Abolish the Income Tax!
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
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 -
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
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
But the solution to planning
for retirement and for retiring the income tax are exactly the same - save and
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
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?
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