a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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No Matter The Cause – Guess Who Finances It?

This isn’t a post about Occupy but it is a good place to start. Occupy is illustrative of a hypocritcal self-interest that really gets under my hat because regardless of the cause, it’s taxpayers who eventually pick up the tab.

Since it’s beginning, Occupy has cost taxpayers in the 99% somewhere close to $50 million across North America. In New York City alone the cost was over $13 million. In Vancouver, a city much smaller than New York, the cost was more than $1 million. That cost alone borders on criminal but it doesn’t end there.

OWS chants about getting the money out of government even as it uses the same techniques and tax exempt fund raising opportunities of those it protests. So much for leading by example. Instead it rationalizes, justifies and bulldozes ahead with it’s cause, all the time asking for donations that in the end are tax exempt in most cases.

But then, that’s the way of it now isn’t it? No matter the cause, the more self-righteous it is, the more it employs the same tactics and strategies, the same lack of integrity and weaseling of those it criticizes and opposes. Occupy has more in common with politicians and Wall Street finaglers than it does with you and I and the rest of the 99%.
I don’t much care about the hypocrisy though, it’s paying for it I mind and we pay and pay and pay for it. No matter the cause, it is always us, the taxpayers who pay for it.
The environmental movement burning with the zeal of religious fundamentalists standing on a mountain waiting for the second coming finance their associations on the backs of taxpayers.

Non-profit groups like the David Suzuki Foundation, are formed and every donation is tax deductable. In other words, the donor (usually one of the zealots) sends in some cash and then gets to claim it as a deduction on their income tax.

Ultimately, the donor contributed nothing or next to it. You and I made the contribution whether we wanted to or not through our taxes. And many have turned it into quite a profitable little venture. Al Gore is a millionaire and jets around the world reminding people of the danger of emissions from gas and other pollutants. I gather Mr. Gore believes that jet fuel is an environmentally friendly green energy.

It’s the same with political parties, especially in Canada which elevated tax-payer rape to an art form. Not only is the tax credit for deductions to political parties significantly higher than the donation s to charity; those same parties benefited from a tax-payer cash injection of $2/vote received in the previous election….and that was an annual donation until the next election.  Fortunately, the new Conservative majority government has at least tossed that out, although it’s phased so each party will still be suckling on the public teat for a couple more years.

Even charities are in on the action. Corporations and individuals contribute to charity, write it off on their taxes and ultimately it’s the tax payer who coughs up the donation. I respect the work that charities and many of those who are involved with them but why is it the taxpayers’ responsibility to underwrite them?

Religions pay no taxes in most jurisdictions and while I’m quite sure that it isn’t always easy to finance a religious operation on donations, I fail to see why tax payers should be subsidizing donations to churches through tax exemptions to the donors. It’s enough to almost make you feel sorry for taxpayers who are atheists.

Taxpayers pay for all of it. We pay to repair the vandalism done to our cities. We pay to finance political parties, charities, churches, sports teams both professional and amateur, protests groups and foundations. In the United States, OWS took advantage of the 501 tax exemption to raise donations which pretty much indicates that they don’t oppose those parts of the system that work to their benefit.
I’m tired of it.
I don’t care what anyone’s politics, faith, or personal causes are, provided they are non-violent.  I don’t care if someone or some group want to devote their lives to saving the planet from humanity or helping cute baby mammals, trees or junkies just pay for your cause yourself and leave the rest of us to finance our own causes as we see fit.

Take your hand out of our pockets and let us decide who and what we will support. Activism and religion shouldn’t be gravy trains for some to create jobs and income for themselves on the backs of taxpayers. Nor should taxpayers be required to finance others who believe in something regardless of how noble it might be. We have enough to finance with our taxes.

We have health care, education, infrastructure and a whole host of other things to pay for, we don’t need or want to be paying for someone else’s “special” cause.  It takes money away from that for which we originally agreed to pay taxes.

Sure it will be a challenge for some groups but that’s what small business faces every day. Why should it work differently for “the great cause” someone else believes in? It’s time for all these causes and organizations to pay for their own lunch and let us decide on our own who and what we will support. It might be interesting to see just how much support some would actually receive which might be an accurate indication of how valid some of them are.

I believe that what we need is a flat, everybody pays the same percentage of income tax, system with no deductions for anything; but it won’t happen. The complexity of the tax systems we have in our democracies is the perfect cover for political parties and all those causes led by others who lobby for and who rely on tax breaks to exist. Those are the same causes that are led by people who shine with the light of Jesus in their  eyes, as they fight against injustice in their never ending bid to raise money.

In the end, it always comes down to money and almost inevitably, it is our money – not theirs – that gets spent. Ultimately, the original donor benefits twice. They get both the thank you from whatever cause received the donation and the tax credit on their income tax from you and I. We get the bill and as in the case of Occupy, also have to pay to pick up the garbage.

Considering that only about 53% of us actually pay income taxes, we are surely paying for a lot outside the 1% who don’t and in some cases, we pay rather handsomely.

It is a side issue but I am even more tired of being lectured to by all these groups and causes who live off our tax money. Enough already. 

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