Stewie Griffin: [looking at Rupert, whose leg has been sewn back on] I say, what happened to his leg? Oh wait, now I remember.
[flashback to Brian and Stewie at the kitchen table]
Brian Griffin: You are really gonna sit there with a straight face and tell me a flat tax doesn't favor the wealthy.
Stewie Griffin: Not one bit. And it saves millions of man hours that the complexity of the current tax code wastes, which you would realize if you weren't retarded.
[Brian takes Rupert, cuts off his leg, and eats it]
Stewie Griffin: Hey, give him back - stop that - what are you doing? Give me back his leg!
Brian Griffin: [smirking] Oh, you'll get it back.
Oh but it's not about favouring the wealthy, obviously, they say; it's simply a matter of clearing up the complexity of the tax codes and trying to encourage people to work harder, not penalising people for earning more. Those really complex tax codes! Phew, what a pain it is trying to understand them! I must have spent weeks trying to work out the complexity of it. And did you know there are 10 million HM Revenue employees for each tax code? That's how complex they are! That's how much money they waste! That's why we need flat taxes - nothing to do with protecting the rich's money, no sir.
These people are serious, actually saying it with a straight face, as if it's something that's genuinely beneficial to people in general, not just the wealthy few. They say: "Well of course, a flat tax system could mean the rich have more money, but then again it might not" - as if it's a matter of some debate and contention whether the rich might do well out of it or not, given the nature of the people who will be putting together the legislation - ie rich asses.
The calls are, if anything, actually growing louder now that financial meltdown seems to be upon us. Even $700billion wasn't enough to stop the jitters. Even every single European government shitting themselves and agreeing to fight the fires of extreme profligacy isn't good enough. Things are still mysteriously going wrong - and still no-one's got a bloody clue why. It's now that the clamour grows for flat taxation, to try and keep the wealthy clinging onto that unfair share. And why not? I suppose if I was a rich ass with shitloads of money who didn't give a fuck about anyone else, I'd want to cling onto it as well. That I am not doesn't mean I'm spouting the 'politics of envy' either.
But the calls keep growing. People take out adverts in newspapers. Now we're meant to get ourselves excited about a "Twenty Twenty Tax". Is that like Twenty20 cricket, is that it? Like ordinary taxation, except it's over a bit more quickly and you can bring the kids? Is that it?
There's a good way of testing people to see if they really believe in flat taxation. Say to your flat tax friend: OK, I've got a great idea. It's a flat tax for everyone. Everyone taxed at the same rate whether you're a prince or a pauper. And it's definitely going to encourage people to work really hard from a young age.
And they say: Mmm-hmm, well what is it?
And you say: Well you're not gonna like it. I mean, I know you're in favour of flat taxes, especially ones that encourage people to work harder, but you're not going to like it one bit.
And they say: Why do you say that?
And you say: Well it's just that although it's a flat tax, you're not going to like it.
And they say: Why?
And you say: Well, it's 100 per cent taxation upon death. Every single thing you own is taken away in tax. But it encourages people to work really hard when they're younger, because it takes away privilege from the rich and gives everyone a level playing field so only the most hardworking and able get the most money. It encourages entrepreneurship by forcing the most able and skilful kids to make money when they're young, and spend it before they die, thereby keeping money in circulation and in the economy rather than rotting away in banks. Oh and it doesn't favour the wealthy, unfortunately, quite the opposite, but seeing as that's not the reason why you like flat taxes so much, you won't mind, will you?
And they say: Fuck you.
And you tweak them on the nose and run off laughing.