Wednesday July 13, 2011
HST goes on... and on
Submitted by Rafe Mair
'm now accused of shifting my ground because I argue, belatedly I assume, that I'm raising the issue of unfairly criticizing consumption taxes. Any who have listened to me on radio or read my stuff will know that this has been my principal concern about the HST itself back to the beginning.
My argument that the government's case depends upon trusting them to lop 2%
off the tax in 3 years time simply says that the government has made this
central to their claim that the tax is fair and that I don't trust them.
Because this offer is relatively new I have dealt with it at the first
Now I'm accused of opposing the tax not on its merits but for personal reasons - untrue and unfair.
Here is my response. (If any wish to see the entire letter I received I will promptly email it to you)
YOU are diverting the argument.
You accused me of being against the HST because I don't like the government. Amongst other things, that is grossly unfair. Are only fans of the government permitted to oppose their policies and not be called names for their pains?
Part of my reason is that I think consumption taxes hurt those who can take it the least. All consumption taxes flout the principle of graduated tax.
Of course we will have consumption taxes - they are easy and cheap to collect. Unlike, I suspect you, I was around when WAC imposed the first one in the early 50s. A friend of mine, the late Ernie Brown, a golf pro, marked some golf balls and found that when they were returned for re-sale as used balls, sometimes they were taxed as many as 10 times! It was an unfair tax then and it is now. It was and remains a popular tax with governments because it is easy and cheap to collect.
Because others have them doesn't make them good. So you personally will be better off!
What about those independent business people like restaurateurs who aren't - and what about the servers? And what about the professionals whose clients postpone and limit visits? What about the thousands of British Columbians who now find an extra burden on necessities which they have trouble enough buying now.
Please do not trot out that tiresome argument that what you save will trickle down to the masses.
And there surely is nothing quite as tiresome as the argument that all of you are going to pull up stakes and move to Moose Jaw.
No I don't like this government a bit - mostly because they are the most financially inept and corrupt government in our history. Surely that doesn't mean I can't criticize their policy without a series of ad hominem attacks on my integrity.
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