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Abolish the Income Tax!
Part 2:
The Vision

Originally published at About.com - April 26, 2001
This article is also available at
Towards a Tax Free Canada

Let's be blunt. I hate taxes! I do not believe they are a necessary evil. They are just plain legalized theft (the taking of someone else's property by force or threat of force). But that sort of attitude gets one nowhere in a world where everyone thinks - "yes, but we need taxes". It's just not "practical".

A person like myself who is philosophically opposed to taxation can talk himself blue in the face about the ethics of taxation, but it won't do a damn bit of good. What is needed is not a philosophical rant (I am overtaxed. I am over-governed. My name is Joe and I am Canadian!). What is needed is a paradigm shift - an alternative vision to the current state.

Clearly the government funds many services and benefits that Canadians need and want - security through police protection and the courts, external defense and civil defense in emergencies through the military, education, health care, and support for the poorer members of society.

Any alternative vision must maintain many and perhaps all of these services to meet with public approval. An alternative vision must look at the revenue side of the equation for the most part, not the spending side.

True, efficiencies on the expenditure side can be made. I believe government by its very nature is inherently wasteful and many government expenses could be eliminated without impacting the general public. (Take the Senate, for example. Take them - please!)

But for the sake of argument, I won't tamper with the expenditure side of government at all. In fact, I will even allow for a modest increase of expenditure annually of 1% plus a further 2% for inflation.

The paradigm shift I'm about to introduce does not involve privatizing services or taking a meat ax to government.

The solution I propose is entirely on the revenue side. It's a proposal to eliminate the income tax over a period of years and replace it with an alternative source of revenue.

Taking the Long View

How many of you are planning for your future? How many of you are contributing to pension plans or RRSPs and planning for eventual retirement? Many of you are. But, unfortunately, many are not. And, unfortunately, the government itself is not planning on retiring the income tax.

But the solution to planning for retirement and for retiring the income tax are exactly the same - save and invest.

The government? Save and invest? Why not? Why do we stick to an outmoded concept that government must tax and spend? Why can the government not save and invest and eventually build up a sufficient nest egg such that ALL government expenses are funded from investment income?

If a person can build up a retirement nest egg that funds all her expenses, and perhaps even grow the savings pool, why can't the government?

Next page > Continue on to The Solution > Page 1, 2, 3


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