Ed Broadbent’s study and a new question

The recent study by the Broadbent Institute shows that Canadian’s are willing to pay slightly higher taxes if that’s what it would take to save social programs. If that’s what it would take, sure, no problem, but maybe we don’t all think that’s what it would take. Maybe cuts to middle management are what it would take. Maybe cutting spending from a low priority area and shuffling the savings to a higher priority area is what it would take. Maybe higher taxes would make the problem worse by decreasing revenues.

Personally, I think a tax bracket for higher income earners may be needed, and government priorities should be better set. We can’t be everything to everyone. Corporate taxes are tricky, because businesses might make choices that we don’t want if we raise their taxes too much. This could lead to greater unemployment, higher prices or decreased corporate tax revenue. Hard to say.

So what do people think? If social programs were being threatened, what should government do to save them?

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2 Comments

  1. I think the way to raise revenues is to increase the consumption taxes on luxury goods, which would put the burden on the big spenders and not on the wages of low and middle income Canadians. Also, let’s tax those investment incomes at the same rate as earned income and disallow stock options in lieu of salaries. It would be great if our stock market once again became an indicator of production and productivity rather than a poker game, played with other peoples’ money where a few can get very rich, especially if, as CEO’s, they invest their efforts into inflating their shares rather than in the productivity of the organization. Most of us are happy to support our social programs and would pay more taxes to ensure their sustainability and especially their efficiency. However, we see our taxes more and more going toward things we don’t want and need, such as jails and jets and I, for one, am ready to dig in my heels about supporting much of what our current governments are doing.

    Reply
    • I think consumption taxes are good to consider because they do gain revenue from the bigger spenders, as long as GST refunds could be expanded so these increased rates don’t hurt low and middle income Canadians too much.

      I need to learn more on the investment income side of things. Often, investment income is the only source of income (especially with CEO’s) and it is unfair that they get a lower rate because it’s considered investment income, but then there’s also the retirees that are relying on investment income to fund their retirement. Honestly don’t know enough about it to take a position on the idea at this time.

      Agree with you completely on the need for government to set better priorities.

      Reply

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