoking a reaction.