Video: Where has Chinese taxpayers’ money gone?

April 2, 2012Jing Gao3 Comments, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The following video was made by Ming En Media and uploaded to Youku, Tudou, Sina among other sites. On Sina Weibo alone, it has had 38,032 shares and 6,635 comments. According to the uploader and many commenters, censors at both Tudou and Youku once removed the video before putting it back online.

Note: Alpaca, which appears at the end of the video, is better known to Chinese netizens as the Grass Mud Horse, a Chinese internet meme, which sounds very similar to “F**k your mother” in Chinese. Invented in 2009, it is now widely used by Chinese netizens as a way of expressing anger at censorship and lack of freedom of speech, when they greet censors with a Grass Mud Horse. 

Selected comments from Sina Weibo

二分之一戒 Good video. It’s much clearer, more visual and easier for people to understand than text.

天秤座小女子 Didn’t know it and didn’t bother to know it before. Now, I just have to know it.

无论有多难天空会再蓝 Other expenditure, let me guess, perhaps it’s for critically visiting night clubs or something like that.

叉叉纳哩 This video is so vivid. Should promote it heavily! //郭Dry: I just went to the state tax bureau to pay money to the state. I even had to put up with the badass attitude of those civil servants. Civil servants and officials are always living in a different universe than the ordinary people. We work our ass off in order for you to lead a comfortable and well-fed life, and we have to suck you up in the end?!

錢寳葉stellina002 Damn, they use taxpayers’ money to eat, drink, whore and gamble…and they don’t even have to have consent from those who pay for it!

Mr-大黄 As the saying goes, a man who does not work hard in his youth will be stuck in the mainland for the rest of his life. (Note: the original Chinese proverb is, ‘A man who does not work hard in his youth will be grieved when he grows old.’) Just for a few more years and emigrate!

先森怕冷求暖床 They even ‘harmonized’ the video. I guess this Budget Law thing will be botched… Or even if it manages to survive, there must be a catch. //@李木又名李坚强:  I support truthful voices.

我不是阿西 This video is back online again. Everybody, just watch it first. It may be killed later!

陈罗福 Anyone who has made a purchase is a taxpayer. Those who benefited are the motherf**king civil servants!

朱大懒 I strongly recommend this! I didn’t realize how sad it is to live in China until I watched this! Democracy? Not something our generation can have a taste of.

防城港阳光网 Bump Ming En. Whichever video streaming site that “harmonizes” it must be a lapdog of corrupt officials!

nana8686m: Chinese citizens, look over here.

Epinoia:Where has taxpayers’ money gone? Hong Kong people have probably seen it clearly: gold is bought kilos after kilos. Louis Vuitton bags are shipped home in trucks. Even prices of luxury homes are jacked up in one area after another. No one is afraid of unclean money. They are just afraid of not being able to clean out the money. Chinese can really pride themselves on their ability to hemorrhage money as occasion requires.

罗老师的一些事一些情:Damn taxpayers. They are even more powerless than those bile bears.

许愿吧Chris:Okay, now I know it. Then what?? Hate myself for not being a civil servant and nor being able to spend taxpayers’ money~~~

Transcript of the video:

Is year 2012 the end of the world? We will know about it very soon…Before that, as long as the earth is still spinning, you, have to pay tax.

Tax revenue and other non-tax income are collectively called fiscal revenue. And money has to be spent, right? Then do you have any idea WHERE taxpayers’ money has gone?

“I need to build houses.” “I need to build roads.” “I need to buy cars.” “I need mistresses.” “I…need ‘em all!” -_-|| Don’t worry. There must be some plan for spending money. The formal name of such a plan is “Budget Plan.”

In Chicago, USA, the government needs 7 months to draw up its budget for the next year. Besides, it has to be put to the test by various public hearings. The budget deal can’t be reached?! Government shutdown! This is so not harmonious! The budget plan made public by Chicago’s government runs as many as 600 pages. Anyone can find it on the Web, through media or paperwork.

In China, we also need about half a year to draw up the budget for… the current year…And the budget plan in print hardly runs more than 20 pages, and it always passes muster…

In many countries, a government budget can be visually seen. Moreover, each year, each taxpayer receives from the tax department a list detailing what the taxpayer’s money is used for and how much, rounded to the nearest 100th. How considerate the service is! But here, in our country, taxpayers and their money are in two different universes. So, if you also sit at home, expecting a tax list delivered to you… “Time to take mental health medications~ Dear~”

In 2010, government expenses of our country approached 9 trillion RMB (1.33 trillion USD), 1.6 trillion RMB (237 billion USD) of which was the central government’s spending. It fell into 25 categories. However, the most heart-rending part is…Category 26: “Three Public Expenditures,” which are the legendary…food and entertainment, overseas trips and vehicles purchases on the government’s dime. In 2011, 95 out of the 98 central government agencies disclosed their “Three Public Expenditures” of the previous year. The total amount was 9.47 billion RMB (1.4 billion USD). State Administration of Taxation, which reported the biggest “3 publics” figure among them all, spent 2,214 times as much as State Bureau for Petitions did, which placed at the bottom.

The expense for food and entertainment of Red Cross China was only 150,000 RMB (22,230 USD). They did spend 10,000 RMB on a single meal (News here). So the money was merely enough for 2 weeks! What did they have for the other 50 weeks?

In 2010, the local governments at all levels spent about 7.3 trillion RMB (1.08 trillion USD). It fell into 23 categories. The biggest among them was spending on education, 1.2 trillion RMB, representing a 721 percent increase over year 2000. However, what is really puzzling is, in this decade, the number of elementary schools in rural China dropped almost by half. They even ousted 448,000 substitute teachers during this time.

In many places, government buildings become their landmarks. How magnificent, imposing and sumptuous they are! The government office building of a certain county takes up 40,000 sqm (9.88 acres, or 430,556 sq ft), which is equal to the land area of 8 White Houses, and have enough office space for 2,180 county heads. But such an expense is categorized as “general public service.” Then, how much is the “Three Public Expenditures” of local governments?


According to stats, in 2004, China’s administrative expenditure was 1.2 trillion RMB. The figures for other years remain a secret. Providing all primary and secondary schools with school buses costs 460 billion RMB. Providing universal free health care costs 160 billion RMB. How great it would be if all money were spent on these! “Time to take your meds again…Dear~”

The end of each year marks the season for discounts, Christmas, and time to rush spending as well. Suppose a work unit had a budget of 1 million RMB last year, and spent only 800,000 this year, then all the 200,000 saved at year-end will have to be handed over to the state, and the budget for the next year will be cut to 800,000. That’s why each year there’s the important year-end task of rushing spending. As for how to rush it…Ahem~Sorry, it’s a secret.

The good news is, a draft revision to the Budget Law has been passed by the State Council and will be handed over to the National People’s Congress for review.

Wait a sec, under “expenditure” of the budget, there’s a category called “Other,” which amounted to 270 billion RMB (40 billion USD). What the heck is this “Other expenditure?”

[Children's song]
I just won’t tell you!~ *3

[This video is dedicated to you, me, and them, who have the right to know and supervise, and yet are nothing but frogs in a well with limited view.]

[All the statistics come from the Web, the media and China Statistical Yearbook. For reference only.]

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3 comments to “Video: Where has Chinese taxpayers’ money gone?”

  1. Blacksoth | March 14, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Kudo’s to Sina Weibo for not resorting to a knee jerk reaction (like the others) and supporting an attempt to educate. How can things improve if people aren’t even allowed to talk about it?

  2. Nick | March 14, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Great translation work! Thanks MOT

  3. kaz | March 17, 2012 | Permalink Reply


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