"Tax cuts impact quality of life: [CCPA] study"

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toddsschneider
"Tax cuts impact quality of life: [CCPA] study"

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/04/14/tax-study.html

Tax cuts could diminish the standard of living for the vast majority of Canadians who enjoy the public services that they fund, according to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released on Wednesday.

The majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because of the public services their taxes fund, the study argues.

According to the report, Canada's Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending, the cost of the public services that a typical Canadian household uses annually is the equivalent of about 50 per cent of its annual income ...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The Conservative regime is hell bent on reducing taxes - without ever considering the consequences. Or so it seems. Maybe they're determined to make life harder for those at the lowest socioeconomic levels by forcing funding shortfalls of essential services as a result of much less income from taxes on the rich and middle classes.

thorin_bane

How about lower taxes means they have to cut services. Simple. Except of course policing and the military....oh yeah and bank and oil company underwriting. So happy to see sach and goldman had record profits. They sure needed those billions!

Doug

Still, a tax cut looks good when your salary hasn't increased all that much in the last years. That's the appeal.

thorin_bane

The problem is most won't even notice. To peoples credit, they said they would rather put it into public services. I was happy with that. People are starting to realize that public service doesn't mean wasteful. Unlike the rightwing mantra that we get daily saying otherwise. When you watch the waste of the banking sector it makes it hard to feel sympathy for them.

This morning that jerk Hlinka was on  talking about how a lawyer firm in new york is a offering their employees the year off with 100,000 paid instead of their usual 240,000 salary(average wage(wage???) at the firm). Time in the sun instead of 16 hours a day 6 days a week, I don't know how many lawyers hlinka knows but they work less than bankers and have their legal secretaries do all the work anyway. In addition, if they have layoffs, those that took the year leave will have immunity(I think they watch too much survivor) But as Hlinka points out..how many of us could survive on 1/3 of our salary.

Yeah because when you go from 24,000 to 10,000 it's the same as 240,000 to 100,000  Undecided. Because as we all know food cost 10X as much when you are wealthy.(Not a bad idea)

ottawaobserver

By the way, I think that idea for a study by the CCPA was really great.  Good creative thinking on their party.

Unionist

Yeah, except that the MSM rarely fail to append the "left-leaning" adjective in order to marginalize the CCPA.

I wonder why, when mentioning all the other think tanks, they forget to say: "right-toppling".

 

A_J

Unionist wrote:
Yeah, except that the MSM rarely fail to append the "left-leaning" adjective in order to marginalize the CCPA.

I wonder why, when mentioning all the other think tanks, they forget to say: "right-toppling".

I guess this would be one of those "rare" ocassions (but you'd know that already, having carefully read the article before posting). "Left" (or any other descriptor for the CCPA) is nowhere to be found in the article.

 

At the same time: CBC's references to the Fraser Institute:

The Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank . . .

. . . Mike Harris is joining a right-wing think-tank.  The Fraser Institute . . .

The Fraser Institute . . . generally considered to be right-of-centre.

. . . the Fraser Institute, a right-wing think tank.

The conservative think-tank based in Vancouver . . .

The only times the CCPA was ever qualified in any way (that I could find) at the CBC:

. . . Ottawa-based research institute that calls itself one of Canada's leading progressive voices . . .

. . . Centre for Policy Alternatives, which bills itself as an independent, non-partisan research institute.

 

Your complaints may hold up elsewhere, but not at all when directed against the CBC or this particular article.

Unionist

A_J wrote:

 

The only times the CCPA was ever qualified in any way (that I could find) at the CBC:

. . . Ottawa-based research institute that calls itself one of Canada's leading progressive voices . . .

. . . Centre for Policy Alternatives, which bills itself as an independent, non-partisan research institute.

 

Your complaints may hold up elsewhere, but not at all when directed against the CBC or this particular article.

These are all from different CBC stories over recent years:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/17/obama-visit-ccpa.html][=r... Canadian government is depending too much on U.S. economic stimulus measures to tackle the recession, a left-leaning policy think-tank ...[/][/url]

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2007/03/16/prebudget.html] Left-leaning group predicts surplus will be halved[/url]

[url=...People">http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/12/06/tax-policyalternatives.html][c... who live in countries with higher taxes enjoy lower rates of poverty, have more equal income distribution, more economic security for workers and can expect to live longer, suggests a new study from a left-leaning think tank ... [/url]

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/06/11/militaryspending.html] The report by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found more than $16 billion in major military equipment contracts had a "limited tendering process."[/url]

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/01/20/f-canada-us.html]Bruce Campbell, executive director at the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in Ottawa.[/url] (this one is particularly hilarious - it also quotes "Thomas d'Aquino, the head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives" - no right-left issue there LOL!)

[url=The">http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2001/01/10/school_report010110.html][colo... Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left-leaning think-tank plans to unveil its second annual report card on Canadian universities today in Ottawa. [/url]

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/features/MBbudget2005/taxes.html]Ian Hudson, spokesperson for the left-leaning think tank[/url]

[url=An">http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/01/01/executive-compensation.html][co... analysis by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concludes the country's richest corporate executives will have pocketed an average of $40,237 by 9:04 a.m. Friday morning. [/url]

Ok, I'm tired. By the way, Google is your friend.

 

A_J

Not only is it my friend, but evidentaly Google is much better than the CBC's own search function.

Still hard to see some "MSM" conspiracy afoot, seeing how the Fraser Insitute is hit with equivalent (or stronger) qualifiers.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The Fraser Institute has been one of - if not - THE leading institution(s) promoting market idolatry in Canada. It's been that way since before the atrocities that the Social Credit regime of 1983 introduced - atrocities that were later denounced by UN institutions as violating basic human rights in British Columbia - and ever since. They USED to admit their bias on their website - that their fundamentalist mantra is as I have outlined - but the last time I checked it seemed to have been removed. Imagine that. 

Unionist

A_J wrote:

Not only is it my friend, but evidentaly Google is much better than the CBC's own search function.

The CBC needs more than a search function. It needs a search and rescue function.

Quote:
Still hard to see some "MSM" conspiracy afoot, seeing how the Fraser Insitute is hit with equivalent (or stronger) qualifiers.

It's not a conspiracy. It's just their nature.

 

Fidel

I laughed when someone referred to the Fraser Institute as the right-wing Vancouver make believe think tank. 25 or 30 years ago, that bunch and the CD Howe Institute were considered special interest groups with little influence in Ottawa. Then all of a sudden they were bending the ears of government members in Ottawa and those in the senate.

leafy_leftist84

It's interesting that even Jack has accepted the neo-liberal aversion to taxes. Ignatieff raised the issue of a tax increase to tackle a possible structural deficit and Jack said:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090415.wtax0416/BNS...

NDP Leader Jack Layton said the way to deal with the deficit is to invest in education and innovation. A more educated work force will build the economy, he said, and increase revenues for the government.

“I saw it as an old approach rather than the new thinking that we need,” Mr. Layton said.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/04/15/ignatieff-taxes015.html

NDP Leader Jack Layton also piled on, saying tax hikes would be "the wrong approach" to eliminating deficits.

In an interview, Layton said a better approach would be to invest in things like energy efficiency and green bonds, investments that will generate the jobs of the future, spark economic growth and fill federal coffers without hiking taxes.

A structural deficit occurs when the government is always spending more than it collects and given the Liberal-era and Conservative tax cuts and Tax-free savings account, the feds are already losing millions of $ in revenue. There needs to be room for a tax increase (on personal income of over $80,000, returning the corporate income tax rate to 1990 levels etc). It's questionable whether a green stimulus alone will suffice in compensating for the missing revenue.

The more important issue: why are NDPers not questioning the leader for this neo-liberal thrend in the NDP, which seems to be increasingly pronounced under Jack?

 

Unionist

leafy_leftist84 wrote:

The more important issue: why are NDPers not questioning the leader for this neo-liberal thrend in the NDP, which seems to be increasingly pronounced under Jack?

Because it's [url=old">http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051205/layton_elex... hat by now[/url]. We condemned this trend here, and elsewhere, when Layton made it a centrepiece of his neo-liberal election campaign in 2005-6. But some in the NDP (including some on this very board) think that Canadians are stupid or desperate or incorrigibly brainwashed by Libs and Cons, so we might as well join the bandwagon.

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Paul Summerville was a huge mistake, and I was part of it. I'm in the St. Paul's riding where he ran, and voted for him as a candidate when he was nominated. It wasn't a tough decision. There was no serious alternative with a chance of being elected in the riding. He had solid credentials, and said the right things when he spoke - right up until he won the nomination. In his 'victory' speech, I heard him speak those cringeworthy words for the first time: that "we need to grow the economic pie".

I hoped that this was an off-the-cuff misspeak, but I was wrong. And I had not realized the kind of profile he would quickly gain both publicly and within the party.

And sadly, even after his defection, Jack Layton seems to echo the trite and meaningless slogans he brought to the NDP.

Unionist

They follow the tested military principle: "The best offence is to be inoffensive."

 

Aristotleded24

leafy_leftist84 wrote:
A structural deficit occurs when the government is always spending more than it collects and given the Liberal-era and Conservative tax cuts and Tax-free savings account, the feds are already losing millions of $ in revenue. There needs to be room for a tax increase (on personal income of over $80,000, returning the corporate income tax rate to 1990 levels etc). It's questionable whether a green stimulus alone will suffice in compensating for the missing revenue.

The more important issue: why are NDPers not questioning the leader for this neo-liberal thrend in the NDP, which seems to be increasingly pronounced under Jack?

I think that strategy could have been defended on the grounds of framing the debate in terms of tax cuts/public services, and that it was a step towards moving the debate back towards how do we fund public services.

Having said that, I agree that now is the time to start talking about making wealthy people pay their fair share of taxes. Hell, since the NDP seems to think Obama's the greatest thing since sliced bread, they should take a pledge out of his playbook. Obama campaigned on making the rich pay and it worked, and he's not even that far left. If Obama can do it, surely the NDP could as well?

Chester Drawers

"There needs to be room for a tax increase (on personal income of over $80,000,"

You must be joking, right? I work my ass off to make more than $80,000 a year and you want to take more away from me. What is the incentive to earn income if those that earn it have it taken away? That concept is foriegn to me. I bust my ass for 50 - 60 hours a week and because you feel that it is wrong for some one to earn that for his hard work. No wonder the left is seen as fringe in the eyes of millions of Canadians. Why should I pay more in total percentage than someone who earns $60,000 or $70,000? How does dumbing down income benefit society?  $35 hour CAW member earns average of $71,000 a year and how much more in benefits and pension contributions, while some one like me has no benefits or pension is required to pay more in total tax, ROTFLMFAO  

BTW nothing was given to me, I came from a modest family whose father had a strong work ethic and you want to penalize me for my hard work.  I just can not understand that train of thought.  How much more tax should I pay?  It appears in your eyes a 100% of what I earn should go as tax.

Aristotleded24

Chester Drawers wrote:
BTW nothing was given to me, I came from a modest family whose father had a strong work ethic and you want to penalize me for my hard work.

The mythology of the rewards coming from being a hard-working Canadian. I'll take you at your word that you work hard (depending how "hard work" is defined) but the reality is that people work with varying degrees of hardness to receive varying degrees of reward. One does not necessarily flow from the other.

By the way, are you sure that nothing was "given" to you? I guess you've never seen a doctor in your life?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Why the need to shout, Chester?

Is it because you know you don't deserve that $80k+?

Because in my opinion, if you're working 60 hours a week to make it, you're taking half a job off the market that someone else could use - and giving your employers an exhausted, half-assed effort for their money, 9 times out of ten.

Chester Drawers

I'm self employed and accountable only to me.

By the way, are you sure that nothing was "given" to you? I guess you've never seen a doctor in your life? Not sure about the context of this statement as it makes no sense. Everyone is treated the same under our system no matter what the income level. Everyone shares the cost disproportionally no matter the services rendered and I have no problem with that. But arbitrarily stating that the rich (someone making $80,000 or more) should pay through the nose is a disinsentive to growth. There is a story about this. I will post it. Interesting fun I think.

Chester Drawers

 

Part 1

 

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. 

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: 

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1...

The sixth would pay $3...

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. 
 

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men - the paying customers?  How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' 

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. 

Chester Drawers

Part 2 

 

But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. 

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. 

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3  (33%savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before.  And the first four continued to drink for free.  But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," (5% discount) declared the sixth man.
 

He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10 out of the $20" (50% discount) 

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.  It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" 

Chester Drawers

Part 3 The End

 

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two?  The wealthy get all the breaks!" 

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" 

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! 

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works.  The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas.

Aristotleded24

Chester Drawers wrote:
By the way, are you sure that nothing was "given" to you? I guess you've never seen a doctor in your life? Not sure about the context of this statement as it makes no sense.

My point was that there are a variety of programs, subsidies, circumstances etc that influence success of a person, so for anyone to claim they are "self-made" is not true.

Chester Drawers wrote:
But arbitrarily stating that the rich (someone making $80,000 or more) should pay through the nose is a disinsentive to growth.

Fair enough, we can disagree about the specific threshold. For example, you can set the threshold at $100 000. Now, you might say that person is being "punished." But even if you assume that this person pays half the income in taxes, that person has $50 000 to play around with afterwards. Not bad, and that's more than what many people make before taxes.

As for disincentive to growth, the post-war boom, from the 40s to the 70s were also when taxes were much higher than they are now and targeted towards the upper income distribution. We've been cutting taxes since the 80s, and our economies are still struggling.

Chester Drawers

Aristotleded24

 

"Fair enough, we can disagree about the specific threshold. For example, you can set the threshold at $100 000. Now, you might say that person is being "punished." But even if you assume that this person pays half the income in taxes, that person has $50 000 to play around with afterwards. Not bad, and that's more than what many people make before taxes." Do you feel that this would be fair. I advocate a flat tax system where the personal exemption is equivalent to the poverty line, 18,000 individual and 30,000 for a family of 4 as per government stats. No one should pay tax on subsistant incomes and a flat tax does cause higher income earners to pay a higher percentage on their total income. The numbers I have seen is roughly a 25% federal flat tax and 15% provincial rate. So if we assume a combined income on a family of 4 who earned $40,000 their total tax bill would be only $4,000 (10%). Where the same family who earned a combined income of say $100,000 would have a $28,000 tax bill (28%). A $200,000 family would be taxed at 34%. This method taxes everyones last dollar earned at the same rate, but lower income individuals and families would pay a lower tax on their total income. I would go even farther and eliminate corporate, capital gains, dividend/interest income and personal tax; and have a straight consumption tax on everything and make it non refundable/deductable. Make the tax system as easy as possible and elliminate all loop holes.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Great, cut and paste right wing e-mails.  Where's that one about if the world was 100 villagers?

 

Fuck, it's good.

thorin_bane

Blah blah blag you know what I made 80,000 3 years ago working like a dog, mostly because my asshole company didn't want to pay benfits for a few more workers. I didn't bitch about being able to drive to work on roads from infrastructure taxes, or moan about my taxes to a doctor I needed to see cuz I was burnt out after working 12 hours a day for 90 days straight. Nor was I too upset that my garbage got picked up, or that we had less crime because people could go on assitance. I wasn't even upset that I was paying for schooling when I don't have kids, because I hope that if we educate enough people they can be innovative enough to make my work easier.  I happen to go the art gallery to listen to the symphony...free but my tax dollars went there too. I didn't think that was a waste. I was happy when the city came out and fixed my sewer without me having to call the plumber for 90 bucks for a 15 minute job. But I guess that is just me. I see my taxes work even after my "hard work" and they are valueable to me. I would hate to pay 25,000 because my wife is pregnant. Lucky for me some still believe in the common good.

About the only thing that pisses me off about my tax dollars is for putting people into jail for little cause when the root problems are easier to fix than the 100,000 per prisoner it takes to house them. AND here is a biggie, SPENDING MY TAX MONEY TO KILL PEOPLE FOR OIL WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH. You want a damn tax cut, we could have saved 20 Billion by not being in afghanistan, nevermind the additional 50 Billion in new gear or the cost to recruit more soldeirs. I hate watching those black and white ads that depict us doing good guy stuff when the bulk is spent on buying second hand gear from non canadian sources for double their value only to use it to kill brown people abroad.

But yeah that nearly 100 billion to the military could have given all these rightwing whiners their tax cut without destroying the few good things we still have in this country....YOu know like balanced budgets. Oh I guess it's easier to let the next generation pay for you selfishness. "Because I am taxed too much wahhh, how will I ever get by on more take home money than most families make before taxes"Cry

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Chester, your stupid barroom analogy is totally meaningless without income levels attached to the patrons.

And RP is right, we've all had that brain-dead shit forwarded to us before. Please try to deal in facts, if you can. And if you can't, at least avoid posting any more of that kind of spam. Thanks.

 

leafy_leftist84

Thanks. I had completely forgotten about Paul Summerville, the one-time candidate! And given the economy now, where is the NDP?

For example, where is the talk of setting up a parallel public banking system (like the former POSO, Province of Ontario Savings Office) at the fed level? Instead, we got an ATM and credit card campaign.

The NDP wants to be seen talking about the economy, but when it does, it's intellectually hollow, social democratically inconsistent, neo-liberal babble.

 

 

Star Spangled C...

thorin_bane wrote:

the year off with 100,000 paid instead of their usual 240,000 salary(average wage(wage???) at the firm). Time in the sun instead of 16 hours a day 6 days a week, I don't know how many lawyers hlinka knows but they work less than bankers and have their legal secretaries do all the work anyway. In addition, if they have layoffs, those that took the year leave will have immunity(I think they watch too much survivor) But as Hlinka points out..how many of us could survive on 1/3 of our salary.

Well, that's the thing. people arrange expense according to how much they make. They figure if tehy're making X per year, they can afford a certain mortgage, a certain amount for car payments, put away a certain amount for retirement, a certain amount for their kids' education, etc.. If that salary gets cut in half or more, you're totally screwed...

leafy_leftist84

Is it possible to delete spam? Anyway, returning to more serious debate...

Lard, was Summerville's nomination contested?

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I think that strategy could have been defended on the grounds of framing the debate in terms of tax cuts/public services, and that it was a step towards moving the debate back towards how do we fund public services.

Having said that, I agree that now is the time to start talking about making wealthy people pay their fair share of taxes. Hell, since the NDP seems to think Obama's the greatest thing since sliced bread, they should take a pledge out of his playbook. Obama campaigned on making the rich pay and it worked, and he's not even that far left. If Obama can do it, surely the NDP could as well?

But Aristotle, I don't think that Jack's statement can be seen as "moving the debate back towards how do we fund public services", cause he played along with the Conservatives in attacking Ignatieff's position. As far as we know, no mention of the tax-for-public services position or a surtax on high-income earners.

He even added:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090416.TAX16ART2130//...

"I saw it as an old approach rather than the new thinking that we need," Mr. Layton said.

How New Labour can he get? It's interesting that in the current economic crisis, which basically validates traditional social democratic policies, Jack is still talking like a Blair-ite!

leafy_leftist84

Of course, the mass media is incapable of discussing economic policies rationally. So it's not Jack's fault entirely. I remember the NDP's 2004 campaign for the inheritance tax for tax bequests of $1 million and the high-income tax. I believe he mentioned tax on excess bank profits too? Can anybody clarify on that? The media's response was disappointing.

 

Aristotleded24

leafy_leftist84 wrote:
Of course, the mass media is incapable of discussing economic policies rationally. So it's not Jack's fault entirely. I remember the NDP's 2004 campaign for the inheritance tax for tax bequests of $1 million and the high-income tax. I believe he mentioned tax on excess bank profits too? Can anybody clarify on that? The media's response was disappointing.

I can't speak for the tax on excess bank profits, but I do remember the inheritance tax idea. It was very poorly executed by the party. They dropped it like a bomb in the middle of an election campaign in a very anti-tax political climate, and the only editorial I saw in favour of the proposal was from the CCPA, after the issue was dropped. This is in contrast to the right-wing think tanks, who are constantly out there with their own ideas about what needs to be done.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Chester Drawers wrote:
BTW nothing was given to me, I came from a modest family whose father had a strong work ethic and you want to penalize me for my hard work.  I just can not understand that train of thought.  How much more tax should I pay?  It appears in your eyes a 100% of what I earn should go as tax.

Yeah, yeah, you're a regular Dick Whittington I'll bet.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

leafy_leftist84 wrote:

Lard, was Summerville's nomination contested?

Yes, by Barry Weisleder

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:
Well, that's the thing. people arrange expense according to how much they make. They figure if tehy're making X per year, they can afford a certain mortgage, a certain amount for car payments, put away a certain amount for retirement, a certain amount for their kids' education, etc.. If that salary gets cut in half or more, you're totally screwed...

 

Sure, but they have far more resources to fall back on. Someone going from 24000 to 10000 has nothing to fall back on ... survival and health, rather than a comfortable retirement, are immediately imperiled. There's a world of difference in the type of "screwed" that they are.