From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Monday, March 18, 2013

Some Simple Math

With the budget sorry, Economic Action Plan 2013 due to be introduced this week it may be time to ponder a few numbers.

The GST cut 12 - 13 billion dollars annually: A tax cut that went against the advice of nearly every credible economist in the land, however Harper chose instead to listen only to the least credible one, himself

Corporate tax cuts  valued at an approximate 60 billion annually: Perhaps Harper's most proud accomplishment, designed we are told ad nauseum to create investment and jobs. Sadly tis not so, what with corporations sitting on some 600 billion in cash reserves, refusing to invest in the economy or create jobs, well at least jobs for Canadians anyways.

Boutique tax credits worth more than 100 billion dollars annually:  These are the Harper government's favourite form of vote buying.Targeted mainly at middle class suburban voters, 50 dollars here, a hundred there as you see can add up to a huge sum. While some of these may be useful many are not and are in fact quite regressive in that  they are available only to those with the means to take advantage, the poor need not apply.

Federal budget deficit currently at an estimated 26 - 28 billion dollars: Something Harper and Flaherty have steadfastly promised to wipe out by 2015, the year of the next election. This is vital to the Conservatives as they have tied their most wildly expensive boutique tax expenditure ( Income Splitting) to it's elimination. No way will they go into the next election not having delivered on this promise

The Conservatives have ruled out raising taxes as a tool for deficit cutting choosing only to focus on service and job cuts to achieve their goal, yet looking at these numbers it is apparent that the raising of taxes and the elimination of some of these boutique credits is the way to go, not only to eliminate the deficit but to raise funds for investment in the economy, you know things like education and infrastructure, stuff that actually grows the economy and creates jobs.

But then that doesn't fit into the plan to shrink government to the point it becomes entirely irrelevant to Canadians, eliminating the last vestige of resistance to the outright privatization of government itself.


  1. Perhaps one of the most insidious yet successful propaganda elements of the far right, Kev, is to convince people that public expenditures on infrastructure, education, and other services that enhance our quality of life are somehow 'drains' on the treasury, not investments in our present and future.

  2. While I agree that all the other things noted are terrible policies, and while I agree that in the situation the federal government is in now cutting revenues is just generally a bad idea, the GST thing in and of itself doesn't bother me.
    If a government were to cut the GST and replace the revenue with more progressive income tax, higher corporate tax and significant taxation of upper-income estates, I'd be quite happy. The GST is regressive. Right wing economists like it because it's in some manner free-market-ish, doesn't distort their idea of market incentives much so it's "efficient". These same dudes probably favour flat income taxes; to hell with them.
    The problem with the Cons is that they cut the GST just to get a few votes and because they like getting rid of revenue so they can be "forced" to cut useful programs.

    1. We are in complete agreement I only included the GST cut in order to highlight the forgone revenue