Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lay off the rich. We'd be screwed without them.

So I'm not rich. I'm actually a poor student. But I've always thought our society and the "liberal" left have given the short end of the stick to the rich. There was quite the revelation in Saturday's Globe and Mail, where Canadians learned what it takes to make the top ten per cent in this country, and what it costs if you do:

"Canada's top 10% pay 52% of total tax bill
Saturday, April 23, 2005 Page A1

They used to say make the rich pay. Well, they do.

The top 10 per cent of Canadian wage earners carried more than half the nation's federal personal income tax load in 2002 -- 52.6 per cent -- up significantly from 1990, according to a Statistics Canada report released yesterday.

Meanwhile, the other 90 per cent paid 47.4 per cent of the total federal income tax bill in 2002.


High-income earners are defined as those who earned $64,500 or more in 2002 and $48,700 or more in 1990, said Duane Hayes, senior economist at Statscan's tax data division."

$64,500 makes you richer than 90 per cent of the population. That means most of our anarchist profs at York are in the top ten per cent of wage-earners. So are many doctors and schoolteachers. And that's not even a lot of money anymore.

It bothers me a lot when people complain about corporate tax cuts that can help small-business owners, many of them immigrants, put food on the table and pay their employees. It bothers me when the left disdain the "rich" for having the audacity to have cash.

Goodness knows they paid for half our roads, half our schools, half our teachers, half our streetlights, half our police officers, half our universities, half our hospital beds and half our infrastructure.

And the system is "progressive", meaning they pay more than their share without getting anything extra in return.

We shouldn't attack these people, we should build shrines to them for paying the taxes that subsidize the bus routes they never take.

Something similar was said by the character of Sam Seaborne in the West Wing episode "The Fall's Going to Kill You":

Sam: Henry, last fall, every time your boss got on the stump and said, "It's time for the rich to pay their fair share," I hid under a couch and changed my name. I left Gage Whitney making $400,000 a year. Which means I paid twenty-seven times the national average in income tax. I paid my fair share. And the fair share of twenty-six other people. And I'm happy to 'cause that's the only way it's gonna work. And it's in my best interest that everybody be able to go to schools and drive on roads. But I don't get twenty-seven votes on Election Day. The fire department doesn't come to my house twenty-seven times faster, and the water doesn't come out of my faucet twenty-seven times hotter. The top one percent of wage earners in this country pay for twenty-two percent of this country. Let's not call them names while they're doing it is all I'm saying.

My tuition bill this year covered 23 per cent of the cost of my education. Over three-quarters of it was paid for by someone else. I made chump change at my two part-time jobs this year; enough to pay the bills and keep me in coffee. I'll be graduating debt-free because the Canadian way is that someone else paid for my education and medical care. I just did my taxes. Going to even get some money back.

I think I owe some thanks to the top ten per cent.

If you're normal like me, the next time you drive down a plowed or maintained road, the next time you see a cop car, the next time you drop yourself or your kids off at school, the next time you go to a hospital, don't curse the rich - say a silent "thank you" to those who carry you on their backs and hold our country together.


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