June 14, 2024
Brace yourself for brutal tax hikes — and not just for the rich
If the Liberals were to win a hastily called election this fall, look for a rise in income tax on the middle class or increase to the GST.
If the Liberals were to win a hastily called election this fall, look for a rise in income tax on the middle class or increase to the GST.

Brace yourself! Massive financial support and unconstrained spending to counter an economic shutdown will lead to painful tax hikes.

In terms of policy and politics, taxes come in two kinds: those that may be popular but generate precious little funds and hurt the economy and those that can generate substantial revenue but are sure vote-losers. Let’s take a wild guess that the government will prioritize its own political survival because of both a profound sense of entitlement and an equally deep belief that its Conservative opposition is not only unqualified to lead the country but is fundamentally evil. Since the end justifies the means in a Manichean battle, the prime minister may implement both types of tax increase — but with careful attention to the sequence.

Pollster Nick Nanos has pointed out that the Liberals are in a sweet spot for an election this fall. They could cynically capitalize on the hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars they have bestowed on individuals and businesses in dire circumstances. For months the prime minister has monopolized the spotlight and, in an assault on parliamentary democracy that would have brought the media to the barricades had he been a Conservative, limited questions and terminated debate. His rationale for an unseemly rush to the polls will be that he needs a mandate to confront the new economic challenges.

If he goes any later than the fall, fear of the pandemic will subside (barring a resurgence) and public focus will turn to our staggering $1-trillion debt and the need it creates to raise taxes or cut spending. Critical eyes will also examine the hastily concocted spending programs, some of which do not bear even superficial scrutiny. And the Conservatives will have a new leader with time to communicate his vision. The Liberal lead in the polls could quickly vanish and the opposition parties force an election at their own, not the government’s, convenience.

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See Also:

(1) Fraud and error under CERB may be even worse than we thought

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