The federal Conservative Government's criticisms of taxes are intended to make Canadians believe that taxes are evil and unnecessary and that we as citizens are better off paying lower taxes. However, these criticisms are completely false – taxes benefit all Canadians and are the foundation of a just and caring society.
If we did not have taxes, we would not be able to enjoy vital services and amenities such as publicly-funded health care, education, pensions, garbage collection, public parks, and safe food and drinking water, all of which are funded through tax revenue.
The taxation problems that we face in Canada are due to the unequal distribution of tax revenue and continuous corporate tax cuts from Conservative and Liberal governments alike. Instead of demanding that corporations pay their fair share, these governments cut the federal corporate tax rate from 28 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2010. In doing so, the Conservatives and Liberals have forgone $745 billion in corporate tax revenue over a ten-year period. This money could have otherwise been used to provide Canadians with robust and sustainable public services.
To make matters worse, domestic corporations and wealthy Canadians hide $88 billion annually in overseas tax havens. It is no wonder, then, that the average working Canadian is frustrated with our unjust tax system, which openly favours the rich and large companies.
With respect to the unequal distribution of tax revenue, a glaring example is the Harper Government's purchase of F-35 fighter planes. We are now learning that the planes could cost taxpayers $25 billion more than the government originally stated. Rather than looking at less costly alternatives, the Conservatives are purchasing these fighter jets at the expense of funding valuable government programs.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently released a bilingual video illustrating the value that we receive from our taxes. It highlights the quality public services that are funded with our tax dollars and the role that they play in our everyday lives. Visit this link to see how public services enrich our quality of life, and to learn why we must prevent the Harper Conservatives and other right wing politicians from further dismantling the social programs that we currently enjoy.