To the editor:
There is always an easy way out of talking about corporate advantages that translate into disadvantages for the little people. The conversation usually deteriorates into semantics, with one side hurling epithets at the other over their ideological differences.
The question we really need to ask, above all else, is: Why do we continue to give enormous businesses tax breaks?
Of course it encourages them to come to Canada and save their money, perhaps build some meager infrastructure to validate their position here, but it never seems to create any jobs.
Mostly, tax breaks give corporations a place to keep their profits, which is typically redistributed to the top five per cent of the company. That is where the inequality becomes an even larger issue. Tax breaks do not create jobs and redistribute the wealth to those who need it. It opens the door for further entitlements and unprecedented greed.
Now, that’s not to say that corporate taxes are the solution to every problem. Cutting them down to a reasonable degree is a smart way to try and draw jobs and infrastructure to Canada. The issue comes when companies have no real initiative to create any jobs and are not held accountable for it.
The United States is the perfect example of this, as many companies have headquartered in the U.S. for this very reason. Their corporate tax rate is high, but is filled with loopholes that can cut down the tax rate for some companies to zero. That kind of attitude drove the U.S. economy into its steep recession and, so far, has done little to benefit them in general.
The Canadian Labour Congress’s report, posted on Jan. 25, 2012, clearly lays out the damage these cuts create.
We cannot continue to accept this standard as Canadians. For Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to slash corporate tax rates from 21 per cent to 15 per cent doesn’t sound like a lot, but the CLC notes a one per cent cut represents $2 billion in lost revenue. That is $2 billion in lost funding for teachers, community programs, federally funded health organizations and so on. All of these services are essential, according to the federal Conservatives and B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals, so why is it that they (workers) are being made out as the bad guys when they ask for competitive wages?
The real heart of the matter is that money talks, which creates a level of undeniable power. These corporate forces are not representing the interests of Canadians. They represent the ideal of profit over quality of life.
That $2 billion in Federal revenue for that one per cent increase in taxes would pay for 28,571 more teachers, according to Taxpayer.com’s slightly over-estimated average salary for educators in British Columbia.
So, $2 billion in the corporate world is an incentive, yet not significant in the overall scheme of things. But $2 billion for the average Canadian citizen can represent a better education, sophisticated health care and an improved quality of life.
Which is more important to you?