Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Conservative Tax Cut Sham 

The Conservative party is proposing a "middle class" tax cut as a major plank in their federal election platform. Today the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released their analysis of the Conservative plan. Click here for highlights or read the entire report (six pages and very readable) by clicking here.

Stephen Harper has taken a page from the Klein government in calling this a "middle class" tax cut. When Klein sold his tax cut program back in 2001 (aka the "flat tax") he too called it a "middle class" tax cut which would also eliminate thousands of the poorest Albertan's from the tax rolls altogether. Remember the line - Ralph listens, Ralph cares.

What neither Klein then, nor Harper now go out of their way to explain is that these tax cuts overwhelmingly benefit the well-to-do. For example, under Harper's proposals, the 36% of all Canadian families with incomes over $70,000/year would receive 82.7% of the tax cut dollars and of these, the 7% of families with incomes over $150,000/year would receive 28% of the total benefit. Families making $150,000/year and over will get to put on average, $3363 extra in their jeans each year. Families making $70,000/year or less get to keep on average about $240. The Alberta Flat Tax scheme was even more beneficial to the wealthy. Click here for a refresher on the Alberta Flat Tax.

The second part of the sham is when conservative governments need to make up the revenue lost due to the tax cuts. Budgets have to be balanced in these days of fiscal responsibility. This is always done by introducing user fees, healthcare premium hikes and the like; never by hiking taxes. The well-to-do happily pay the additional $1000 or so a year out of their few thousand a year in tax savings. They are still well ahead of the game. Those with incomes under $70,000/year who only averaged $240 in tax cuts start looking for ways to find an additional $760 to cover these additional costs.

A constant theme of this election is how young Canadians feel disenfranchised and find no compelling reasons to vote. Well think about this young Canadians, particularly the vast majority of you who are well down on the income scale. You can be sure that those Canadians who are well-off understand how many dollars a year these conservative tax cuts deliver to them. They didn't get to be well-off by being stupid. For sure they will be voting and they will be making sure that their spouse, kids and perhaps even the cat, dog and guppies will be voting. Voter turnout amongst these folks will be 110% as they say in the sports pages. Guaranteed. Need a reason to vote? This is it.

All Canadians, and particularly young Canadians, need to see this bogus "middle class" tax cut sham for what it is and vote accordingly.

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