Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb. 4; The Big Push Is On.

As government expenses rise, the big push has begun to balance government spending by raising taxes. You will see the big spread given to the CDHowe Institute on p. D2. (C.D.Howe is another one of those so-called think-tanks that are heavily biased in favour of big business; though it's not quite so contemptible as most of the others.)

One could guess their advice without reading the column. Cut the role of government. Make government efficient like big business is by cutting staff and services. Right.

The report doesn't mention which services should be cut; but it's not hard to make up a list. Governments could, for example, cut out special electricity rates, foolish loans and grants, and myriad other services to big business. But the report doesn't suggest it.  At that, big business could make itself even more efficient by slowing down the ruanaway inflation rate on salaries, bonuses and perks to senior executives and directors. Heck, as Americans are learning, senior execs can rum coporations broke, get multi-million dollar bonuses for doing it, and also get bailed out by the ordinary taxpayers. We should, of course, cut pensions of those who retire after years of work at ordinary wages. But there is no mention of the pensions and packages paid to the favoured few at the top.

Doesn't the CDHowe know that the money spent on their friends comes from the same people who get stuck with the taxes? The difference is that ordinary people get at least some benefit - hospitals, schools, roads, law enforcement from their money spent on taxes. They don't get anything for their money spent on executive bonuses and perks.

The report is right on one point, though.  The tax system is riddled with loopholes, exemptions, rebates and deferrals. But you know what the report says is responsible for that? Well, it's them there social programes like hospitals, schools. Boy, with all their expensive lawyers, accountants, and government clout, them there poor people is gettin' all the breaks. So the rich and big business  get soaked just because they're proud to hire lawyers and accountants.

Right.

Watch for a steady flow of items on this theme, probably with a demand for lower taxes for corporations. That's the way it has gone in the US. I guess that's why Americans are so well off - because they rely on the wisdom and care of private corporations in running their lives.

There's a problem much bigger than the deficit. The gap between rich and poor has been growing at an alarming rate in Canada and the US for decades. It's wildly out of control. That sort of thing doesn't just breed recession. It destroys whole societies. And we are heading in that direction very quickly.

Who is this happening? I wonder if the editor of The Moncton T&T would run a series on just how much of our tax money ends up in priate pockets though grants, tax loopholes, subsidies, loand, that sort of thing. I wonder if it would do some research on the real tax rates for the wealthy and corporations.

Nah. I don't have to wonder.

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