Monday, June 02, 2014

The Quality Of Mercy

Last week the Harper Spin Machine trumpeted the message that the present government has saved Canadians and their corporations $43 billion in taxes. That accomplishment was presented as if it was one of the Corporal Works of Mercy. And the opposition parties seemed to agree that, indeed, Canadians have been blessed. Murray Dobbin writes:

There was no critical comment from any of the national political parties. For so many years now, the conversation has been like one-hand clapping. Anti-government voices like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the National Post, the Fraser Institute and C.D. Howe Institute and the editorial writers in virtually every newspaper in the country repeat the mantra that tax cuts are good to the point where there is apparently no level of government impoverishment that is unacceptable.

Perhaps, he suggests, Canadians should know what could have been done with that money:

The folks at Press Progress did some of the work on such a list, allocating $43 billion in additional revenue annually.
Balance the budget: $2.9 billion
Pay down debt: $10 billion
Urban infrastructure and public transit: $9.5 billion
National child-care program: $2 billion
National pharmacare program: $3.8 billion
Reduce university tuition to 1992 levels: $3 billion
Invest in affordable housing: $1.5 billion
Invest in First Nations communities, water supply and education: $2.2 billion
Invest in long-term health care for seniors: $5.6 billion
And, say the authors, we would have enough left over to buy a Welsh pony for every child under the age of nine (cost: $2.5 billion).

It's all about the quality of mercy, not mania.


The Mound of Sound said...

There is a beneficial result from tax cuts if they're targeted to specific objectives and benefits. The very same holds true for trade regulation and tariffs. Yet we don't employ these as tools of administration any more. They are, instead, rather clumsy instruments of often puerile ideologies of the sort for which our prime minister is so fond. Perhaps it's the natural condition of the faith-based mind.

Toby said...

"There was no critical comment from any of the national political parties."

Why? Do the geniuses in charge of the opposition parties truly believe that Canadians would not understand the issue?

Owen Gray said...

They're afraid that there are no votes in insisting that everyone pay their fair share, Toby.

They believe that the road to power is paved with taxes cuts.

Owen Gray said...

This is what happens when a flawed social science -- like economics -- crosses over into theology, Mound.

ffd said...

I wonder what the mean-minded citizens who object to paying taxes plan to do when the aging population starts to develop health problems and dementia. This is something likely to affect almost all families, including those of the tax avoiders, so a little advance preparation would save a lot of misery.

Maybe they think the police should just put all the dementia types in jail. Jail does seem to be the mental health program of choice in Canada. There was a recent case of the cops tasering a wandering eighty-year-old woman with dementia. She fell and broke her hip.

Owen Gray said...

I remember that story, ffd. I also remember that, when Jim Flaherty was running for the leadership of Ontario's Tories, he suggested that the solution to homelessness was to jail the homeless.

These folks are the soul of compassion.

mogs moglio said...

Nice try Mr. Prime Minister we now all know your crutch is greed.

Feed the poor as Jesus did by not taxing the rich so we can help the poor?

You are an economist but that has proven to be a dead end alley where the rich vagrants on wall street and bay street fleece the rest of humanity with clubs full of stolen and illegal cash.

Norway proves to me Steven that you and your policies are medieval.

Peter Lougheed had it right if the rich are to prosper they must help the rest. He was called a "Red" tory because he stood up to the greed of big oil. Now Alberta is drowning in debt and the oil companies that are destroying Alberta's natural beauty are competing for First Place on FORBES 500.

That is only because as you Stephen the successive governments of Alberta are in the back pockets of big oil and wealth and refuse to levy taxes.

Norway modeled its 'royalty' system on Premier Peters philosophy and look at the difference and result they look after the poor and the rich are not fleeing. They are as Peter was more gracious than the "Con-partying vagrants of Ottawa today.

Owen Gray said...

Lougheed believed that an economy prospered when the wealth was spread around, Mogs.

Norway adopted Lougheed's policy for dealing with oil revenues.

Who was the smarter Albertan?

Anonymous said...

Harper is regressing Canada, back to the Feudal Age. To do so, Harper has to dumb Canadians down. Harper only wants two incomes in Canada, the very wealthy and the very poor. So, Harper must get rid of the Unions. They keep wages much too high for Harper and his corporations. The poor will be the corporations huge cheap labor pool.

Corporations are, bottomless pits of greed. They demand cheap labor. Harper brings foreigners over for, big business to exploit. Whenever the corporations line up at the trough and squeal for more money? Harper gives them another, $60 billion in tax reductions. Harper takes from us to give to, the wealthiest outfits in the world.

Canada used to lead in, technology, inventions, medical breakthroughs, science and many other areas of expertise.

Canada Dehura International. Former Chinese government official.
Oct 18/2012

My son is an, Electronic Engineering Technologist. He also has his Bachelor of Science. I told him he should apply overseas, as many of his buddies are doing.

Saying there is a shortage of labor, is a lie and a crock.

Owen Gray said...

It's truly sad, Anon, when our children have to go overseas to find work.