The Conservative "Family Tax Cut" is straight out of the fifties. Linda McQuaig considers three families, each earning a total $100,000 in income:
Imagine three families, all raising kids, all with total household incomes of $100,000.
In the first household, the breadwinner is a single mother. Her benefit from the Family Tax Cut: zero.
The second consists of two working spouses, each earning $50,000. Their benefit from the Family Tax Cut: zero.
The third consists of a man earning $100,000 with a stay-at-home wife. Their benefit from the Family Tax Cut: Bingo! They get $2,000.
Incomes are equal, but benefits are not. What's the difference?
By what stretch of logic could that be considered fair? Are the other two families not “hardworking” enough? Does the Harper government consider them defective in some way?
Their only flaw, in terms of qualifying for this tax break, is that they’re not the kind of traditional family that Stephen Harper and his base clearly prefer.
Income-splitting also would reinforce the dominant role of men in relationships. The income-splitting itself is for tax purposes only. There’s no actual transfer of money to the lower income spouse (typically the woman), so it will do nothing to increase her autonomy or bargaining power within the relationship.
Harper's economic policy is straight out of the 19th century. His "family policy" is straight out of the middle of the last century. His view of the future only stretches as far as the next election.
And they say he's a smart man.