Raise Our Taxes Please

PhotoAs counterintuitive as it may seem, we, in Canada and especially here in B.C., are under taxed.

We don’t pay enough taxes to support the basic public services we require.

We’ve been sold a lot of things over the years: the world is flat, smoking is good for you, climate change is a hoax, and other demonstrably ridiculous ideas,but one of the most diabolical of silly theories is the one we’ve been sold for years, that:

“Tax increases cause us to have less money, and tax cuts allow us to have more money.”

 Most of us believe this is true. It isn’t. Actually, the opposite is true. Tax cuts are invariably flat and thus benefit the wealthy.

The 25% tax cut by Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal government in 2001 was a gift to the wealthy – let’s see, 25% of 2 million per year or 25% of $30,000 per year – who benefits more from this tax cut?

In addition, the less tax we pay, the more government revenues must be coaxed out of “flat” sources – sources where we all pay the same, regardless of income or wealth. User fees, tolls, casino revenues, medical premiums, license fees, and other flat strategies have replaced taxation as the source of government revenue.

And what do all these sources have in common? They’re flat – the poor pay the same as the wealthy.

The aggregate of what we pay these sources amounts to far more than what we’d pay under  a sensible, transparent, progressive tax system.

Interest groups, right wing think tanks,and the Canadian  Taxpayers Association constantly tell us we’re overtaxed. The reason they continuously rant against any tax increase is because taxation of income and/or wealth is the only source of government revenue that can be made progressive if we so choose.

Progressive taxation affects the wealthy instead of just squeezing money from the average citizen.

Our own B.C. government are masters of the flat revenue funding sources. While proudly insisting they haven’t raised taxes, our provincial government scoops 1.2 billion from gambling revenues, 862 million from the L.C.B, 480 million from ICBC, 1.23 billion from B.C. Hydro and 1.61 million in bridge tolls.

When these entities raise their rates, we all pay more each year – and we all pay the same. Jim Pattison or minimum wage renter, we pay the same ICBC increase, Hydro and ferry increase, the same tolls, MSP rates, license fee increases, and more.

We have been carefully taught to direct our frustration with our constantly diminished purchasing power on high taxes and public overspending. We take up the chant that we’re taxed too much and couldn’t possibly pay any more.

But we’re not overtaxed; we’re crippled by fee increases and taxation replacements.

If our government(s) would spend less time inventing ways to scoop flat rate revenue from us all and instead establish a fair, transparent, and progressive tax system, we would all benefit- and ordinary people would pay less.

So…it’s not unreasonable for us to actually clamber for higher taxes, instead of resisting them and paying more.

About jimnelson806

Educational consultant from Port Moody. "The Stuff Isn't What's Important" " School Wide Discipline Programmes Don't Work" " Vice Principals are crucial towards setting direction"
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3 Responses to Raise Our Taxes Please

  1. Geoff McElgunn says:

    Hard to argue with your logic. The fees are killing us, chipping away like death from a thousand cuts. Pretty sure our friends in Victoria (and in Ottawa) have plenty of our money, but they continue to make poor choices on spending it. Paying legal fees for Liberal miscreants is just one example. The Translink debacle is another. Oh, wait, that’s those pesky mayors, not the responsibility of the Province! Remember when the buses were run by BC Hydro? Great system, but I guess it just won’t work when Hydro is being raped annually by Victoria. How about the property transfer tax? Carbon Tax? Where is that money! What a system!

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  2. jimnelson806 says:

    Hi Geoff;
    Yeah, you’re right. It all starts with convincing us that it’s high taxes that make it hard for us to “make ends meet”. The old “you know better how to spend your money than the guvm’nt does.” argument.

    Once we’re pathologically resistant to any taxes, the wealthy can be assured that they won’t have to pay progressively more. Once taxing people in a fair and transparent way is off the table, we can suggest user fees, road pricing, tolls, and all the flat stuff we now have to replace progressive taxation.

    This strategy also allows us to blame spending on public services for the lack of gov’t revenue, again keeping the focus off reasonable taxation.

    Calling a revenue problem a spending problem is an effective strategy as is its corollary – ridiculing government as wasteful, lying, and lazy.

    Add testimonials about the virtue and creativity of the private sector and especially the heroes of the western world “small business” ,and you’ve got the B.C. electorate – , tax averse, government hating, business worshipping,public service blaming, people who insist on voting vote against their own interests.

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  3. Marg Nelson says:

    I agree. “N o tax hikes” has become a mantra. We’ve been brainwashed to think they’re always bad, when actually they’re necessary to provide services. Health care is strangling from lack of funds because governments won’t raise taxes to pay for it. How crazy is that?

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