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PM: ‘I don’t believe that any taxes are good taxes’

July 14, 2009

Repost from The globe and Mail, a must read article on Prime Minister Harper’s dislike of taxes

This is really disingenuous.  To campaign against taxes is one thing, but for the sitting government to seem to say that we should not have taxes at all is outrageous.  He knows how much tax money is needed to run the programs Canadians expect, to imply that this can be maintained without any taxation is immoral.  The fact is that if taxes are lowered we must get less from the government in services or run up an enormous debt that hurts Canada’s financial standing in the world.  Unfortunately the Prime Minister seems to prefer the latter approach.

One of the comments on the CBC board stood out for me, to paraphrase

Just because a tax is necessary doesn’t means its ‘good’.

Yes. It does.

Taxes are necessary in order to provide the social services, defense and policing our nation needs. Without those taxes we’d have all private distribution of these services relying purely on the ability of people to pay, leading to huge disparity between rich and poor that would make our current sorry state look like utopia.  To avoid that we need taxation and centralized distribution or at least administration of many services.  This is a good thing, therefore, taxes are good up to the point that they support such services.

To argue otherwise is to argue that somehow just because someone takes money from you it is a bad thing regardless of the cause.  Its not as if you are not receiving anything in return.  It is also not as if you have no choice, paying taxes is part of the social contract you sign every  day you use the public roads, water systems, listen to the radio on public airwaves and partake in thousands of other activities that would not be possible without a public infrastructure.  If you no longer agree to that contract then you are obligated to stop using all those services which basically means you have to leave the country.  But I don’t think you’ll find a country with no taxation that you’ll want to move to.

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