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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

How Can Government Resolve Problems when Government is the Problem?

What is the primary function of the federal government?

Simply put, the job of government is to manage the day to day operations of the Country and resolve any national problems that might arise.

Next question, how can a government resolve a nation’s problems when that government is the problem?

Every day we go about the daily business of working, raising families, paying bills, buying groceries and so on. Every day we see our dollar buying less, our children’s schools deteriorating and our take home pay shrinking. Gas prices are up, food prices are up, taxes are up, and because of it all, most of us are fed up.

Do we ever stop to think about the root cause of it all? Do we ever really think about the role government plays in our daily life? Probably not, most of the general public sees the government as a far off entity collecting taxes or delivering services. An entity with members who knock at the front door once every four years begging for a job.

The reality of the situation is that government is much more than that. Government impacts every aspect of our lives every day, 365 days a year and since most of our lives are not all that great to begin with, government deserves much of the credit for the situation in which we find ourselves.

Taxes are a great example of the impact government has. How many people truly realize just how much they pay in taxes every year? Sure we all see the little box on our T4 slip when we fill out those forms from Revenue Canada, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Not only are we are saddled with income tax, CPP or QPP and EI contributions, but also with HST (or GST & Provincial Taxes), ultra-massive Sin taxes on tobacco / alcohol and lets not forget the dreaded gasoline taxes. These are just the ones that immediately spring to mind. What about hidden taxes? I’m referring to things like the various fees we pay for things like the federal gun registry, passport and visa applications or anything else requiring a government employee to pick up a number 2 pencil.

I can’t even begin to comprehend just how much money is being stripped from our pockets every day by the problem makers on Ottawa. We have a government that spends like a drunken sailor, misappropriates funds (read adscam) and is running its operations more inefficiently than at any time in our history, yet they are nearing a full decade of what they refer to as “surplus budgets”. My God, how much money are they sucking out of us anyway?

How in the name of all that’s powerful can a government have a surplus budget? In reality there should never be such a thing. If more money is coming in than is needed then one of two things should happen. Either taxes need to be lowered or government services need to be improved. There are no other options and that includes the latest Liberal entry into the bull patty hall of fame, rebating 33% of all surpluses over $3 billion. What a vote buying joke that is.

While the brain trust in Ottawa struts around boasting of their great fiscal management, a hospital wait takes longer than a Paul Martin decision. Our nation’s highways require the use of all terrain vehicles and generous doses of Gravol. Our schools are decaying in both structure and educational value. Our military capacity is a world wide joke and our Coast Guard can’t even staff up to a rescue effort after 4pm.

No, there is no such thing as a surplus.

The price of everything we use has gone up, up and away. Sure, some of this is a natural increase due to supply and demand, but a lot of it is simply because of taxation itself.

When fuel costs rise (and a large part of fuel cost is tax) it drives up the cost of transporting goods from the delivery of raw materials through manufacture and on to delivery in your local store.

When income taxes, CPP / EI premiums and all other taxes are high there is less for the average Joe to live on. As a result Joe Sixpack and Sally Lunchpail eventually need a raise. This in turn drives up the cost of labor and ultimately the cost of goods sold. Of course since a raise also means even more federal taxes, CPP and EI premiums the cycle continues unabated.

There are some nations in the world with higher taxation than ours, or so they claim. I’m not so sure. Even though income tax may be as high as 70% in some countries, the services provided for by those taxes help ensure that everyone is happy. Everything from free daycare to free prescriptions to fully paid spa trips for arthritis suffers. Not so in Canada. Besides, I haven’t done the math, but I am almost willing to bet that when you add all of the taxes we pay into the equation, including the hidden ones if you can figure them out, our true taxation level would put 70% to shame.

What do we have to show for the privilege of filling Ottawa’s coffers? Let me answer that question with a question.

How proud are you to work all day for a smaller and smaller pay check, a higher and higher cost of living and fewer and fewer government services while our elected officials waste our hard earned money, pad their expense accounts and vote themselves raise after raise after raise?

Well, if you’re like me, you’re about as happy as a twenty-five pound turkey on Thanksgiving.

Come on into the House Paul and Ralph, its dinner time!! Do you want white meat or dark meat?

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