a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
If you found this post of interest, please share it with your friends.
We no longer accept advertising on this blog. Your donations help us to defray the costs of its operation and are much appreciated.
Stay informed

Follow the Bear - Subscribe today

Archives

Can I Get An Amen For Lower Taxes?

Gather round brothers and sisters for I have had an epiphany. I have been given an idea whispered in my ear by God himself and I believe it will not only revolutionize politics and our governments for the better but will save taxpayers an enormous amount of money.

Hallelujah!

Harken unto me and I shalt give thee context for the revelation that was laid before me.

The new provincial Liberal government of New Brunswick has just tabled its first fiscal budget. It is raising taxes to try and clean up the mess left by the previous government that raised taxes to try and offset the mess it inherited.

The new provincial Liberal government of Quebec tabled its first budget last December and it too raised taxes to try and deal with the mess left by the former PQ government which raised taxes to try and clean up the shortfall left by the Liberal government that preceded it.

In Ontario, the current Liberal government is raising taxes to address the fiscal mess left by the previous three Liberal governments which is pretty much like what is happening in Alberta where the conservative government is raising taxes to deal with the financial mess left by a gaggle of preceding Conservative governments.

Federally, the Conservative government is actually lowering taxes but it is an election year and politicians reverse course as an election draws closer. The Conservatives inherited an annual budget surplus and promptly turned it into a budget deficit over the past nine years racking up $160+ billion in new debt along the way. They haven’t actually balanced the books but, as I mentioned, it’s an election year so they’re reducing taxes anyway.

Do you see a pattern emerging here?

I must confess that I hadn’t until now but once God lifts the veil from your eyes the road forward becomes clear.

Regardless of what they say, political parties all operate the same way once elected to government. They spend carelessly and raise taxes. There is only one exception to this rule and it has nothing to do with which party is in power.

The only time they don’t raise taxes is during an election year and that is what God revealed to me.

Hallelujah! I was like Saul on the road to Damascus saved by the blinding light of truth.

The solution, my friends, is to hold annual fixed elections. If we keep politicians in semi-perpetual election mode a) they won’t have time to waste our money and b) they’ll keep reducing taxes, or at least avoid tax increases, in order to get re-elected.

Sure, elections cost money but it’s a pittance compared to what gets spent by politicians once they’re in office. We could hold car washes and bake sales to help offset the cost of annual elections. Think of the fellowship we would share as we come together to sell our pastries at Election Funding Fairs across the country or weekend car washes at the local Legion where the beer is cheap.

It would also give Elections Canada something to do every year beyond investigating fraud from the previous election and answering questions from Parliamentary committees.

If politicians knew that their jobs were up for annual review, I believe they would be a lot more careful about how they perform those jobs. It might take a couple of elections for the message to sink in with some of them, of course, even a frequent dose of crack cocaine couldn’t sharpen some of them up. I know this because it was tried on former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and look what that got Canada’s largest city.

Eventually though, I believe even the densest among them would start to get it. Increase taxes this year – lose your job next year.

Who knows, they might even start to rationalize government expense and focus it on core essential services instead of using tax revenues as a slush fund at election time to try and buy their way out of being held accountable for the mismanagement and waste of the preceding three years.

There are still some kinks to work out of the idea, of course, but I am a true believer now and think it has some merit. Certainly it has more merit than increasing family tax breaks to the tune of $8 billion when that money is the result of more government borrowing. The young children whose parents are going to get a tax break now will be paying for that tax break for years after  they graduate from school and start working.

That isn’t really a tax break – it’s a tax deferral that transfers the debt to someone else to pay with increased taxes  sometime in the future.

God knows we’ve tried to elect responsible people who make promises of accountability, transparency and sound fiscal management but where are they once they’re elected? No matter who it is, no matter what party they represent, once they’re elected they are transformed into pretty much what we just threw out of office. I believe it is because they know they have four years in office ahead of them so they do what the like for three years and pander to us for one in order to get re-elected.

So, I think if we just cut out those three years and got straight to the pandering every year – we’d be in a lot better shape.

Brothers and sisters!  Can I get an Amen?

————————————————————————————————————

© 2015 Maggie’s Bear

all rights reserved The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it might be of interest to others

Twitter: @maggsbear – Facebook: Maggie’s Bear  – ivmaki@sympatico.ca

————————————————————————————————————-

  • Roy Elsworth

    actually the BC government is not raising taxes we have a libaral Government and were doing quite well here. but everyone knows our liberal government is far more conservative. then any other liberal government in Canada.

    • MaggiesBear

      or most conservative governments for that matter

  • Norm Harder

    Apples and oranges. The problem is elected governments SPEND us into debt, the taxes NEED TO BE RAISED to the point that money does NOT have to be borrowed….EVEN IN AN ELECTION YEAR! Take a look at what ‘fear of tax raises’ has done in most states in the US. Education districts have to issue bonds or collect bottles to function (private schools excepted, of course).

    Governments waste too much on duplication of services and then cut other bare bones services that are really needed. Whose problem is this? It’s the Canadian voters problem…wise up everyone.

    • MaggiesBear

      The problem is that politicians don’t know how to prioritize. They squander money on glamour projects at the expense of core services. They campaign on platforms full of false promises and outright false information. It’s small wonder voters resist tax increases. They get tired of watching their money being wasted and then those doing the wasting coming back and demanding more.

      • Norm Harder

        So the problem really revolves around political ethics…politicians promise something, but don’t deliver. They beat the drums, but cancel the march. Voters have the power to throw these characters out and make noises demanding better, but …sheep-like, we graze each day and get led to the slaughter . The fault, dear Brutus, is in ourselves!

        • MaggiesBear

          You’ve identified the issue but not all who believe are sheep. There just are few alternatives and we can be fooled by honeyed words and sincere promises that later turn out to have the integrity of a carnival huckster.

    • Norm Harder

      Yes, what you have said is certainly true…the main aim of elected officials is to get re-elected….everything else is secondary. What we lack are ‘leaders’ that actually lead in positive direction, but we are stymied by an electorate that seems to want good-looking, Hollywood actor types, rather than supporting good policies / ideas. Too bad…

  • Pingback: God Put Me On A Road To Lower Taxes | Grumpy Opinions()

  • Gerry

    How about 25% of seats every year or every second year selected provincially (or provincially at some natural regional basis) which would be enough to keep them on their toes given that huge majorities have not been our recent experience federally. Provincially it may be less of a threat but optics would still be there. I like the idea of decreasing or increasing a majority gov’t or even changing the leadership on a more regular basis. However, what I fear more is the Jeffersonian warning that once the voters realize they can vote themselves increasing largesse from the public treasury democracy for all intents and purposes is lost. Politicians spend to ‘buy’ votes and simply increasing the number of times we vote merely exacerbates that tendency. Maybe we need fewer votes. Personally I would limit voting to those with skin in the game – i.e. those who pay taxes – then I would go for annual or semi-annual elections.

    • MaggiesBear

      I’ll support just about anything that forces government to live within in its means and prevents them from constantly increasing those means by raising taxes.

      • Gerry

        Agreed. Now if we could only agree on what gov’t needs the means (i.e. our money) for. Gov’t has taken on way too much and we need a fundamental return to a more modest role for gov’t in the lives of the populace. What I think is the challenge is to come to some consensus on what the role of gov’t is and is not. While I prefer Hume’s limits on what we expect i can understand why some may want to expand those limited functions to include aspects of our social welfare state but what there is now needs to be severely curtailed.

        • charlie98

          I agree that the role of the government needs to be made clear.

          My observation is that there are groups that want everything as long as someone else pays. Consider the reaction by Harvard professors when they discovered that Obamacare was going to cost them money.

          Until such time as people give up wanting more at the expense of others taxes will continue to rise.

          • MaggiesBear

            While it is true that people have come to expect more from government, I still blame politicians. They conditioned us to believe that we were entitled to the things they doled out in order to satisfy their own political ambition. Corruption is a virus, it spreads. Too cure the body politic, you have to kill the virus and that starts with politicians.

        • Norm Harder

          Consider that the countries with some of the highest standards of living, education, and health care (dare I say it in case Republican types are snooping) …are SOCIALIST in their approach to the national economy eg. Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands …(and these also are world leaders in providing humanitarian assistance in terms of percentage of GNP). These taxpayers in these countries pay FAR MORE TAXES than most other countries on a per capita basis. HIGH TAXES are not the bugbear they are made out to be if one has smart leaders who consider the well-being of the population of the whole, not just the big corporationS…leaders who would best maximize the natural and human resources they had. I would be HAPPY to be paying high taxes if it gave me (and my fellow citizens) a high standard of living, free university for my kids, a job when it is needed, etc. Norway, a country made rich via oil in the N. Sea, invested their money…some of it in the Alberta tar sands…their ‘rainy day’ fund is HUGE today because of ‘good leaders’ and a long term plan for the country. Canada’s has no plan, many good leaders, and those that we do have, don’t get elected. Sad….

          • oldwhiteguy

            no matter how high taxes go the buffon socialists will still be borrowing money. all, will never be enough for rapacious socialists. by the way, nothing is free.

            • MaggiesBear

              Socialists? The Conservatives in Alberta have plunged their province back into debt as have the Conservatives in Ottawa. Clinging to the shopworn idea that somehow government economic mismanagement is restricted to left is absurd.

              • oldwhiteguy

                all politicians in Canada are socialist.

                • MaggiesBear

                  all politicians in Canada are cynical opportunists. They are socialists one day and conservatives the next. Their only ideology is power.

            • Norm Harder

              Please explain to me then, why do relatively small N. European countries, with limited natural resources compared to the VAST reserves of natural resources in Canada (especially so, given our relatively small population), have had ‘rapacious socialists’ in power for decades yet are doing so well economically, educationally, and physically (personal health), +++, compared to we Canadians who instead have had nice sweet capitalists from all over the world buy our companies and our resources, and channeled their profits back into their own companies or personal pockets. Could it be that the ‘rapacious’ ones are the capitalists? Doesn’t capitalism, by its very nature of either rewarding the entrepreneur or bankrupting him, end up funnelling increasing amounts of money to the successful entrepreneurs who then use that cash to enrich themselves (and or their companies) even further? It is this very rich top group that feed us the bull flap about ‘socialist buffoons’, yet some people buy into it without thinking about the end results. Isn’t it odd that a rich province like Alberta may soon have to be borrowing bucks from some somewhere. I guess didn’t plan for a rainy day and blew all their oil income and now have to go out pay interest on a loan (taxpayers will not be happy). It’s not rocket science. Like you said…’nothing is free’ – people in N. European countries PAY PLENTY to maintain their systems, but the average citizen is still ‘far richer’ than we are. They have done ‘more’ with ‘less’….which is SMART economics.

              • oldwhiteguy

                small populations. go live there and see how long you can stand it.

              • Gerry

                Norm, I have looked for the data on health (last ranking done by WHO in 2000) and economics (World Bank data) and don’t see the clear cut ‘victory’ for the welfare states as you declare. I also think you need to look at the social and crime data from the socialist paradises as well particularly as it relates to their immigrant population. As they move from a monoethnic culture to more of a multicultural one like both the US and Canada I think you will see a movement away from the common framework (required by a functioning social welfare state) to a more competitive interest model we have. In simple terms, comparing a multicultural immigrant country like the US, Canada or Australia to european or asian countries (like Japan as an example) which had an indigenous population and culture is comparing apples and oranges. Culture matters.

                • Norm Harder

                  Of course culture matters….big shifts in immigration of different cultural groups will certainly put a strain on national resources and the social fabric. These changes have come only in recent decades to Europe, and N. European socialistic economies are having their problems dealing with the situation just the same as any other more-developed country i(Canada included). This does no alter my thesis that having a government that focuses on the well-being of the population as a whole, as opposed to countries like the USA and Canada, where it’s almost ‘everyman for himself (herself).’…and children born into poor households will likely not end up with much of a ‘good’ and ‘productive’ life as they would have if they were lucky enough to be born in Denmark or Sweden. You mentioned crime and social disruption….look at the problems facing the US with their poor populations of Blacks and Hispanics…crime up the yazoo for people who grow up watching the ‘good life’ on television and knowing they can’t have that unless they turn to crime. Many kids in Canada and the US are mortgaging their futures with the debt they take on for a university education, and many are taking degrees for which there is no job (it may have worked for their parents, but it doesn’t work now). Contrast that with the countries in N. Europe…university is free, and if a person is not cut out for that type of education, there are training colleges for learning a skilled trade. Students do not leave those learning centres saddled with big debts and are able to find a useful and productive job much easier than is true in N. America. How do we treat our homeless populations compared to socialist countries? What percentage of Americans STILL do not have adequate health coverage, and how many have lost their homes due to a family illness? I could go on, but you know the story as well as I.

                  By the way, I never called the socialist-oriented countries ‘socialist paradises’….they are just lucky to be well-governed by leaders with the view that the government should serve ALL the people ….not just focus on the needs of corporations and rich people who contribute so immensely to their lackeys here in N. America. Compare, not countries having trouble coming to grips with immigrant populations. – consider instead the type of economies those immigrants are fleeing from and why they want to go to N. European countries like the Netherlands. We (royal ‘we’ meaning people from totally free-enterprise economies) tend to step around beggars in the street or otherwise avoid eye-contact with them….do socialist countries have a significant beggar problem other than visiting young people from abroad that may have blown their return trip money? Lastly, what is the unemployment rate (not for newly arrived immigrants) but for people who have lived the a country a long time (long enough to be an integral part of the economy) in the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, etc., COMPARED to that in the US and Canada? I haven’t looked it up, but I think it would be very telling, despite the recent economic ‘recovery’ in the US.

                • Norm Harder

                  Final note to you…I looked at Wikipedia’s list of the top countries to be in if you could pick ‘where to be born’. The data analyzed were things that matter, like health, life span, safety and security, political freedoms, job security, gender equality, etc. Of a list provided of 80 countries, 5 of the TOP 11 countries were the socialist-minded countries of N. Europe (examine these countries natural resources and compare to Canada’s, and Canada ranks 9th. Here are the the ones in the top 11: Norway is #3 (just barely behind Australia and Switzerland), Sweden #4, Denmark #5, Netherlands #9 and Finland #11. The U.S. was #16.

                  ALL the socialist type economies have high taxes….but high taxes are a RED HERRING. If I earned $200 000 per year, and had to pay taxes of $50 000 per year, I would be better off today than I am now earning 60, 000 / year and paying 11,000 per year. It’s simple math, but most people are too stupid to see that people who pay higher taxes are ABLE to do so while not degrading their quality of life, IN FACT, they are far better off: better schools, higher levels of education, better overall health and healthcare, cleaner cities, better transport mechanisms, and much more.

                  You have to keep in mind these ‘socialist’ countries have done this amazing job with far fewer natural resources than either the US or Canada, ESPECIALLY Canada, as our population is so low given the extent of our resource base. If the Netherlands had our resources, they no doubt be #1 in ‘places I’d like to be born in’.

                  ps. Read Naomi Klein’s book on climate change concerns to see what capitalism has wreaked on this planet besides spreading economic inequality and misery for hundreds of millions of poor people.

                  • Gerry

                    Referencing Klein and climate change together as validation of questionable assertions is definitely a conversation terminator.

                    • Norm Harder

                      Good…confirms my hypothesis that ignorance is bliss.

            • MaggiesBear

              The Harper conservatives have increased the federal debt by 25%, the single biggest increase of any former government.

              • oldwhiteguy

                hence my opinion that they are not conservatives.

  • oldwhiteguy

    Amen.