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Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:28 pm    Post subject: The shell game being played with taxes on all of us Reply with quote

Quote:
When 'taxes' ceased to be a dirty word in politics
Tasha Kheiriddin
Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Are tax hikes no longer the third rail of Canadian politics?

The political value of keeping taxes low seems to have been replaced by the need to make taxes ‘fair’ — which, in the Liberals’ case, means raising them on groups they think won’t get public sympathy.

The Tories have been hammering the government on their proposal to raise taxes on small business owners for over a month — with no real evidence that it’s moved the polling an inch in either direction. The latest Nanos report puts the Liberals at 39 per cent, the Tories at 33, and the NDP at 15. While one Forum research poll puts the Conservatives in the lead, it’s the outlier among a host of surveys which show the Liberals consistently maintaining the pole position.

The Liberals are banking on the fact that most Canadians probably think that doctors, lawyers and business owners make enough money already, and that small business tax increases will not directly affect people who are employees and not entrepreneurs. Such increases would affect the average Canadian indirectly, of course, in the form of higher prices, lost jobs and lower government revenue, particularly if business owners decamp to more tax friendly jurisdictions, as some may already be doing.

In previous years, these taxpayers would have received more sympathy because other voters would think “today them, tomorrow me.” But that was before the Liberals became the party of the middle class, crushing taxpayer solidarity with pledges to create a tax system that is “fairer” for the middle class than for the dastardly few in the ‘one per cent’.

New research shows, however, that nothing could be further from the truth. A new study from the Fraser Institute shows that when you account for both rate cuts and tax credits eliminated under the Liberals’ watch, eight in 10 middle class families actually pay more tax than under the previous government’s rules. As Charles Lammam, one of the study’s authors, told AM640 radio in Toronto, “The federal government [has] repeated since coming into power that they’ve cut income taxes on middle class Canadians … We found that that is not true … We are looking at all the income tax changes made by the government … and when you do so it’s quite clear that middle class families are paying more income taxes as a result of all the tax changes that were made.”

Quote:
If the Tories want taxes to be a winning issue once again, they have to reframe the conversation. They have to debunk the Liberals’ ‘tax fairness’ claims and expose them for what they really are: a shell game.


Those changes include eliminating income-splitting and credits for public transit, education and textbooks, and children’s sports and arts. When those are factored in, they more than offset the tax reduction for the average middle class family, which earns between $77,000 and $108,000 a year. While those families receive a direct income tax reduction and indirect abatement of $256, they lose credits worth $1,096, for a net tax increase of $840 a year, or (ironically) about 1 per cent of their income.

And that bill will go up, thanks to more changes coming into effect next year. “This federal government has mandated that starting next year all the provinces have to have a carbon tax or some form of carbon pricing,” said Lammam. “In addition, this government has led an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan … This is going to be a significant increase in the form a payroll taxes these same middle class families pay.”

So much for ‘sticking it to the one per cent’. But the myth persists that this government cares for the middle class, and that its tax changes will hit only those who can “afford” them — the wealthy. “The Conservatives have fallen into the trap of defending a group of privileged Canadians and allowing themselves to be boxed in against the middle class,” writes conservative pundit Jaime Watt. He’s right. But that’s only because people aren’t focusing on the big picture — and crunching all the numbers.

It also doesn’t help that the biggest defender of tax cuts today is U.S. President Donald Trump — a figure the vast majority of Canadians believe is arrogant, intolerant, dangerous and indifferent to ordinary people. To many observers, Trump’s tax “reform” looks like tax cuts for the rich and corporate America, tarnishing the Republican brand on the issue, That makes it hard for conservatives in any country to beat the drum for tax cuts.

If the opposition Tories want taxes to be a winning issue once again, they have to reframe the conversation. They have to debunk the Liberals’ “tax fairness” claims and expose this tax reform as what it really is: a shell game that gives with one hand while taking away with the other. But they also have to go further, by developing their own narrative and plan. That doesn’t necessarily mean throwing out old ideas — but it does mean giving them a new twist.

For example, while income-splitting for couples would be a non-starter, income-splitting for families might not be. Both single and dual-earner households would benefit if income could be split with children, as families do in France. That would repudiate the Liberals’ argument that the previous Conservative plan wasn’t “fair” for single parents.

Another possibility would be to reframe transit credits as “commuter credits” for workers travelling long distances to their jobs: money to offset either higher gas taxes due to carbon pricing, or transit passes, depending on people’s choice of commute. That would speak particularly to rural voters affected by higher gas prices for whom transit isn’t a feasible option.

Until the Conservatives change the channel, they will not whet the appetite for tax cuts in the middle class. If middle-income Canadians continue to think that they’re getting a break from the current government, they won’t vote for one from the opposition. The Tories need to take the blinders off first — and then offer them a better way.[emphasis added]

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.
http://ipolitics.ca/2017/09/26.....-politics/


There's a lot of really good stuff in this column. It clarifies how the tax system is being manipulated to squeeze us harder to pay for ... what? Not mentioned, and beyond that, they have issued multiples of the debt that they sketched out ... so we get both squeezed and ruined at the same time.

This is where I really fault Canadian conservatism. It has too many people who stand back and let the leadership take over. Too few people grabbing for the megaphone.
The leadership is up there in the clouds, worrying about carbon policy, not even capably mobilizing the public against what threatens really them, let alone creating a counter-vision of the future, beyond the welfare state.

There seem to be no institutional levers the public can pull for force attention. It's hard to know how it could even be done. The means have to be created.

It seems to me that, right now, the party officials ought to be collaborating with community groups to publicize how the squeeze is affecting people, and connecting the dots for people. They ought to be making clear the threat involved in too much debt, ad how we lost a decade, paying that down last time. Call it public education. Use TV commercials if they have to (but there is also social media).

The point is, it is necessary to go around the mainstream media to reach people. And it is vital that people get involved. My view.


I do see a bit of it, but that was there before the new leadership took over.
cosmostein





Joined: 04 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: The shell game being played with taxes on all of us Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

This is where I really fault Canadian conservatism. It has too many people who stand back and let the leadership take over. Too few people grabbing for the megaphone.
The leadership is up there in the clouds, worrying about carbon policy, not even capably mobilizing the public against what threatens really them, let alone creating a counter-vision of the future, beyond the welfare state.

There seem to be no institutional levers the public can pull for force attention. It's hard to know how it could even be done. The means have to be created.

It seems to me that, right now, the party officials ought to be collaborating with community groups to publicize how the squeeze is affecting people, and connecting the dots for people. They ought to be making clear the threat involved in too much debt, ad how we lost a decade, paying that down last time. Call it public education. Use TV commercials if they have to (but there is also social media).


I felt like standing and applauding.

The Conservatives have sat back and allowed the Liberals to create a class war.
Its not just about the 1%, now you have them going after the 25% - 30%.

The Liberals and the New Democrats have rattled on about "fair share". Wealthy Canadians need to pay their "fair share" because someone making 50k pays 35% but a millionaire who makes his money via dividends and capital gains pays 29%!!!

Except the person making 50k paid $12,000 in taxes whereas the million dollars was $290,000 in taxes and we tend to forget how much those folks actually make up in taxes collected while we paint them as borderline criminals;

http://business.financialpost......-surprised

We have allowed for a narrative that allows for the Liberals to spend well beyond their incredibly generous means of a yearly income in excess of $280,000,000,000 yet blame their inability to balance the books or control their spending on those "not paying their fair share".

While there are certainly problems in this country that are solvable the concept that handing the government more money resolves them is about as sound of a fiscal decision as pre-spending the 7m dollars the Nigerian Prince in exile has promised you in his latest email.

For the first time in my lifetime in 2015 we had a party campaign on "unbalancing the budget" win, and win huge.

The 2017 budget called out a nearly 30b dollar deficit and only two years after the Federal Budget was balanced.

Conservatives in this country seem to be of the mindset that we will voice our opinions at the ballot box but sooner or later there has to be this push back on Government to actually make an effort to spend within its means.

$280,000,000,000 of revenue isn't exactly being hard done by and while I am sure most Canadians are content to pay their taxes for the greater good sooner or later someone has got to push back against this concept that its a revenue problem and not a spending one.
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 4273
Reputation: 242.3
votes: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The shell game being played with taxes on all of us Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:

We have allowed for a narrative that allows for the Liberals to spend well beyond their incredibly generous means of a yearly income in excess of $280,000,000,000 yet blame their inability to balance the books or control their spending on those "not paying their fair share".

While there are certainly problems in this country that are solvable the concept that handing the government more money resolves them is about as sound of a fiscal decision as pre-spending the 7m dollars the Nigerian Prince in exile has promised you in his latest email.

For the first time in my lifetime in 2015 we had a party campaign on "unbalancing the budget" win, and win huge.

The 2017 budget called out a nearly 30b dollar deficit and only two years after the Federal Budget was balanced.

Conservatives in this country seem to be of the mindset that we will voice our opinions at the ballot box but sooner or later there has to be this push back on Government to actually make an effort to spend within its means.

$280,000,000,000 of revenue isn't exactly being hard done by and while I am sure most Canadians are content to pay their taxes for the greater good sooner or later someone has got to push back against this concept that its a revenue problem and not a spending one.


All true. If we were an effective opposition -- and when I say 'we' I mean more than the party leadership -- if we were effective, this government would be low-hanging fruit. Think about it -- what are its merits?
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