Simplifying the Canadian Tax Code? Not part of the Harper Agenda

Here’s interesting column by Jeffrey Simpson in the March 23 Globe & Mail.  In addition to the popular but economically misguided reductions to the GST the Conservatives have introduced a lot of
“boutique” tax credits, each designed to appeal to some narrow section of voters.  I don’t have the facts but I’ll bet there is a pretty close mapping to local ridings where Conservatives have perennially close races.

Jeffrey Simpson: Someone will eventually have to clean up the Conservatives’ tax code – The Globe and Mail.

“Consider a recent political pamphlet sent by a Conservative MP to his constituents. Called “tax savings for you and your family,” it lists page after page of these tax cuts, some expanding existing ones, others creating new ones.

“The list includes:

  • tax-free savings account;
  • higher GST credit;
  • medical expense tax credit;
  • public transit tax credit;
  • universal child care benefit;
  • children’s fitness tax credit;
  • children’s arts tax credit;
  • family caregiver amount;
  • child disability tax credit;
  • registered disability savings program;
  • Canada child tax benefit;
  • national child benefit supplement;
  • textbook tax credit;
  • higher age amount for seniors;
  • pension income splitting;
  • hiring credit for small business;
  • pooled registered pension plans;
  • working income tax benefit;
  • volunteer firefighters tax credit;
  • apprenticeship job creation tax credit;
  • tradesperson’s tools deduction;
  • meal expenses deduction for long-haul truckers; and
  • first-time home buyers’ tax credit.

“Some of these are worthwhile, others are stupid”

But event the ones that are “worthwhile” are economically counter-productive because of their cumulative burden on the overall tax code.

The Scale of the Universe |

The Scale of the Universe

Very nice use of technology to display scales.
I think there is a lot of room for speculation at both end of the spectrum.  Relativity theory picks up where Newton left off, but I suspect it doesn’t work at the limits.  The scientists are bumping into virtual walls where experimentation and even measurements are impossible.  So long scientists, and thanks for the fish.  Over to you, creationists.