It’s time for a tax revolt in Canada – and not just the phony tax revolt promised (and long since forgotten) by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the 2015 federal election campaign.
The problem with taxes in Canada is not that they are too high on the middle class and not high enough on the “rich.”
That was Trudeau’s phony tax revolt. The rich, he charged, were skipping out on their obligations to society by avoiding the level of taxes imposed on those of us who can’t afford tricky lawyers and accountants to exploit loopholes.
Trudeau promised his revolt would make those lazy, greedy fat cats pay their “fair share,” so he could give tax relief to hard-working, overburdened middle-income Canadians. It was dishonest. It ignored the reality of Canada’s progressive tax system.
The top 1% of income earners in Canada (there are about 260,000) earn a minimum of $190,000 a year and an average of $361,000. Together, they earn about 11% of all the income in the country. And their income comes mostly from practicing their professions, running businesses (their own or corporations) or working in the senior public service. It is not mostly from inheritance or investment dividends.
And, importantly, the One Percenters pay more than 23% of all federal and provincial income tax.
The top 10% – those who earn over $80,000 – earn 35% of all income, and pay 55% of income taxes.
By comparison, the bottom 50% of Canadian income earners (those earning under $35,000) earn nearly a third of all income, yet pay just 4% of all income tax.
So if the rich are already paying their fair share, how come we middle-classers aren’t getting ahead?