Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Buffet rule for Canada?

From the Star today, a story about doctors calling for the rich to pay a greater share of income taxes in Canada.  This may come as a surprise to many Americans, who assume the Canadian system is naturally much more progressive than in the U.S.
A new organization of well-paid doctors thinks that they — and other high-income earners — should pay more in taxes.

“Who knows?” physician Michael Rachlis, one of the founders of Doctors for Fair Taxation, told me Wednesday. “Maybe we’ll start a trend. Maybe we’ll see a Lawyers for Fair Taxation start up.”
The reporter says he is not going to hold his breath.  He continues:
Most governments don’t have the nerve to scrap progressive taxation entirely. So they’ve been doing it gradually by reducing the number of income-tax brackets and by raising more money through user fees and consumption levies like the HST.
The upshot of this, as a recent study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives demonstrates, is that the poor in Canada now pay a greater share of their income to government in the form of taxes than do the ultra rich.
Which is the antithesis of the bargain made when governments first began to levy income taxes almost 100 years ago.
Doctors for Fair Taxation argues that a more progressive tax system would be good for human health. 
I'm not sure what the angle for Lawyers for Fair Taxation would be.  Americans for fair taxation of course have the opposite goal.

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