Tag Archives: taxes

Canadian Taxpayer Federation Nonsense and Nitpicking

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The Canadian Taxpayer Foundation launched their annual ‘Teddy Awards’ yesterday.  This is a program to nitpick and embarrass all levels of public employees.

Where’s the bloated corporate mess of the year award?  We know the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives releases their annual review of corporate salaries, but when we hear about the elaborate waste that goes on in the private sector, in many cases on the public dime?

Like Lockheed-Martin winning an untendered bid for their useless and unnecessary stealth planes bought by the Conservatives for $16 billion (and counting)?

Or the firm(s) that were behind the programming and development of Ontario eHealth, bilking taxpayers for big lunches and broken databases, all at the expense of taxpayers?

Or how about the massive pork-fest that the Cons will likely throw at Quebec for the hockey stadium?  This is good use of public money?

The beneficiaries of these free-for-all spend programs should be up against the wall and not public servants.

Harper Sales Tax (HST) Summed Up Nicely

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I was reading the letters to the editor in the Toronto Star this morning and one Dan Skrobot of Toronto succinctly and perfectly described the Harper Sales Tax [square bracket additions are mine]:

Isn’t the HST just more Conservative downloading?  Mike Harris still haunts us, but this time with the protege Jim Flaherty pulling the strings of a desperate Ontario government.  The lesson here is who gets what in this deal, and why all the pieces in the Conservative puzzle are starting to fit into place.  Harper and Flaherty first decide to buy our votes with a GST cut [of which we got no benefit except an unprecedented deficit], then a home reno tax cut [which has only served the purpose of people who can afford renovations], and billions more in stimulus spending to the point of no return in structural deficits [which has somehow translated to the largest marketing campaign for a government ever seen on this planet].  The only answer is to increase taxes, but if tax cuts equal votes, then the reverse doesn’t fir their master plan, so they turn to struggling provinces to raise the tax for them.  Harris-style mismanagement of our finances, plus a desperate Ontario willing to accept a bribe ($4.5 billion) to raise taxes means lower provincial transfers down the road, leaving more for the Conservatives to clean up their fiscal mess or buy more votes.  The brilliant part is that Harper’s ethically challenged party will be rewarded and Dalton McGuinty’s patsies will be sent packing.

I’ve said all along that the provinces should avoid anything that the Cons offer to them to make the HST work.  Why?  Because you simply can’t trust a Con that offers money.  It’s not in their DNA to give money, but to take away.

I’ve also said many times that the Harper Sales Tax will create tectonic rifts between all Liberals in the country, particularly in BC and Ontario, as they wrestle with the conundrum of rapidly rising deficits and short-term monetary offers to do the evil work of the Harper Regime.

Tax Comparisons & No More Tax Cuts – PLEASE

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Here I am, a typical middle-class dude with lots to lose and I’m begging the so-called leaders of my federal government to avoid the Harpie-like calls for tax relief for businesses and on the personal level.

Why?  Because our social infrastructure will come to a drastic and complete failure if we do.

Mel Hurtig doees comparisons of tax rates for corporations and for personal income across the globe as research for his book, The Truth About Canada .

Last week, I received a newsletter update related to one of his chapters on tax rates.

Here’s an update from the OECD. For the most recent year for which reliable statistics are available (2007), of the 30 OECD countries, Canada is 20th when you compare the total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP.

Of the 10 countries that have lower total taxes, most have miserably poor social programs e.g. Mexico, Turkey, U.S.A., Korea.

Bear in mind that since 2007 total Canadian taxes as a percentage of GDP have come down substantially.

Here is a list of countries with higher taxes than Canada, with Denmark being the highest, followed by Sweden, Belgium, France, Norway, Italy, Finland, Austria, Iceland, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, U.K., Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland.

Overall, the OECD average is about 35.9% while the figure for Canada today is estimated to be about 33%.

The reality, as Mr. Hurtig points out, is that we are no longer in need of more tax cuts just to ‘be competitive’ with other nations.  In fact, I’d argue that in order to attract quality employees and talented professionals, we need a stable and reliable social safety net that takes care of everyone in our society.

As we head into the final days without government (when we’ve needed it more than any time in our history), question the clarion call for tax cuts and understand that cutting taxes in an age when people aren’t making money is foolish and only benefits an elite few.

Supoprt new initiatives that will re-build Canada’s manufacturing base and goals that are geared towards a green economy.  Only then will our investments pay off.