Sunday, 22 July 2018

No more tax cuts. Published as The Simple Raven's Post.

No more tax cuts.

I welcome reasonable taxes, but I want services and regulations in return. “No taxation without representation.” Also, no increase in tax if there is no increase in income.

My friend from Arizona works for their provincial or state government, and he is upset with the waste of taxes. In his office, there are four workers, three who regularly take naps by the desk, play video games and text with friends, all on the taxpayer's dime. He is not highly paid, and he definitely notices the taxes taking a chunk of his income away. His two immediate supervisors are missing from work half of the time, and he is bothered by homeless people and drug addicts all around the building where he works.

Ask him about government waste, and you will get an earful. Tim is very upset about government waste. I told him that it is allowed to happen since the Arizona government is looking for reasons to privatize the services. There is no reason why the government can’t fix the problem, get more work done and save money as well as any private company could. We can demand that government will do its job without privatizing services or selling public assets.

I remember clearly how in 1998 the Alberta provincial government imploded the busiest hospital in Calgary, the General Hospital, which had a new wing under construction. The emergency departments in the other hospitals were immediately slowed down to three days waits, and private emergency clinics appeared to take care of the increased demand. (The land was sold for expensive Condo units.) The opposite also happened. Calgary, for example, hung on to its power company, Enmax, and in Calgary, I paid about half of the taxes that I pay in the Pass taking into account the size of my property and its value. Enmax gives the City many millions of dollars of revenue as utility companies do to their owners.

I don’t know anyone who likes to pay taxes. The money we collect pays for all the essential services that we wouldn’t have without taxes. Roads, schools, hospitals, police, government, fire protection, parks, recreation, libraries, social services, consumer protections, courts, jails, street light, national defense, snow removal, environmental protection, regulated production, and this is just the beginning.

There is an incentive for some to regulate others and get more for themselves. A good example was the bailouts after the last market collapse in 2008. Corporations who received tax reductions before the recession went belly up and received tax money in the form of bailouts. The money they received could have bought many people homes and cars, but socialism for the rich was mandated by the Liberal government in the USA and the Conservative government in Canada. The poor lost their homes, jobs, and savings, just to find themselves later employed for less pay and no benefits. We are practicing socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor and taxes are paying for it.

Now we are facing another tax revolt fueled by energy interest and capitalizing on people’s natural aversion to being taxed. Just about any person today with an elementary education can easily see that the evidence points out that the carbon pollution is threatening the world with grave danger. The whole world voted to take some steps towards reducing the danger. However, political parties managed to build a strong grassroots movements built on resentment to the Carbon Tax. It is proven to be the most effective way to reduce the carbon emissions.

Our modern economic system has been built around the use of mechanical power fulled by fossil energy, and many millions of people can trace their source of livelihood to be dependent on that form of energy. For as long as we can remember progress have been tied up to artificial power obtained by burning things that over millions of years stored the sun’s energy. We all know that an end to it must come, eventually, but we don’t want it to come in our lifetime. Surprisingly I feel the same way, but I must care about future generations.

I look at my surroundings. Mountains, forested hills, streams, lakes and a lot of wildlife and flowers dotting green pastures. I look at my kids, all grown up thanks to great efforts expended by me and our wonderful communities. They now have children of their own, young beautiful and innocent. I am scared that it will all go away. I notice the frequency of fires and floods increasing from year to year. I see an increase in health problems, allergies and more that need cures.

Now, this dependency on fossil energy combined with our knowledge that our tax money is often abused and misused is surfacing and threatening to hinder the tiny steps we are taking to curb the murderous pollution. I go back to the years in which we noticed the disappearing ozone layer and the damaging acid rains. We selected governments that took action and beat both problems. Together we eliminated a lot of the damages caused by cigarette smoking and reduced danger by regulating vehicle speed, disallowing texting while driving and getting people to wear seatbelts. This generation is capable of recognizing problems and activating solutions when we want.  

I am not in favor of increasing taxes to let governments waste money. I sympathize with my friend Tim. On the other hand, I want taxes to reduce costs and improve services as done with Medicare. We pay half of what the Americans do. I am angry at politicians building hate towards the Carbon Tax, (got my first rebate check lately) when they don’t propose a better system. I am against political parties hiring proven public liars and influencing us to vote against a bright and healthy future for future generations.


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Athabasca Glacier Retreat | www.pixshark

There are signs everywhere that Carbon Tax is needed.

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