Sunday, November 02, 2014

Comforting The Rich


Stephen Harper revealed his income splitting plan last week. It's classical Conservative policy. Comfort the rich, they say, and everyone else will benefit. Scott Clark and Peter Devries write:

According to the Harper government, income-splitting will cost Ottawa $2.4 billion 2014-15 and $1.9 billion in 2015-16. That’s an awful lot of revenue to give up just to make a small group of well-heeled taxpayers happy. Why do these households deserve a deep tax break more than the vast majority of Canadian taxpayer? How can the government justify a re-distribution of income that benefits the wealthy?

There is no justification whatsoever for introducing income-splitting on social or economic grounds — certainly not in the current economic environment. The argument that the government makes — that it did it for seniors and therefore it should be applied to other families — doesn’t make a particle of sense. The fact is that the Harper government gave income-splitting to seniors to make amends for its decision to tax income trusts.

Income-splitting is being done to placate a small part of the Conservative base at the expense of virtually everyone else. The rollout will be explicitly political: those households that qualify will be able to collect their tax cut when they file their 2014 tax return, just in time for the election.
It’ll be interesting to see how this tax change plays out with Canadians as they come to understand what it means to them — or rather, what it doesn’t mean. The Harper government obviously is expecting people to be disappointed, which explains their decision to sugar the pill with other tax breaks:

 Mr. Harper announced an enrichment of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), which would benefit almost 1.7 million families with children. First, the monthly benefit for a child under age six will be increased from $100 to $160. Second, under the UCCB, children aged between 6 and 17 will receive $720 per year. Enhanced payments will take effect in January 2015 and will start to show up in monthly payments in July — just before a fall election. The cost of the enhanced UCCB will be offset by the elimination of the existing child tax credit beginning in 2015.

The simple truth is that the economic policy of our "economist" prime minister doesn't -- and never did -- make a particle of economic sense. It's always been about buying votes from a narrowly targeted group of voters -- Canada's wealthiest citizens.


Rural said...

That this could seriously impact provincial tax incomes, depending upon how it is implemented, is of further concern, Owen. But as you say the timing is suspect given the election date and the 'economics' from those who are short changing every government department except the PMO spin department is, as always from this lot, even more suspect.

Owen Gray said...

The notion that there is such a thing as "the common good" is completely alien to these folks, Rural.

It's all about self interest -- narrowly defined self interest.

Anonymous said...

Harper never does anything out of the goodness of his heart. Harper only does, what benefits Harper and his resource barons. Harper thieves from us to give to, the wealthiest outfits in the world. Harper gives them $60 billion in tax reductions.

What about Harper's FIPPA deal with Communist China? What about Harper's Omnibus Bill that permits China to sue Canada if, anyone tries to block China's takeover of our Nation?

All of Harper's treachery, is good for Canada and the people? Convince me.

Owen Gray said...

His list of clients is short, Anon. And there are no ordinary folks on his list.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Welcome to Harpers world Owen. I read Michael Harris's book "A Party of One". It's a great read by the way, but it is the title of his book that captures who Harper really is. " There is no justification whatsoever for introducing income-splitting on social or economic grounds. Then why is he doing it? "Income-splitting is being done to placate a small part of the conservative base (the evangelicals) at the expense of virtually everyone else." Again "at the expense of everyone else."!! Is he not worried that by alienating 85% of the population there will be serious blowback if not immediately then in the 2015 election? If not then why not? I've given alot of thought to this and I think Harper has gone rogue. Not recently, but awhile back. He is implementing, along with his base his theocratic/dictatorial agenda.He literally wants to rule Canada by forcing the majority of Canadians to accept his and his bases beliefs. Regardless of whether he succeed at this he will still continue to implement his agenda. Canadians will just have to conform to his dictates.Income-splitting is just another tool in his arsenal used to seperate him and his base from the rest of Canadians. He knows he can't persuade us to the rightness of his beliefs so while he gives us the finger he pushes forward without our involvement or agreement with his policies on economics, legislation,trade,foreign affairs,law and order, climate change, religion,parliamentary procedure, veteran affairs etc.,etc. In every single one of these areas the policies he forces on us are without exception, anti-democratic,anti-constitutional,anti-freedom anti-thought and anti-Canadian! People have to realize that what and how he is doing this is an actual strategy to stay in power,I mean get re-elected. He's not interested in convincing non-base Canadians to vote for him, he knows they won't. In 2011 it was his base that got him his majority and he thinks he can do it again in 2015. This time though he is pulling out all the stops particularly with legislation like the "fair" elections act of which he will be able to utilize to his benefit in the 2015 election. Without having the majority of Canadians on his side he needs to set up alternate pools where votes can be gotten and where votes can be suppressed. It is the suppressing of votes that he will focus much more on,because apart from his base there are not alot of venues to find votes. Income-splitting, combat missions,negating the science of climate change, all of these policies are un-Canadian, but the man who is creating and supporting these policies is the Prime Minister of Canada! We actually have a PM whose every action is not for or with us, but actually against us! If all of these follies seem confusing to some people, I just say "do not bother to examine a folly, just ask yourself what it accomplishes." I'm glad you're back Owen.

Owen Gray said...

I read tonight that Harris' book had shot to the top of Maclean's bestseller list, Pam.

Back in the sixties, Peter C Newman wrote a book entitled "Renegade in Power." Its publication marked the beginning of the end for the Diefenbaker government. Perhaps the Harris book will have the same effect on the Harper government.

I think your analysis is on target. And I'm glad to be back.

Askingtherightquestions said...

The sociopathy of this crew is staggering, the lack of self-reflection stunning! My own MP is quoted by Althia Raj in the Huffington Post praising Harper's plan:
(O'Toole). who as a parliamentary secretary earns $180,000 a year, wrote a letter Thursday to Tory supporters praising the party's new tax cuts.

He and his wife Rebecca, and their two children, eight-year-old Mollie and three-year-old Jack, stand to gain tax breaks worth approximately $3,440 a year.

"As a father to two amazing young children, I can't tell you how excited my wife and I are about what Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today," the email states.

"You already know our Conservative record on supporting Canadian families: we've lowered taxes, put money back in your pocket, and allowed the real childcare experts – Mom and Dad – to decide how best to raise their kids," O'Toole adds. "If you have children under the age of 18, you will get significant tax relief."

What a tool! I have to think that O'Flaherty would be spinning in his grave. The great economist flubs another one Owen!

Owen Gray said...

The best thing the great economist could do for Mum or Dad -- or both -- would be to provide the option of a good paying job, Asking.

The Conservative record on that score is nothing to brag about.