Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Book Tax Is Not A Four Letter Word

A new book, Tax is Not a Four-Letter Word, tries to make us realize the vital connection between taxes and the public good. The inspiration was the Conservatives’ cutting two percentage points from the GST by 2008.

Rob Ford was elected as Toronto mayor in 2010 after promising to restore respect for taxpayers.
Stephen Harper became Prime Minister in 2006 after promising to chop the goods and services tax (GST).
Hugh Mackenzie urges readers to think their way through the day, making a note of every time they use, consume or benefit from a public service.
Here’s what happened when he did it:
  • The alarm clock buzzed and he turned on the light. The electricity was distributed to his home by a public utility and probably generated by a public utility.
  • He used the toilet and flushed. The waste disappeared into his home’s plumbing system, to be distributed and processed kilometres away as a public service, thanks to the taxes he paid.
  • He brushed his teeth using water that came out of the tap when he turned the handle, water that was there because he paid his taxes.
  • He drove his car down a street that wouldn’t be there if he hadn’t paid his taxes. He dropped off his child to catch a bus (paid for by taxes) to go to school (also paid for by taxes).
  • He made it to his destination on crowded roads without incident, thanks to the traffic signals and police officers keeping him safe (also paid for by taxes).
  • At the end of the day, he listened to CBC radio news in the car and sat down to dinner without thinking about the safety of the food he ate, thanks to rules created, enforced and paid for by taxes.

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