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RE: OT: this is the last thing we need

From: Dennis Taylor <>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 13:39:42 -0800
Message-ID: <>

At 12:21 PM 2/16/01 -0800, you wrote:
>Yeah I don't think you will get any money due to these tax cuts..Its
>intented to rich people. I don't understand Instead of developing further of
>social net and Education system, I don't see any nice thing to cut taxes and
>draining the money from vital systems like federal spending either its
>defence,social security and education.

(disclaimer: my experience is with Canada, although I bet my comments will be mostly true for the USA as well)

Left/middle govts are always talking about "the rich". People complain about tax breaks because they'll mostly benefit "the rich". I wonder how many people realize that these govts' definition of "rich" includes probably as much as 90% of the working population? In Canada, at least, you are one of "the rich" if you can afford a second car (not paid for, mind you). You are "rich" if you can afford mortgage payments or have some hope of being able to in the future. Lest you think I'm kidding, it's not all that long ago that our local government slapped huge tax increases on residents of Vancouver's west end, based on the idea that "those rich fatcats" could afford it (The West End is upscale real estate here FYI). In fact the government reps made very heavy use of the words "they" and "we". Trouble is, it turned out that most of the rich fatcats were seniors on fixed incomes who'd bought their houses long before the West End became trendy, and who now couldn't afford the taxes. The governments reply: "They can sell their houses or get mortgages". Yeah, so much for representing "us". The only "them" we need to be saved from are the politicians.

In fact there is very little in the way of "they" when talking about "the rich". It's mostly "we". And the reason is simple. Governments can get away with a lot more if they can define an enemy to capture your attention -- some horrible "them" who are actually responsible for all your troubles. Trouble is, in this case, the definition of "they" has gotten so broad over time that there is very little "not they" left.

As to tax breaks mostly benefiting the "upper middle" income tax brackets, why are you surprised? Sliding tax scales mean that not only are "upper middle" earners paying more on an absolute basis, but also more as a percentage of income. Not to mention the various "temporary surtaxes" that have been imposed over time. It is very difficult to come up with a tax scheme that benefits "the poor" and doesn't benefit "the rich" -- at least one that means anything -- by playing with the income tax tables. However, a very good plan based on guaranteed minimum income was recommended by a government task force a few years back -- and was rejected out of hand by our oh-so-compassionate liberal government.

And BTW, if you're thinking of claiming that high taxes benefit "the poor", come to Vancouver. Canada has (last time I looked) the 4th or 5th highest marginal tax rate in the industrialized world, and we've still got panhandlers on every street corner. In fact Canada, with one of the highest tax rates, and the U.S. with one of the lowest, have roughly equivalent poverty rates overall.

As to "safety nets", if someone in my family ever gets sick, we're going straight over the border into Seattle for treatment. The Canadian medical system exists in name only.

Face it -- high taxes pay for only one thing -- politicians and political patronage.

Dennis Taylor

To laugh at men of sense is the privilege of fools.
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Author: Dennis Taylor

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Received on Fri Feb 16 2001 - 15:39:42 CST

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