Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hold Onto Your 68 Cents in Daily Tax Savings, You're Gonna Need It

We're being told that the average Canadian will be saving $250 a year thanks to cuts in income taxes that will result from passage of the federal budget. That works out to about 68 pennies a day, and I'm going to suggest you start saving it. Add it to the 1 or 2 pennies you're saving on your morning cup of coffee thanks to that huge 2% cut in the GST. Canadians are going to need all that and more, because after racking up a massive debt our federal government is going to be hard pressed to fund many of the programs Canadians cherish.

Health care? Sorry folks, but its been hanging on by a thread ever since Paul Martin slashed transfer payments to the provinces in his great budget balancing act back in the nineties. In another 3-5 years when we've emerged from this orgy of debt, the money just ain't gonna be there to continue supporting a Universal Health Care system. Especially with so many aging baby boomers visiting doctors and hospitals.

Stephen Harper has never been a big fan of Universal Health Care anyway, not since his days with the NCC, and not now. Think of the money the private sector can make when government gets out of the way and hospitals and other facilities operate as businesses. Venture capitalists will be salivating at the prospect of soaking wealthy boomers for essential medical services. A box of tissues? No problem ma'am, they're only $10 a box...we'll just add it to your bill. You do have insurance don't you? Universal Health Care? It'd be nice, but then so would driving a Rolls. You do the best you can with the resources you have, sorry the $$ just ain't there any more.
(Blog entry continued after advertisement)
Speed up your PC

Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals share the blame for this budget as well, because they're endorsing it. Now we're going to be watching the blame game as our economy worsens. The Conservatives will be telling us they had to compromise with the opposition, and that if they'd had a majority things wouldn't have been as bad. The Liberals will be trying to paint Tory times as bad times. Iggy should have stood up and voted it down, but I guess he lacked confidence in his ability to lead a campaign if the option of a Coalition was rejected.

And why are we in this mess? Why are we stuck with a government chosen by just 22% of eligible voters? Because almost 10 million people don't think democracy is important enough to invest a little bit of time in. There's time for their favourite TV shows, time to hang out with friends and family, time to head out for a weekend away or a night out. But no time to inform themselves of the issues and the parties in our political system. No time to head to a polling station and mark a simple letter X on a ballot.

Part of the blame though rests with the roughly 60% of the population who did take the time. Those of us heavily engaged in the debate have a tendency to act just like politicians ourselves. We SHOUT OVER EACH OTHER, engage in character assassination with those who have the temerity to disagree with us, we often act like petulant little kids....It has to stop.

I was right in one of my New Year's prognostications...that Iggy and the LPC would support Stephen Harper's Conservatives, with reservations. Another of my predictions is that we'll be heading to the polls in less than a year.

If we want to ensure better and more responsible government, those of us who are engaged in the process...we need to start acting like adults. We need to listen to those with whom we disagree. That doesn't mean we have to abandon our convictions, but it does mean we have to try and understand the opposing point of view. If we truly listen and try to understand we'll probably find out that our adversaries have some valid points, and some real concerns.

Comments are welcomed, I read them all. Feel free to pass this blog entry along via email or through a social network like FaceBook, just click on the ‘Share This’ icon below.

Back To Canadian Soapbox Home

No comments: