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Taxes

2canplay

TRIBE Member
Recently I was driving through NY State and I had the opportunity to listen to Radical Right Wing Radio. I'm always bemused at the hosts and the guests; they both manage to distort the truth and twist facts to back up their various prejudices or jingoist fervor.

Anyways, one topic particularly caught my attention and that was taxes. Every third or fourth caller complained bitterly about their tax burden or railed about the "beast of Government."

Now, I have a pretty good idea these folks weren't in the upper echelons of society, because they also kept screaming about "the elites" (liberal-minded, liberally educated people) in society who with certain political intelligensia comprise a massive conspiracy that suppreses (feeds off of?) the "working man."

The tax thing got me thinking because I know the tax rate in the US is lower than Canada's, but much of that tax surplus is spent on health care premiums, which for a family of four can add up to $12,000 per year. A family making only $80,000 per year would be better off in Canada, even with the higher tax rates.

A guy making $1,000,000 per year is going to feel the pain of Canadian taxes because his health premiums (and private school premiums) will be a much more manageable 1.2% of his income versus 15% for the average guy.

How do they do it? How do the rich, who benefit most from the lower tax rate, manage to employ the middle class to fight the tax beast? IMO, it's a work of art. I mean I have conversations with people who are one missed pay cheque away from sleeping in a shelter, who demand privatized health care and reduced government expenditures/taxes. The Sun's readership is centred on the low-income segment of the population and that newspaper leads the charge in Canada against big government. Coincidence? Rupert Murdoch's newspapers also rail against taxes and big government and they too cater to the "working class." Seems counter-intuitive.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Politics is all fluff. To make decisions, one must understand economics (not Economics, but economics, if you get my meaning) and unfortunately, what people see are the politicians, who all talk fluff, which gets the civilians all chattering about fluff, which turns into more fluff, and that's how the world works.

Funny, this fluff looks like lamb's wool...something about sheep and wool and eyes............i onno, sumfin.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 2canplay


How do they do it? How do the rich, who benefit most from the lower tax rate, manage to employ the middle class to fight the tax beast? IMO, it's a work of art. I mean I have conversations with people who are one missed pay cheque away from sleeping in a shelter, who demand privatized health care and reduced government expenditures/taxes. The Sun's readership is centred on the low-income segment of the population and that newspaper leads the charge in Canada against big government. Coincidence? Rupert Murdoch's newspapers also rail against taxes and big government and they too cater to the "working class." Seems counter-intuitive.

Last year I paid about 25 grand in taxes.

I paid the equivilent of a down payment on a condo. A condo I do not own. If not for taxes I would already own my condo.

The year before last I paid around the same amount for taxes, the year before that about half and about 2/3's for the 3 years previous to that. Thus in total since I started my career I have paid about..

$100,000 to my government. A government that refused to give me any break on my university bills unlike my friends who all got amnesties on portions of there OSAP. A government that hasn't provided me a lick of health care outside of two doctors appointments in over a decade.

See I'm that middle class slob that your talking about. From my perspective the government providing jobs to others isn't helping me its buring my of a condo I have already paid them for. My contributions purchase weapons for wars to fight for the interests of companies I don't even own stock in. I help pay for debt relief for people I will never meet, hell I help to pay for debt relief for the decisions of politicians dead a generation before I was born.

I have never had a problem getting a job. I have never had a problem paying my own way. The only reason I believe people have a tough time making a go of it is because they lack strength. They lack the strength to go to a job they hate everyday, they lack the strength to say no to there friends and stay home on friday to study instead, they lack the strength to smile when they hate the customer that is tipping out at %15.



Now convince me that my taxes aren't just a method of keeping kids off the streets and keeping them from steeling my stereo. See as much as people on social assitance and working for the government claim that they are getting screwed, I equally argue that I'm getting screwed even more. My taxes go to somebody in Nova Scotia, my taxes go to a school system that I don't have children in,
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Taxes

Originally posted by Ditto Much
The only reason I believe people have a tough time making a go of it is because they lack strength. They lack the strength to go to a job they hate everyday, they lack the strength to say no to there friends and stay home on friday to study instead, they lack the strength to smile when they hate the customer that is tipping out at %15.
Really? ...interesting.

So, under no circumstances should anyone be unable to "make it" and achieve their goals, unless they lack strength?


Now convince me that my taxes aren't just a method of keeping kids off the streets and keeping them from steeling my stereo. See as much as people on social assitance and working for the government claim that they are getting screwed, I equally argue that I'm getting screwed even more. My taxes go to somebody in Nova Scotia, my taxes go to a school system that I don't have children in,

I like paying taxes provided I know it's helping people.

Humans fuck up. My taxes help mend fucked up situations. Sometimes, my taxes go to the wrong person: those are the cases where government accountability/transparency becomes important.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Taxes

Originally posted by ~atp~
Really? ...interesting.

So, under no circumstances should anyone be unable to "make it" and achieve their goals, unless they lack strength?




I like paying taxes provided I know it's helping people.

Humans fuck up. My taxes help mend fucked up situations. Sometimes, my taxes go to the wrong person: those are the cases where government accountability/transparency becomes important.
your arguments are brutally valid. I agree with them.


Yes through disasters outside of your own circumstance things can go horribly wrong for you. But if blind people can make it, and people with huge disabilities can make it, and some of the people who I believed were dumb as stumps growing up can make it than maybe we need to suggest that the problem lies in the people who can't make it. But the argument is really niether here nore there.

I argue regardless of how much tax you or anyone else pays, I personally pay to much. I don't get back $25,000 worht of services and I don't cost 25,000 to maintain from a government perspective. If my personal planning, work in education and work building a career should go as it has been and as I have planned, I will never again cost society a single penny!!



So what do I pay 25 grand for? What do I get for the money being spent?


Its great that others feel better about themselves and that everyone gets equal access to blah blah blah. But I'm 28 and I have been paying taxes for the better part of a decade and for that decade the government has helped every idiot friend of mine in some way or another directly and all I got was a couple of years of GST checks. Why should I have the privialge of paying

$500 per week (yes the equivilent of working minum wage for 60 hours) and not get a thing in return. Why should I have the privilage of paying off someones debt that was incurred before my family even moved to this country.

Why should I pay $500 per week in taxes when I pay less than a fifth of that feeding myself and less than half of that clothing and feeding myself. I'm paying my way plus another 2 peoples at my last count. Why should I enjoy this privialge!
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
Ditto, I think we should try to refrain from incorporating our own personal anticdotes into our discussion. It leads to a mess.

I agree with you, taxes hurt. I started a business when I was 18, grew it for 11 years and sold it a year and a half ago. Believe me, I have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in every goddamn tax known to man...and I'm still paying strictly administrative levies on shell companies that I choose to maintain. As well, add in spurelous lawsuits from disgruntled employees, employee fraud, unreasonable, un-cooperative government employees, WSIB NEER Assesments, Municipal levies, previously OK'd by CCRA tax shelters that get open up two years and 360 days later, tax lawyers to figure out the taxes, accountants to try and save you money on taxes...believe me, I understand things from the tax payers side of things.

But my question involves big government and the working class' seemingly counter-intutive position on taxes that feed an expansive government. From my point of view, personaly speaking, higher taxes hurt me, but much more so than a person earning a lower income...Why does that person feel more agrieved by higher taxes or more precisely, by bigger government?

The crux of the issue for me is this: In America, bigger government could be paid for by levying higher tax rates on the rich...You could even reduce the burden on the working class and raise taxes on those who earn $1,000,000 per year (or $10,000,000 or whatever). So, why doesn't this happen? How does the Bush Administration push through 200 billion in tax cuts to those at the highest levels of economic prosperity, and at the same time win massive support from the middle class. That's amazing in my opinion.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
Then again, maybe you answered my question.

Basicly, you're saying that you shouldn't pay any taxes because your tax money is wasted and you don't see yourself as using any government services. Right?
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
People think taxes and they always think social programs and it all going to low income people. What I never see are people riling against corporate welfare (which is just as much a burdon on your tax dollars -if not more) with the same vigor. Everything from unfair tax breaks, to subsidies, to health costs of industrial pollution, to the government picking up the tab to clean up industrial waste. The idea that economic beasts pull the economic vehicle is trickle down nonsense and in no way offsets the cost of the above. Problem is, the above economic climate is what the corporate world call 'favourable' and governments/people truly believe if you don't bow down, and be submissive, you don't get economic stimulous & investment. I call bullshit, and the moment we grow a backbone and develop some sort of corporate reform, the tax burdon on 'the worker' would lessen. If you want to rile agaisnt misuse or mis allocation of taxdollars, you must acknowledge all sides.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
That's a large part of the issue I think. People seem to associate government largesse with social spending. Why is the focus in the media on Welfare waste, social program waste, administrative spending waste (Adrianne Clarkson spending $700,000 for instance)?

Government also builds roads so that business can be conducted efficiently and people can get to work.
Schools to educate a mainly pliant, indoctrinated working class.
Environmental management to protect us from abuses.
Health care management that allows us to focus our mind on the future, instead of fearfully trying to save money to pay for a sick child (thus, this is pro-cunsumption and good for the economy).
Policing, to protect property.
Financial regulation to ensure smooth flowing capital markets.

The list can go on for two pages. So, do those that rail against government simply rail against social spending? Is it some kind of psyscological thing, such as "my family didn't get any help, why should they." Or "my dad was an immigrant, he got a job...if new immigrants don't want to work they should go back home." But this type of spending is miniscule as part of a large federal budget - it's almost laughable.

Therefore, do some leaders in society, utilize social spending and the animosity it can provoke, as a way of promoting a general reduction in government or a re-allocation of government resources?
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Because in the end if you add up all of the waste it doesn't add up to a single days cost of the welfare system. If you add up all of the wages of all of the mp's mpp's and senators you still don't have a single days expence for health care. If you take Alberta and Ontario out of the picture you suddenly have all provinces going bankrupt except maybe quebec.

We're still paying for labour strikes for the 50's and 60's. We're still paying for rail lines that have no cargo and no passengers that were make work projects.

We complain about "corporate welfare" but we scvream even louder when a plant like Hyundai closes. We scream and yell against corporate welfare and rightfully so until we find ourselves in a situation where a kine closes not because it isnb't profitable but because its nowhere remotely near as profitable as mines elsewhere. We scream about corporate welfare until we realize that the port authority holds on to a huge track of land because it isn't worth detoxifying the land for new uses and the companies that made it toxic went out of business and went bankrupt before any of us were born.

In the end this is still social spending going back into our own pockets.


But in the end I pay more per week in taxes than a person working minimum wage can make even working over time. I could hire a personal secretary for the amount of taxes I pay. I pay more in taxes per year than my entire university education costed. In the end you can't convince me that I should pay more taxes, you cazn get mre complaicent enough to accept the amount I'm forced to pay but thats as good as its going to get. I can be convinced to vote against tax decreases but only for so long.

Its not that social programs aren't necessary, its not that transferring wealth to the east coast isn't a good idea. Its simply that in the end I'm paying more than my fair share for it. Why should I not get any of the direct benifits for the price I pay simply for going to work every day.
 
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divell420

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Ditto Much

We're still paying for labour strikes for the 50's and 60's. We're still paying for rail lines that have no cargo and no passengers that were make work projects.
And if taxes keep getting lower (arguably if they stay the same even), we'll continue leaving huge debts for our grandchildren to throw hissy-fits over. We can't fix the financial screwups of 50 years ago, but we can fix the ones going on now

Say there's 2 people in the country, Ditto and your secretary. You making your 80-some-odd thousand dollars a year, and her (yes sexist) making 20000. Government needs $600 a week to stay afloat, pay down debts, and keep everything maintained. You saying that you and her should split the burden 50/50? You're both working the same hours, so why not eh?

That leaves your poor secretary with all off $200 left over after taxes, while you get an extra $200 to throw into your condo

So ya, middle-class workers pay alot more in taxes than lower class workers, but they MAKE alot more than lower class workers. They aren't paying a significantly higher percentage of their salary to the government... the lefty argument is that if you've got a higher percentage of the wealth you should be sharing a higher percentage of the costs of running the society we live in. More so as we cross the barrier from middleclass to upper-echelon 7-figures-a-year type people. When you've got that much, what's an extra 20 grand either way? But an extra 20 grand in taxes to someone who doesn't NEED that money is the difference between an entire floor of office plebs who don't have to pay more than they can afford

/rant
Hope someone gains something from this

Must say, it's pretty funny how all the pinko leftie commie anarchists are calling for higher taxes to support the government, while the middle-class conservatives are calling for the destruction of the state. Heh
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by divell420
And if taxes keep getting lower (arguably if they stay the same even), we'll continue leaving huge debts for our grandchildren to throw hissy-fits over. We can't fix the financial screwups of 50 years ago, but we can fix the ones going on now

Say there's 2 people in the country, Ditto and your secretary. You making your 80-some-odd thousand dollars a year, and her (yes sexist) making 20000. Government needs $600 a week to stay afloat, pay down debts, and keep everything maintained. You saying that you and her should split the burden 50/50? You're both working the same hours, so why not eh?

That leaves your poor secretary with all off $200 left over after taxes, while you get an extra $200 to throw into your condo

So ya, middle-class workers pay alot more in taxes than lower class workers, but they MAKE alot more than lower class workers. They aren't paying a significantly higher percentage of their salary to the government... the lefty argument is that if you've got a higher percentage of the wealth you should be sharing a higher percentage of the costs of running the society we live in. More so as we cross the barrier from middleclass to upper-echelon 7-figures-a-year type people. When you've got that much, what's an extra 20 grand either way? But an extra 20 grand in taxes to someone who doesn't NEED that money is the difference between an entire floor of office plebs who don't have to pay more than they can afford

/rant
Hope someone gains something from this

Must say, it's pretty funny how all the pinko leftie commie anarchists are calling for higher taxes to support the government, while the middle-class conservatives are calling for the destruction of the state. Heh

With two people in the country the government doesn';t need 600 per week, it doesn't even need to exsist.

But inheritly the amount of tax that someobody else has to pay has nothing to do with my argument. I could care less if you pay less or more than me, what bugs me is that every week I pay a fairly large amount of money. If we could cut that amount in half without major disruptions in our society I would be damn happy to pay less.

What do I get for my 500 per week?

I don't think a head tax is the answer, but I'm a firm believer in consumption taxes. I should pay a basic tax based on my income but the vast majority of my taxes should come from my spending and not from my income. If I buy trivial items with my money I should pay taxes on the consumption, I should pay taxes on the waist product I generate, I should pay taxes for road repairs if I have a license plate and I should pay fuel taxes for the fuel I buy. But income tax doesn't make any sense, its just a method to provide negatives for saving my money.


My problem lies in the fact that I don't get shit for the 500 per week I spend.
 

divell420

TRIBE Promoter
heh ya there's a little flaw in my imaginary little world there. Ignoring that, the point of the whole damn thing was trying to put a personal face to the fact that for you to pay less, someone else has gotta pay more. Assuming you don't want to force your hypothetical secretary to live in a cardboard box because 95% of her small salary is going to taxes... do you think more of the burden should be carried by the elite uber-rich who can afford it? Awesome, welcome to the left-wing side of the fight

Higher taxes for the rich will SAVE YOU MONEY, because if you're working for someone else then you're not rich.

If you want to restructure taxes completely to be some kind of per-use based thing, that's fine. But most likely you'll expect to pay about the same per week in taxes...condo owner's tax, bigscreen tv tax, liquor tax, cigarette tax, internet-connection tax, tribe posting tax (there's a trivial expense for ya )
.....plus the consultants fees for the restructuring of course ;)
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by divell420
do you think more of the burden should be carried by the elite uber-rich who can afford it? Awesome, welcome to the left-wing side of the fight

yes I do!!


However I have never witnessed any proof that increasing taxes improves poor peoples lives. If anything we have proven that increased spending rarely translated into anything but spending more.

How is it that a shelter bed costs over $30,000 per year to operate?
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
What do you get for your 500 per week tax bill? What do the Bronfman's get for their 100 million per year tax bill?
What does RBC get for their 1.3 billion dollar tax bill?

They get society and all it's glory. RBC could not make 3 billion per year without police enforcement, courts, a stable middle class (gainfully employed and comfortable), electric power grids, etc.

The Bronfmans would not have ammased the Seagram fortune without roads (haha), consumers who have the ability to spend money on luxuries, cheap labour who are able and required to go to work, etc.

You probably gain an emormous benefit from govenment but I don't think you can see it. Unless you lived 200 years ago, on the farm in Iowa, where you could produce your own goods and sell them privately, without any assistance at all, you need government. If you work for someone, how does that entity profit? In Canada, like much of the first world, we all benefit from government and the society it creates. If we cut expenditures in half, what do we cut? The bed's that you allude to comprise but 1% of the budget....that's not 50%. Should we chop health care, privatize it? So it costs double per capita than it does now (see US vs Canada stats at the UN)? Should we chop law enforcement so everyone has to build gates around their house or higher private guards? Should we cut CPP and EI so that millions starve on the street?
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by divell420
Must say, it's pretty funny how all the pinko leftie commie anarchists are calling for higher taxes to support the government, while the middle-class conservatives are calling for the destruction of the state. Heh
So do I. That's what amazes me.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Ditto you have no idea what kind of tax money goes into corporate welfare and the cost of corporate crime (a form of corproate welfare) in the states or in Canada because federal agancies have refused to keep statistics. But watchdog groups estimate it to be in the multi-billion dollar range/year in Canada. That being said, your claim that it ends up in our pockets is false, tricke down economics is false, it get's repatriated, hoarded and reinvested elsewhere and on other things.

Cleanup of industrial waste is not social spending, it's cleaning up the mess of an industry that curbed the true cost of bringing their product/service to market by placing the burdon on the immediate taxpayers of that community.

Jobs are a small concession, and because of that I do support some assistence in the private sector, but the 'current climate', which is NO FAULT of our own, is one that has sold out our economic leverage to trade pacts which are really investor protection pacts and marginalize the protection of local economic rights. This is not only wrong in the sense that it's a system of cash & carry governement where investors will spend as much of your money as they need to protect a dollar of theirs, but also corporate welfare completely undermines the ability for a free market to remain efficient & competitive. You cannot use the argument that because it's the status quo, it's valid. The fact that policy allowed it to became the status quo is the problem, and will lead to further breakdowns in our system.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Otis I really liked your responce, I have a couple of things i have to take care of but I will reply at some point!!!
 
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