Why Do We Pay Taxes? . . .Thoughts About Fixing The Code

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”–Winston Churchill

Government bodies now truly believe that they are our employers and not our employees. They can sanction us for breaking laws that we seldom have input in creating and they can send us off to war any time they think it is appropriate to do so.

The Point: I was astounded to learn that most ‘average Canadians’ pay more for taxes than we spend on food, shelter and clothing combined. Incredible but not surprising. It seems the more someone makes the less that person pays in taxes. Fifty-three per cent of us are supporting forty-six percent of those who don’t pay any taxes.

A Most Critical Time:

If I were to ask you to identify the most important issue facing us today what would you say? I would say the absolute need to, not just overhaul but create a whole new educational system to grant our children the best opportunity to be successful in the reminder of this decade and beyond. The current system is not cutting it according to many national and international business leaders.

 “America’s high schools are obsolete. Even when working exactly as designed they cannot teach our kids what they need to know in today’s world.” Bill Gates, May 2005

The point is we are spending multi millions of dollars every year to teach our children little of what they will need to know in order for the majority to compete for good paying 21st century jobs. There is a definite correlation between those who have a good relevant education and increased global and domestic peace, better heath, more prosperity and fewer mental health problems. If those who choose not to pay taxes were to pay their fair share there would be more than enough funds available to re-think and create  a new system that, in the end, would favour the non-payers five fold. Quite an investment.

Back to taxes-how many of our tax dollars go to education and in essence are being wasted? Schools are closing because there isn’t enough money or political will to revamp the system. School officials blame it on falling enrolments. More the truth: students are bored, disinterested and don’t see any financial benefit being generated using the current curriculum so they are dropping out of school. If more folks were to pay their fair share of taxes we would be more likely to spend what is needed to help us compete as a more educated work force. Production would go up revenues go up there is less of a drain on social service resources.

The Canadian system is as guilty as any at protecting the rich. The more they make the less they pay. That is not only wrong but also foolish so here is what I suggest–and I admit this is a simplistic view of the problem. I also believe that is workable and more equitable.

1. The government should stay out of owning/running a business of any kind–multi national corporations to chip wagons and ice cream trucks. They just don’t do business well.

2. We need to install a flat tax of 10-12% (10% provincially) for those making over 30K/year and a business flat tax of 15%. Everyone who can pay does pay. I understand the arguments for and against but Alberta used to have a 10% flat tax and until the government got involved and went looking for more revenue from tax payers, it seemed to work pretty well.

3. The federal/provincial governments need to stop spending money like it was theirs and they need to stop giving it away to those who will NEVER pay it back to us such as foreign countries.  Ottawa spent $6 billion in foreign aid last year – a pretty big piece of change. That’s just slightly more than the feds spend on departments of health, the environment and the Canada Food Inspection Agency combined. What we give away also costs more than the cumulative budgets of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency.

4. The feds need to be responsible for the following: a) a national transportation system; b) a national health care system-anyone remember universal health care?; c) a security force to defend our sovereignty but not outfitted to wage war on other countries in foreign lands except for our contribution to NATO; d) food inspection; e) environmental control; f) prime monitor of the banking system; g) a national justice standard for the country as a whole and international trade agreements (in consultation with the provinces).

5. The feds also need to make it illegal to store/move/ship or transport money to other banking countries for the purpose of side stepping paying the tax man in Canada. This isn’t smart it is immoral. Just ask any homeless person or a Veteran or a Native Canadian what they are thinking about it when they are continually told that perhaps THEIR needs will be addressed next year because there is no money for them this year.

6. Just think of ALL the trees that would be saved by doing away with a 3206 page Canadian Income Tax code and a US code that has over 72,000 pages in it.

We need to use our unpaid tax dollars to create and implement a new educational system for the next generation of learners. The return on that investment would be enormous.

Want change?? Don’t vote for anyone who does not want to simplify the Canadian Tax Code so that it doesn’t favour just the well off.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. All the best, Jim

Please send this along to family and friends and thanks for dropping by.

To comment or reach me please connect with me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com or check out my web site at: jimcloughley.com

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