Did you submit your 2009 income tax form yet? Do you ever wonder why it is so complex? And then there is the paradoxical situation where the government gives us tips on how to save income tax and offers "tax breaks" if we perform certain actions then provide proof. Talk about manipulation. That is the carrot-and-stick approach to controlling us that governments in Canada and around the world seem to have perfected. They want, no need your money, as much as possible NOW! But they are willing to play a game with us all and see how clever we can be at reducing or avoiding payment. Some of us even hire people to avoid payment - doesn't that seem ludicrous?
The income tax in Canada was a temporary measure instituted by the government in 1917 to help finance World War I. It was so easy to put into law and so easy to keep, that here we are 93 years later and it has become a fixture of life. The government even jokes about it on their website. But most of us never really analyze what we get in return for this huge expense, maybe we should. In almost very other aspect of our lives we carefully shop around for the various goods or services that we use. There is choice, we buy this car not that one, we choose that peanut butter, not the other - choice is everywhere. Not in government "services" - someone else chooses for us but we pay. Of course they must know what they are doing, right?
About this time last year I wrote about the Fraser Institute's flat-tax proposal. You can see the tax form for individuals in the corner. It's just ten lines, simple, no loopholes. But if it were instituted it would destroy the industry built up around tax preparation, CA's, lawyers, publishers, tax preparers.....it boggles the mind. The government would have to bail them out....we don't want to go there do we? You wonder just who is the government working for, who are they protecting? Is it us?
This week Dan Mitchell of the CATO Institute released a flat tax proposal for the Americans. It's worth a look, it's good for Canada too.