Measuring Progressivity in Canada’s Tax System, 2022
I have often read on social media that rich people should pay their fair share of taxes. Surprisingly, rich people never say this. In this topsy-turvy world, it is the community of people who pay the least and the people who are supposedly the best educated who propose this idiocy.
What would a fair share mean? There is an argument that rich people own corporations and these corporations draw on the resources of a country more than an average individual. The trucks they use to transport goods, utilities, and water all contribute to the draw on a nation's resources. However, without these corporations, there would not be jobs or food on the shelves. On top of that, people of all income groups share ownership of these corporations. It isn't just rich people who invest in the stock market. The middle class and the poor all have some ownership of these corporations.
It used to be that only landowners were taxed. The Income Tax was introduced in 1917 to pay for war debts in Canada. At the time, the population of Canada was roughly 8 million people. Less than two hundred people were employed as tax collectors in the entire country. The population is only five times more extensive today, but the number of tax collectors has increased by over two hundred times. In essence, there are tax collectors whose only job is to collect taxes to pay for the salaries of tax collectors.
Historically, landowners paid all the taxes, and consequently, they made the decisions on how the money was spent. They did so by being the only people who had the vote. During World War I, soldiers were given the franchise to vote, and once income taxation was introduced, that franchise was extended to all people, including women. However, women were not subject to income tax unless they were landowners. They exchanged that exemption in 1929 when they acquired a different legal definition.
I desire a return to the values that existed when landowners were the only ones subject to taxes. All people should be able to exercise how their tax dollars are spent. This can be easily accomplished on the government website. Everyone who pays taxes can log into that site. Once there, there can be a page devoted to where your tax dollars could be devoted to. What do I care for? As a person approaching retirement, my concerns are devoted more to things associated with healthcare and infrastructure (roads and bridges). I also have a high value for utilities, water and the internet. Someone younger might be more interested in funding for education. While a minimum level could be set for the military, healthcare, and infrastructure, people should be allowed to focus their tax dollars on areas that are important to them.
I believe that people should pay their fair share, but they should also have the ability to direct the money to where they want it to go.