Can we have our money back?

Political Point of View

“Satisfaction guaranteed or money refunded.” —T. Eaton

Wouldn’t it be great if governments acted with the same social responsibility that they demand of say, Wal-Mart? Would there be some kind of assurance that the product lived up to expectations? Could one decide that the item(s) purchased were not that important after all and easily returned with a credit slip and only a hint of a forced smile?

You have to wonder just how bone-crushingly stupid the provincial Liberal government is with their airy defence of the supposedly beneficial Harmonized Goods and Services Tax. It’s been a few months now and if it was supposed to do good things, it looks like a lot of us have missed out on the fun. Prices on things are admittedly only a little directly higher and that helps us how? Do they really need a referendum a year from now to get the not so faint clue that the NDP are going to win the next election if they stick with their current tack?

The other day some breathless talking head was enthusing about how the film industry had reawakened (again!) from its torpor and it was because the HST helped them out due to an obscure (to the rest of us) writeoff for them. It looks like subsidizing Hollywood fantasies is what the average British Columbian is paying taxes for.

Speaking of Fantasyland, over in Ottawa, the Conservatives are remarkably sanguine about their failure to eliminate the gun registry. They realize Parliament won’t fall and if there were to be an election, the hapless Liberals, hopeless New Democrats and the chronically unhappy Rump Party, a.k.a. the Bloc Quebecois, would all end up as losers to yet another minority Conservative government. For the rest of us, unregistered guns and all, life would carry on.

Moving further east, one finds that some simple minds in Italy and France are calling for a tax on capitalism in order to cure social ills and redress past injustices. They forget that every time they raise taxes on corporations, the burden falls upon the consumers as the corporations simply pass on any increase to consumers and again carry on unburdened. Maybe it’s time to tax governments in order to make them pay for promises made and product not delivered. Apparently they don’t realize the best social program is a free and healthy economy that enables those of us who strive to keep on keeping on to fund well-intentioned but futile help to those who seem determined to stay at the bottom of the totem pole.

Over the years, our generous nature has provided billions of dollars in aid to under privileged (in reality, underperforming) countries who instead of getting their act together are ever more ready with the begging bowl. It kind of sounds like Ottawa, which has the attitude that we commoners exist to serve them rather than the other way around. No wonder voter participation is declining and cynicism is rising. Except for taxing powers, it appears that people regard the federal government as pretty well irrelevant in their daily activities. Can we have our money back for this defective product?

  • Dennis Hayes

    A free and healthy economy? That’s like saying that China is a true communist country. In reality, these are merely words that people with only rhetoric to support their points of view throw out.

    The countries with the highest tax rates and fair, progressive taxation have stronger economies, safer societies, and higher level of services for all citizens. “Free market’ countries like the US, which have amongst the lowest levels of personal and corporate taxation are among the world leaders in violent crimes, unemployment, infant mortality rates, and national debt of all the industrialized, developed nations. And the concentration of the wealth amongst a select few has resulted policies that increase the wealth of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of the population making the ‘American Dream” unattainable and poverty more likely. And unless one has been living in a cave for the past four years, one can not sanely deny that it was these policies that caused the global crisis we are presently mired in. Historically, in North America, the decades with the greatest sustained growth were those with significantly higher income tax rates for higher income earners.
    Unless you are making $150,000 plus per year, you are subsidizing people whose incomes far exceed yours. And the likelihood of you or I ever being in the ‘wealthy’ tax bracket is slim to nil, regardless of our work ethic and intellectual capabilities. The playing field is slanted and becoming increasingly slanted so that those with the wealth keep the wealth and those without…well you know.

    I, too, dislike the HST and think that it should be done away with as soon as possible. Its a political hot potato that Liberal MLA’s don’t want to touch, doing a great disservice to the people they are paid to represent. On the other hand, I want fair taxation so that I am paying my fair share as are those whose income is far greater than mine. This is not to say that all funds should go to the government. I like the almighty dollar as much as anyone one and believe that innovators should be rewarded, but really, how much money does one need to hord at the expense of a safe, healthy province? How many cars does one need? How big does one’s yacht have to be to feel successful? What is a person’s responsibility to his community?