The prime minister may have inadvertently coined the catchphrase of this federal election, perhaps of the whole year.
Just not in way he probably intended.
He claims we cannot tax the super-rich with “unlimited zeal.”
Really? Why not? Surely, we have been giving away tax breaks to corporations and the super-rich with “unlimited zeal” for a very long time now, and to what effect: Impending climate disaster; chronically underfunded public services and the worst inequality since the Great Depression.
Again, I say, why not?
It is because we have not been taxing corporations and the super-rich with unlimited zeal for 2-3 generations now that Canada is behind most of Europe in health care (including pharmacare) funding, as well as investment in renewable energy and green infrastructure. It is because we do not tax the super-rich with unlimited zeal that far too many Indigenous communities still lack safe housing or clean drinking water.
Our housing is less affordable than 40 years ago because we do not tax speculation and property flipping with unlimited zeal.
These crises now pile upon one another because we lack the courage to tax with “unlimited zeal” the fortunate few. Fortunate, yes, because there is no such thing as a self-made billionaire. (Billionaires are not naturally-occurring elements in our world.)
To tax or not to tax is a political choice, and we can choose differently. We can choose to push beyond even the NDP’s modest tax increases for the wealthy, and hit them with something to actually whine about. Tax pandemic profits by 1%? How about 10%, or even 25? Our tax system is long overdue a correction that acknowledges true equality and justice – the needs of the many, over the few.
No, prime minister, we can tax the super-rich with unlimited zeal.
And we must.
Scott Van Denham, Burnaby