Letter to the Editor – The State, Citizens and Taxes – Corneliu Kirjan – Cornwall Ontario

The State, Citizens and Taxes

For more than two decades, the neoconservative thought that has swept North America has succeeded in imposing its dogma of continually lowering taxes as the only acceptable financial truth.  Elaborated by neoconservative economists and applied in the United States by Republican presidents, this policy has been followed in Canada by not only the federal government but also by provincial governments.  The debate, when there is a debate, only dwells on the percentages of the reduction or the increase and never on the substance of the question.

The government is neither rich nor poor.  It has the money that it obtains from the pockets of its citizens through taxation.  The money is used to provide all citizens, including the poor and marginalized, a series of services requested by the population or whose usefulness stems from a societal consensus.  In this way, the citizens of Canada have given themselves services for which the State is the purveyor, notably in health, education and social services.  It is essential to highlight that the delivery of these services by the State does not have as an objective making a profit and that these services are offered at cost.

The Conservative government pretends to lower taxes for the good of the citizens and it uses the classic formula “You will have more money in your pocket.” In reality, by reducing the sources of the State’s revenue, it hopes to attain its real ideological objective which is the reduction of the State, and as a consequence, a reduction of the services offered to the population.  Each lowering of taxes sooner or later leads to a reduction of services to the citizens. The services cut are provided by private companies whose objective is to make a profit for their shareholders.  We go thus from services that are paid for and used collectively to services paid for and used individually.  Many of our citizens will not be able to pay for these services.  There will be a deep social division which will have as a long-term result a general social destabilisation and the emergence of a period of social confrontation.

Each time that the question of taxes is under discussion, we should collectively answer the following question, “What is the level of services that we want for us and our children?”  A second question should also preoccupy us, “Am I able, with the little bit of money that will result from the lowering of taxes, pay for the same level of services as what we pay for collectively?”  Think of health, education, social services and the environment.

In several countries in which the standard of living is among the highest in the world (Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden) taxes are higher than in Canada.  In spite of that, the citizens are content and that for the simple reason that they receive quality services corresponding to their needs. It is in these countries that the people are the happiest and the degree of governmental transparency is the highest.

A good government should promise its citizens that it will listen to it and its needs, be transparent as to expenditures and keep taxes at the level of the services requested by the population.The fact that we are currently close to exiting from an important economic and financial crisis does not make it easy for the next government.  The Conservative government leaves a heritage of immense deficit and it is not fair to leave this deficit as a legacy to our children.  The next government should do everything possible to eliminate this deficit.  This should be done in consultation with the population and in a transparent way.  Thus, citizens themselves will decide if it is necessary to lower or raise the taxes.  Democracy in Canada will thus be improved and the parties will find it impossible to be demagogic about taxes.

Corneliu Kirjan  – Cornwall Ontario

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

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49 Responses to "Letter to the Editor – The State, Citizens and Taxes – Corneliu Kirjan – Cornwall Ontario"

  1. grimalot   March 18, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Very well said Mr. Kirjan! We can only wish our government saw it that way as well.

  2. PJR   March 18, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    A wise and humane argument. Only the selfish and power-hungry would attack it.

  3. willie191   March 19, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    Why can’t politicians understand this. It is so simple.

  4. admin   March 19, 2010 at 6:42 AM

    Why do you think Willie?

  5. Roger Davidson   March 20, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Solid, logical, analytical, responsible and thoughtful analysis that treads a careful path between an unbridled socialism that ultimately bankruptcs the state, as Communism has learned, and false conservatism as the current federal government blindly adheres to. Tip of the hat to Corneliu.

  6. Eric   March 23, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    I can not get past that first paragraph. Lowering taxes is not some evil spawned by hollywood monsters. Allowing me to keep more of my own money is a good thing, I know right to where to make it work for me. A basic level of safety net can still be had for people in need, just reduce the photo op programs.

    What provincial government is reducing tax? Not Ontario! Unless you call another few dollars on your hydro bill a user fee. Not up to 900 dollars for health care a levy. Not to pay a billion to E Health. And you all know the list continues.

    I am not selfish or power hungry, but really folks, when do we complain? They are already taxing us to about 50%. Tax your take home pay, then your purchases.

  7. admin   March 23, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Hi Eric,

    The problem we have politically as a country, province, and even city is that Politicians have no incentive to lower taxes; at least lower taxes fairly. It’s odd as we choose the politicians, but the only true way to cut taxes is to rip and tear through the layers of BS in our government and programs.

    We need to trim the pork and that’s not going to happen unless people really stand up and support politicians who want to get that done.

    I was talking with a city council candidate yesterday and I asked them the drop dead question. If you have to choose between cutting programs or raising taxes what’s your answer?

    Well the answer was skate skate skate, and I believe this person will make a good councilor and will most likely be a councilor here in Cornwall next term.

    People have to understand that tax cuts have to be fair and be PERCEIVED as fair. Right now I’ve supported the HST, but the give backs being done at the provincial and federal level make me nauseous and pin the burden tax wise on those that can least afford it.

    That’s wrong. That’s undermining our Democracy and creating even more apathy.

  8. Eric   March 23, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    Paragraph 2 & 3 – “usefulness stems from a societal consensus”
    Don’t think so, multiculturism, bilingualism, metric, gun registry were not by consensus.

    “In reality, by reducing the sources of the State’s revenue”
    The problem there, is that services are not reduced and probabably increased, to meet the new amount. But if people have more money in their pocket, they do buy new cars, a new freezer etc that have tax payable, but may not have bought.

  9. Eric   March 23, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Appreciate your comments/ views Admin.
    Anyone that gets the Ottawa Citizen on a regular basis can see the troubles of the Mayor. He wanted to keep tax increases at 0. That was one voice in the sea of islands looking out for their own little fifdoms. Which backs up your point. We need larger groups to complain about the change we all know is needed.

  10. admin   March 23, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I’m a firm believer in our political system. If you want to make something happen you need the support of those that make those decisions and most politicians live and die by what the masses will accept.

  11. Corneliu Kirjan   March 23, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Hi Eric,
    In general, I hesitate to comment on the comments made by readers of one of my letters. I respect their right to express themselves according to their beliefs and ideologies. However, when the comments are based on a lack of information, on bad faith or on data that are no longer valid, I must set the record straight for the benefit of other readers who have the right to be well informed. Furthermore, it is the first time that I do so. You pretend that we are taxed at almost 50%. I did the exercise for 2009 for a taxpayer who earns $100,000 per year. Without making any deductions, I get $19,891.48 in federal tax, $8,536.30 in provincial tax and a $750 contribution for the health contribution, for a total of $29,117.78, which is a rate of about 30%. I think we are very far from your supposed 50%. Moreover, this information is for informing the other readers and not to convince you.
    I take this opportunity to tell the administrator that while I find it just that the author of a letter or opinion has to give his or her name, I find it unfair that the comments are made by anonymous people hiding behind pseudonyms. One must have the courage of his or her opinions as does Roger Davidson.

  12. admin   March 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    Hi Mr. Kirjan,

    Anonymous posting is an issue that is endemic in today’s new media. I personally just went through an issue with the Standard Free Holder. I always sign my posts as Jamie Gilcig – cornwallfreenews.com That’s not to spam another site, but to disclose that I’m posting as a member of the media.

    There are staff on the Free Holder posting there and on other media sources using pseudonyms which I think it quite wrong. As a matter of fact after my last round with the Free Holder I explained that I would not post on their site again unless I was allowed to sign, Jamie Gilcig – cornwallfreenews.com

    I can fully understand why people sign with a pseudonym. It is an issue and great care has to be given to what is said. Of course the flip of that coin is that it’s not against the law to say an unpopular opinion. 🙂

    It’s an interesting subject indeed.

    Jamie Gilcig – cornwallfreenews.com & Seawayradio.com

  13. Eric   March 23, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Thank you Mr Kirjan
    The Admin has my email address which includes my full name. As I am still looking for other employment, I am carefull of any on-line presences which may be taken a different way than intended by a hiring representative. However, I am thankful and respectful, as you are, of other opinions, and enjoy the medium to do so.

    The income tax rate is correct but fails to add the (total) consumer taxes I alluded too that we pay from our take home pay or with user fees for esentials, like fuel in winter. Some tax is essential, but long gone are core services that really, is all we need.

    I do hope you continue to add your voice, I do find it very insightful.

  14. Destructo   March 23, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    It’s something I have been considering for a while, and these comments have convinced me. Stand behind what you say. That being said, I will no longer be posting as the mighty Destructo and will soon reappear as amild mannered civilian.

    PS Eric, I am curious. Where or through whom are you applying for work? It seems odd that you fear judgement for your political beliefs.

  15. PJR   March 23, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Your point is well taken, Corneliu, especially wherever pseudonyms–usernames on the internet–are used as a cloak for vitriol and abuse and all manner of unthinking reaction. Otherwise, nom de plumes have a long and honourable history and tradition. In my case, these are my actual initials, and since, like you, I regularly publish letters to editors (Ottawa Citizen, Globe and Mail, Standard-Freeholder, AM 1220) over my full name, I don’t think there’s much mystery about who I am.

  16. grimalot   March 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Well said again Mr. Kirjan and I also agree with Eric’s clarification that sometimes some external factors have to be included into the overall taxation rate. Although I don’t agree that this falls near 50% rate overall. But I did understand where he was coming from.

    And though I know to some this is a touchy subject on the pseudonyms, I just want to give my few bits on that below.

    I have come to this decision after many discussions in real life as well as online. While I do all I can to avoid any vitriol and abuse towards others, I will NOT stop using my pseudonym nor made to feel guilty in any way if I do use it. I have my own personal reasons as to why I use it. I also state that currently, I have no political aspirations. Nor do I work for any media company. And I have and always will continue to use the “Same” pseudonym on all sites that I post on. If Jamie (admin), receives any undue flak, he has my real name and email information stored in his system. But Grimalot has been my Nom-de-Plume for well over 17 years. Those that know me, know me. Those that I don’t care to know who I am, don’t know who I am.

    If I write directly to an MP, or such an example anyways, of course I use my real name. If I write into a paper, I will also use my real name. But as someone so aptly pointed out above, sometimes something needs to be said, without bringing self detriment. And so some use a Pseudonym to state the ugly truth. I would rather not re-appear as a mild mannered citizen when something needs to be said out loud.

    That being said, out of respect for everyone on this site and their opinions, the mighty Grimalot will be silenced. I will just read instead from now on.

  17. admin   March 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Grimalot that’s your choice and I’m sure all here respect that. I would suggest you reread what I typed previously about the subject.

  18. grimalot   March 24, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I have read it, along with all the other posts. I carefully considered everything in my decision before submitting my last statement. If it offends anyone in any way for me to use my pseudonym, then I just rather not post. Maybe one day I will come out with my statements that I do under my real name, but for now, I just would rather not. And it is with great respect to everyone that I have considered this choice to not offend any of them or have the possibility to offend any of them.

  19. Stan   March 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Mr.Grimalot: We have been reading your comments for quite some time now and we have found that when something needs to be said , it’s usually Grimalot that says it. Do you mean to deprive us all of your comments and opinions? You will be missed. It’s not right Grimmy, please come back.

  20. PJR   March 24, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Mighty grimalot, please reconsider. I agree absolutely with Stan, and I suspect that Corneliu would not wish to be thought of as dictating. At least, I hope not. Furthermore, I hope he will come on and say so. I for one thoroughly respect your reasons. Besides, I’m going to stick with my initials, and anyone who doesn’t know and wants to know who they stand for can take the trouble to find out for themselves.

  21. Corneliu Kirjan   March 24, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Hi Grimalot,
    All that I did was to express an opinion which is not any better than others. At the same time, I respect the freedom of every individual to express himself under the nom de plume chosen. What is important is that the opinions expressed should be polite and respectful. It would be a shame to lose interesting opinions because of a pen name. So, welcome to all the respectful persons with or without nom de plume.

  22. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    Grimalot – if you stop posting, Furtz A Bootbomb will not have anyone to agree with!

  23. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    AdmIn: Why is some names in blue and other names in black?

  24. grimalot   March 25, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Stan/PJR/Corneliu/and surprisingly Pastor Tom – You’ve convinced me to stick around.

    Stan: It wasn’t any intent to deprive anyone of any commentaries. Feels good to know that my rants and commentaries are listened to and valued though. ^^

    PJR: thanks for the extra bout of support.

    Corneliu: I have great respect for your opinions. They reflect a lot of my own opinions as well. I just didn’t want to out myself. And chalk it up to a crappy day yesterday, we all have some of those. I just didn’t want to offend you in any way, but rather than jump the bandwagon in revealing myself, if my commentaries made under a nom de plume were offending you, I just didn’t want to end up in that position. I hope you understand. Otherwise keep up your letters, I thoroughly enjoy reading them as well as commenting on them!

    Pastor Tom: Too bad Furtz doesn’t comment on this site. You should find a way to invite them here. In the meantime, I’m primed and ready to debate your theories/teachings/comments at any point!

  25. admin   March 25, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    ??? I’m not sure I understand what you mean PT? I don’t color code names? Perhaps it’s the site design??

  26. grimalot   March 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    When you submit a weblink, it renders your name blue so when people click on it, it opens up the weblink. While you have your ministry as your link. I posted an extra special one for you Pastor Tom. 😉 Make sure to watch all 3 parts.

  27. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Thank you for the information. I’m sorry Grimalot I can’t look at your links – “This URL is blocked by administrator”.

  28. grimalot   March 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    The “Administrator” is on your end. Either you have blocked it yourself so you can stop anyone accessing your servers from viewing the link. Or someone “higher up in your ministry” has blocked you and your congregation from seeing the real truth. Figures as much. Some like to stay in the dark.

  29. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    How did you know? My Administrator is the Lord Jesus Christ!

  30. admin   March 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Pastor Tom wouldn’t JC be the CEO?

  31. grimalot   March 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Jesus Christ (JC), if he ever existed, has been dead for what, 2000 years now? I am quite sure that JC does not control your ministries network, at your end nor at the server end. This would have taken human input to block access to any sites. So if you want to research other viewpoints or proven science, speak to your “Still alive and Human, Network Administrator” to allow you to gain access to this information. Otherwise if it were some divine administrator input, it would have been blocked from my end as well don’t you think? This is simply someone in your diocese with a closed mind that does not want anyone to have the freedom to do any research of their own, so they block off what they may consider blasphemy. Again, cult-like action. Its like China limiting what their citizens can view so they can continue spewing their own propaganda to their citizens and exert their control over them. Which is why I have so much respect for google and what they’re doing to fight that situation.

    With these types of actions going on, Calvary Baptist Church is sounding more and more like a cult everyday! Free your mind Pastor Tom, consider the “real truth”. Christianity is just a plagiarized religion from other religions long passed before it. The “crucifix/cross” comes from the pagan astrological charts. Christianity and many other religions are just offshoots most likely stemming from thousands of years of Egyptian astronomy/astrology/theology/and sun worshipping, with pagan accents (cross) tossed in. The son of god, is just the sun rising in the east. We have seen the coming of the Son of God, every day for eons! The age of pisces is coming to an end (ever wonder why there is the Jesus Fish?), and at around 2150, we are entering the new age, or age of Aquarius. The bible is basically just a complex explanation of astrology, created around 300-350AD by Constantine in order to control the masses. The truth hurts. And so of course your diocese and yourself will stop at nothing to hide the real truth from people.

    Otherwise sorry for the temporary hijacking of this thread on Corneliu. This topic would better be discussed somewhere else. I was just trying to explain why some names are highlighted blue and got carried away after.

  32. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    The Lord Jesus Christ is a man that has many titles: God, Creator, Saviour, King, Judge, Mediator, Surety, Great High Priest, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”, the Son of God, the Son of David, the Son Of Man – The Alpha and the Omega! The Great I am…………… And yes, most of all He is my Beloved!

  33. Pastor Tom Newton   March 25, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Yes, The age of Aquarius is coming – the age of judgment, just like in Noah’s day, but this time it is going to be by fire – ” And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”(2Th 1:7-9) Bow to King Jesus now before it is to late!

  34. Rodney Vander Veer   March 25, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Wow. So if I built some sort of flame resistant ark and jammed it full of beasties could I ride this thing out? Would I get to choose the animals? I would just load that sucker up with sharks and bears and tigers and monkeys and watch the mayhem.

  35. grimalot   March 25, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Corneliu, how long do you think it will take in reality to clear this massive deficit that has been recently generated by the Conservatives? I know they say about 5 years but I think thats just smoke and mirrors. It took a long time to get us out of the deficits before. And I remember seeing, I believe on the standard freeholder, that in reality there is still an ever recurring deficit yearly after all the money has been tallied up and the expenditures and costs to society being taken into account.

  36. PJR   March 25, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    grimalot: returning after a busy day away, great to see you back.

    Pastor Tom: …”this time it’s going to be by fire”—global warming?

    admin: a tip of the hat to you and your posters for the burgeoning of civilised debate in your threads–a lesson for the zoo in Ottawa, and the threads of other newspapers.

  37. admin   March 25, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    Well PJR you have to remember that I delete posts that could either potentially get us sued; cross the abuse line, or are obtuse and boring. It costs manpower and time, but I think it owe it to you our regular readers.

    Cheers,

    Jamie

  38. Eric   March 26, 2010 at 6:20 AM

    Destructo – the new media like this forum, Facebook and virtually any on line presence, are often searched by HR or headhunters. I am just being careful.
    & the Ottawa Citizen this morning lists Ontario’s debt at 238 B but, now that we are a have not province we get 972 M for equalization.

    I went to the Fraser Institute website where they have a tax freedom day calculator. My rate is closer to 42% than 50, (hangs head in shame) but is that still not a bit crazy? Looks like with my income, if living in Newfoundland, would be 49%.

    And lastly, I may not agree with everything, but I would fight for your right to say it!

  39. Rodney Vander Veer   March 26, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    I find it very disheartening that we live in a society where your political beliefs can hinder your ability to get a job. I understand you are just protecting your interests, but can we truly say we live in a free society when our job possibilities are limited by political and/or personal opinions?

    Do our employers not control enough of our life already? Now they need to control us not just in our jobs, but in our thoughts as well?

  40. grimalot   March 26, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    My political beliefs are wide ranging. I do actually vote with my conscience, I don’t just stick to one party and continuously tow their line. If a party ticks me off, I don’t vote for them next election. I have voted for all parties at one point of time or another in my lifetime.

    That being said Rodney, we haven’t lived in a truly free society for a long time now. And we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on that one as far as I’m concerned. It is indeed a well known fact that employers scan online social networking sites and such, not just employers, but insurance companies, etc. Look what happened to that poor lady out west for example. She lost her benefits if I recall because the insurance company saw her having fun on facebook or myspace. Which was only part of her healing since she was clinically depressed or something.

    Hand’s in our pockets or Big Brother is watching is a 100% accurate statement. Not only that, it is getting worse. They already tell you how to raise your kids, and look at society today. Government should never be in the home on that part. Some kids these days are becoming more and more unruly because of they know they can get away with things. You want to reprimand your kid and then they go and sing to the CAS as retaliation because you didn’t let them go to their friends house for a sleepover. That kind of crap.

    There has to be a point where a line is drawn. More and more, society as a whole is being subverted into mindless and opinionless sheeple every day.

  41. Furtz A Bootbomb   March 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Hey Grimalot, I find that there’s nothing to “discuss” with the pastor. He thinks that only he has all the answers, and anyone with different ideas from his is wrong. I only get fired up when he trashes other people’s faith or beliefs or non-beliefs. Telling people that they will “rightfully go to hell” seems to be a little antisocial to me.

  42. grimalot   March 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Hi Furtz. 🙂 Glad you’re here, and regardless of what the pastor says, it’s still nice to see you here. Come and debate/comment on other points too.

  43. PJR   March 26, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    In which case, a tip of the hat, Jamie, to judicious editing— Regards, PJ

  44. PJR   March 26, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    “sheeple”–excellent coinage, grimalot! Aka Orwell’s “proles” in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. What’s the solution? Education, surely; critical thinking; promoting and engaging in respectful debate, as in these threads; saying NO to MEDIOCRITY and MANIPULATION; saying YES to “We deserve and expect better.” Taking a leaf from Obama’s “Yes, we can!” and following through. Over to you and fellow posters for your thoughts.

  45. grimalot   March 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Well PJR, its exactly what they want. They don’t want us to think for ourselves, they want to control us, and this has been happening for ages. Even organized religion is just for control purposes. Orwell called it exactly right, its frightening the comparisons of 1984 to reality today. Animal farm as well.

    And if no one has their opinion, nothing will ever be done.

  46. PJR   March 26, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Agreed, grimalot: as you imply, the history of the human race is all about control. And also about pushing back when the controllers cross the line of decency and fairness. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have got this far.

    The current gang in Ottawa as heirs to the Bush-Cheney gang, the pathetic Ms Coulter, the scary Ms Palin, the Rush Limbaughs and Pat Robertsons of this world, the RC church, the Taliban, even the “master” golfer–these are some of the controllers of today, and we can all add to the list. Control in the service of power and selfishness, and seemingly an obsessive-compulsive desire to manipulate or stick it to anyone who has a different view or gets in their way. All of which points to a worrisome disconnect from reality, when you think that all most people want is a roof over their heads, a fair shake, a spot in the sun, and the opportunity to be a decent member of the community.

    So, with the toxic impostors of today, who, like their predecessors in all ages, are ever ready to take over and push us around, we have to be equally ready to push back and say “Enough is Enough.” Obama is doing his bit to show us the way back to fairness and decency. Where is our Obama? We have to find him or her.

  47. Rodney Vander Veer   March 27, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    “For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to percieve in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all to often we serve as willing or unwitting instuments”

    –Noam Chomsky

  48. Reg   March 27, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    I think Rick Mercer would fit the bill. He should start his own political party, something like the Canadian Organization to Manage Internal Caos or COMIC for short. Rick know more about Canadian politics and whats happening at the taxpayers level than anyone else in Canada…and he knows a good joke when he sees one. Especially when it walks out of the PM’s residence on Sussex Drive in Ottawa.

  49. grimalot   March 27, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Rick Mercer for PM!

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