Walt's World with Walter Jones
Child and senior poverty levels are going up in Canada, and when questioned about this the government shrugged and gave the same old line.
The majority of our tax dollars come from personal tax revenue and the middle class are caring the burden for the country and can not stand another tax increase.
Stated like that who can argue?
I am going to challenge this story that has gotten multiple governments of the hook. I was hopeful last year when the protest of the 1% started, but it seems to have fallen by the wayside.
We also had a protest about Idle No More, but I am not really sure what that was all about.
So let’s look at the state of affairs as of now.
The country is funded in this manner. The personal tax paid to our federal government was $103.7 billion, 46 per cent of revenue, and the employment insurance fund ( which is added to revenue) was $16.5 billion, which accounts for 7.4 per cent of revenue, so this amounts to the wage earners of this country funding 53.4 per cent of the country.
The rest is made up of other revenue, such payroll income taxes, tariffs, revenue from crown corporations and so on.
Well, how are the people who are footing the majority of the bills doing as far as sharing the wealth goes.
The poorest 20 per cent of wage earners get four per cent, the middle class earns 50 per cent of the income and the one per cent get the rest and they amount to 272,600 workers, and they make more than $191,100, the average being $381,300 - 10 times what the average wage earner makes.
Then there are the 100 wealthiest people in Canada. They account for four per cent.
To make it worse, the middle class wage earners earnings have been flat over the last two decades, (taking into account inflation) while the top wage earners have their wage increase by 300 per cent. This is probably due to our present governments reducing the corporate tax rate to 15 per cent allowing the companies to pocket more money and reward their top people.
The story from the government was that by reducing taxes to big business it would get them to expand and hire more people. Didn't work anymore than reducing tariffs on sporting goods and baby needs meant lower pricing for consumers. This also has not happened.
Now how much of the total tax bill is paid by corporations? their share comes to 6.8 per cent, not a very pretty story.
Some of our younger people will think that this is the way we always funded our country, and you would be wrong . The personal income tax in Canada is less than a hundred years old. It was brought in in 1917 to help fund our debt for the First World War and was supposed to be a short term measure.
Governments being what they are, were quick to see how this could be a cash cow and here we are today. I do not blame this all on governments, as I have said repeatedly governments are not the sole power in any country. There are power brokers and people of wealth and influence that determine how a country is run. So now I have some statements to make and questions to ask.
We are a resource rich country. We have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, we have nickel, copper, iron, uranium, diamond mines, and as much gold deposits as South Africa. We have renewable resources, in vast forests and fisheries, and we have a small population, 35 million.
If the people own the resources of their country, why are we not all rich? Why can we not look after our poor and homeless? Who is pocketing our wealth? Are we selling off our resources so that other countries can add value and leave us with a pittance?
These are questions we all should consider, especially you young people. A word to the wise, the movers and shakers as well as the government, like things the way they are. So nothing changes unless people get involved, also for you people who think we are, and were, always low profile, law abiding citizens who allow people to walk all over us. Check out William Lyon Mackenzie. I don't think he was always right, but he was sure passionate about his causes.
Walt’s World appears periodically in the Amherst News.