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Government: 0 Opposition: 1

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by judge wopner
well why not increase taxes across the board if by your account taxes = public spending which seems to = universal good.
I dont recall giving such an account
Its pretty obvious that taxation and social spending is a mechanism through which it is easily possible to take from the rich (through taxes) and give to the poor (through social services)

That people work for some of those corporations is no justification for their existence...
Especially considering that as far as that work goes, those businesses are hardly the ideal way of providing useful, satisfying, socially productive, socially valuable work (none of those are goals of a corporation)
There are other, far better ways people could work
Discontinuing lavish support for big business is such a radical change it would have to be accompanied by other developments addressing work
spend more on social programs as a universal good neglects the mis-management and wild spending of many alleged social programs that have proven to be of little benefit: such as HRDC and CIDA.
I talking about only "functioning institutions anyway", so obviously not proposing we collect more money in order to mismanage it
Also keep in mind certain government activities get far more scrutiny than others... imagine if as much criticism were directed at how inefficient and wasteful and corrupt the activities gov. undertakes to subsidize business are (businesses that are in turn publically unaccountable... imagine the idiocy of government management (working with the luxury of public funds), then take away the accountability, and how much of a waste of valuable social resources do businesses likely represent?)

CIDA is a mechanism to subsidize business, and it functions internationally, not primarily concerning people here...
it redistributes public funds (*gasp* taxpayer dollars!) to basically insure risky, often grossly mismanaged, and publically unaccountable (despite using public money!!) business ventures to exploit people in the third world... hardly a social service
welfare rates have barley risen, and minimum wage has gone up piecemeal in the past few years, how is it we should spend more on this or that when the most basic elements of social service, the meat and potatoes of it arent keeping pace with things.
...um.... thats exactly the stuff I was talking about
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AdRiaN
You might be surprised to learn exactly how many Canadians do not earn enough money to pay income taxes. According to Canada Revenue Agency's release of personal income tax statistics, 31% of all returns in 2002 were non-taxable, of which 77% were filers with income below $15,000 and 14% had income between $15,000 and $25,000.
That number includes my own tax return, for example... a full time student living comfortably at home
Regarding the portion of those relevant to our discussion, they would be the people I said have to be reached with active or 'positive' benefits, meaning not a discount on taxes
(the lowest income decile of families recieves most of their income from government transfers, the next 10% recieve about a third of theirs from the gov.)

btw I dont know how you can reconcile your last post with saying the presumably 'liberal' comments you ridicule in the previous one are "a crock": you just argued why they make sense...
I think few people would argue that sales taxes are not regressive. Low income earners tend to spend almost every cent of their income on goods and services, leaving very little available to save. High income earners tend to spend a much smaller porition of their income on goods and services, leaving a lot available to save.

The burden of sales taxes falls more heavily on the poor. In other words, they dedicate a much larger proportion of their income to paying sales taxes than the rich. That's called regressive taxation.
...in that case, my second point stands

By the way, rent, basic groceries, some child care, health care, and some other stuff are exempt from GST (or taxed at 0%, technical difference)
These 'essentials' make up a significantly greater portion of low income household expenditures than high income:
Rent and groceries (not specifically the tax exempt groceries, I dont know which ones those are (supposedly the "basic" ones)) make up about 40% of the lowest quintile's spending, compared to under 15% of the highest quintile's
The portion going to recreation and sports is also twice as large, at over 10%
The same is true for private transportation, at almost 20%.
They even spend significantly higher portions on "Clothing and footware" and eating out at restaurants


but I think youre missing the overall point of my last post
Income taxes are different than sales taxes in that income taxes can be strictly targetted directly at different levels of income, while sales taxes are comparatively indescriminate
If the Conservatives actually cared about the poor, or even about looking like they cared about the poor, this would not be the way of doing it

Their chosen method is specifically oblivious to income level!
It gives exactly the same percentage "savings" to upper middle class types on their $10 000 entertainment systems and upper class types on their $70 000 BMWs as to poor people on their winter clothes.
Further, a 2% saving on a 10 000$ purchase is $200.... thats a substantial amount to most people, upper middle class or poor
Meanwhile a poor person's $2 savings on winter clothes, like the Star author points out, is TWO measily dollars.... a pathetic amount for anyone

This is exactly why progressive income taxes increase in rate in direct proportion to income level.

The effects of a GST cut would be regressive (as a flat tax is) regardless of how regressive the GST itself is in the first place
Its pretty obvious the amount poor people would "save" per year would be far smaller than the amount wealthy people would

"Mr. Harper" (if that is his real name) claims that
"The purpose of this tax cut is to provide broadly based, progressive, fair tax relief to every single Canadian"
His idea of "fair" is to provide those struggling to get by on $185,000 (the average family income of the top TEN percent) with the same percentage savings on their luxury goods as families surviving on $10 000 (another 10% of families), most of which comes from the government in the first place, will get on their.... uh.... not so luxurious goods?

Im not saying the Liberal's plan is any better, just talking about providing "fair" tax relief through sales taxes on consumer spending vs through income taxes
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by deafplayer
btw I dont know how you can reconcile your last post with saying the presumably 'liberal' comments you ridicule in the previous one are "a crock": you just argued why they make sense...
You lost me. The criticism to which I originally responded suggested a GST reduction wouldnot really benefit the poor. I am arguing that sales taxes are regressive (i.e., higher proportional burden on the poor), so it stands to reason that cutting sales taxes would indeed benefit the poor on a proportional basis.

but I think youre missing the overall point of my last post
Income taxes are different than sales taxes in that income taxes can be strictly targetted directly at different levels of income
How can you "strictly" target an income tax reduction? Raising the basic personal exemption? Lowering the income tax rate at the lowest income bracket? Both of these provide relief to every taxpayer, even the richest people in Canada.

The effects of a GST cut would be regressive (as a flat tax is) regardless of how regressive the GST itself is in the first place
Its pretty obvious the amount poor people would "save" per year would be far smaller than the amount wealthy people would
Dude, if you reduce a regressive tax, the effects must be progressive. That's how it works, by definition. You keep looking at the savings in absolute terms. You need to look at the savings as a proportion of income.
 

swilly

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by judge wopner


$30,000 per annum last longer in the Yukon than in Toronto, should taxes reflect the drastically different costs of living in some way too?
The Yukon is actually really expensive. Alot of shit has to be flown in and rent is nuts as well.

Swilly san
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by AdRiaN
How can you "strictly" target an income tax reduction? Raising the basic personal exemption? Lowering the income tax rate at the lowest income bracket? Both of these provide relief to every taxpayer, even the richest people in Canada.
I don't know, I never said that.
I said "income taxes can be strictly targetted directly at different levels of income".... was not talking about reductions or cuts

BUT, even in the case of reductions, any absolute amount granted at a low bracket and also recieved by "earners" in higher brackets would necessarily be greater in proportion to lower total incomes than to higher total incomes.
A GST reduction is less strict since it continually rises in value with the higher spending that comes with higher incomes.
And like you said, "You need to look at the savings as a proportion of income."

For a reduction to apply exclusively to low incomes, which seems to be what you're implying, you would need to need to increase higher bracket rates in order to cancel out the reduction at the lower bracket. Keep in mind I said taxes, not tax reductions.
And also keep in mind I said "strictly" and not 'absolutely exclusively'
(The part of the sentence you chose not to quote: "while sales taxes are comparatively indescriminate")

Anyway you also could target an income tax reduction exclusively at low incomes, if you wanted, by tying the income tax rate of the low income bracket to total income. Meaning someone who makes 185,000 dollars would no longer be paying the same tax rate for the first 20k as someone making only that 20k in total.

The point is with income taxes you can directly target income groups through a variety of arrangements.
With general consumption taxes you can not.

Dude, if you reduce a regressive tax, the effects must be progressive. That's how it works, by definition.
A flat income tax is regressive.
Reducing that flat rate by the same amount across the board (1% for rich and for poor) would not constitute progressive taxation by definition or otherwise
 
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