Tax system not so bad

I would like to remind the people reading letters about our taxes, in Canada we have a progressive tax system where money is divided into income brackets determining the applicable tax rate.

One thing I have learned over the years is it’s not enough to just work hard to make money and have a rainy day fund. The reality is hard work has little to do with success.

If we look at how some folks became “self-made” millionaires, the one thing they have in common is they save money and put it where it can grow—into stocks, bonds and other types of stable investments.

When I read the letters of people complaining of how bad things are in Canada, I think they are unable to see how good we have it. The idea that Canadians are paying punitive taxes is incorrect, if we compare ourselves to similar nations.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development, Canada is ranked 26th out of 31 OECD nations.

The fact is Belgium's workers paid the highest taxes last year. Their rate was 55.8% of the “tax wage.”

According to CTV, the tax wage is the difference between what businesses pay to employ a worker and the net take-home pay of the employee after income taxes, employee and employee social security contributions minus benefits.

In second place is Germany, with a tax burden of 49.9%. Canadians pay 31.1% . The U.S. is ranked 25th, with a slightly higher at 31.3%

Another thing pointed out in the OECD report is that progressive taxation, like Canada's system, tends to benefit poor households with children. That type of help is what will make many move to another tax bracket.

In Canada, the people who see no change with our type of progressive taxation, are single people with no children earning a medium income.

Yes, at this moment we are experiencing higher prices in housing and food. The thing is, we cannot blame it entirely on the government. I see blaming everything on the government as a cop out. I compare it to (saying) the heat dome in recent years was the government's fault.

I think folks should save all their receipts for a month and see their spending behaviour.

Something I think has undermined and sabotaged our confidence is hearing politicians telling us Canada is broken. Those negative views, when constantly bombarded, cause Canadians to become anxious and some to actually start to believe it.

Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau has made mistakes, some are the kind that make me question what was he thinking? However, (Conservative Leader) Pierre Poilievre is in a totally different field. I remember (former prime minister Stephen) Harper naming (Poilievre) minister of state for democratic reform, and many pundits (were critical).

Personally, every time I see him I'm reminded of a comment he made. It still bothers me because it was offensive. The comment was towards residential school abuse victims. He criticized funding for residential school survivors. Asking, "are we really getting value for all this money," then questioning the work ethic of First Nations people. (I actually had to go and look it up to write his comment correctly.)

I have always believed people can change, however, beliefs are embedded in the soul. The only way to change them is with long-term counselling.

L. Busch

(Editor's note: In 2008, shortly after making his comments about money going to residential school survivors, Poilievre publicly apologized, saying his comments were "hurtful and wrong.")

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