Outraged at the story that the CEO of Target who is getting a $70 million personal severance package that equals the total amount being offered to all 17,600 laid off Canadian employees? You aren't alone. Sadly the story gets even more outrageous than that. While regular workers pay tax on each and every penny of their severance, CEOs get a tax free pass on 50 per cent of income from stock options. We have to clean this up.
By owning 70 per cent of their own oil production and taxing oil revenues at close to 80 per cent, Norway is now saving about $1 billion per week. The so-called "Calgary School" of economic thought would say this stunning socialist success story is impossible in the same way that scientists used to believe that bumblebees cannot fly.
Canada is a wealthy country. But wealth guarantees neither brains nor prosperity. The squandered opportunity of Canada’s resources and a delayed federal budget because of a dip in oil prices is a sad reminder of that.
The upcoming federal election is an opportunity to take stock and look for strong leadership on fiscal issues that go beyond the failed attempts at so-called austerity and boutique tax cuts. Canadians need to press political leaders to take a real stand on tax reform.
Like Alberta, the federal government’s fiscal health is now handcuffed to oil prices to a degree that we’ve never seen before. It’s the opposite of ‘sound fiscal management’ — it’s loose math based on wishful thinking. Veteran journalist and political observer Chris Waddell tells us why - and it isn't pretty.
A conversation about taxes is inevitably a conversation about the kind of Canada we want but also about the kind of Canada we think is possible. Today we reap the benefits of public services built by previous generations more willing to pay taxes. But what will we be passing on to future generations? In the name of austerity we put off investments critical to our future. We also put off the maintenance of our existing infrastructure, our schools and hospitals, roads and bridges, the worst kind of false economy, passing on even more expensive problems to future governments, future generations, jeopardizing our economic performance, and exposing citizens to avoidable health and safety risks.