Cutting Income Tax Is The Truly Moral Thing To Do

Ever since Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão’s , a woman bizarrely accuses the minister of preventing her from helping the poor: “Do you realize that you are forbidding me from transferring my income tax reduction, that I don’t know what to do with, to a person you are deliberately keeping in poverty?” And yet, there are hundreds of organizations that help the poor to which she can send her money, and which will undoubtedly spend it more efficiently than government bureaucrats would. She could even give it directly to a poor person!

Some also complain that is it the rich who will benefit the most, while taxpayers earning $17,300, for example, will get a meagre $1 reduction. Yet there is nothing surprising in this. In Canada, as Financial Post columnist William Watson calculated on the basis of Statistics Canada numbers, the richest 50 per cent of taxpayers earn 90 per cent of all income, and pay 95.5 per cent of all income taxes, while the other half earn the remaining 10 per cent of all income, and pay 4.5 per cent of all taxes.

Tax cuts can logically only affect those who pay taxes, and especially those who pay a lot, not those who pay practically nothing. My impression, though, is that these factual, rational replies will have no effect whatsoever on those who oppose Leitão’s income tax reductions. Indeed, such opposition is based on some implicit moral assumptions: that in a society in which inequalities exist, it is immoral not to want to redistribute more wealth; it is immoral not to give more resources to the government for it to redistribute; it is immoral and selfish to want to spend one’s money as one sees fit.

Those who support tax cuts commit a strategic error in focusing exclusively on economic arguments and only very rarely mentioning moral arguments.

After two decades of debating the case for tax cuts and other reforms to government policies as president of the MEI, a not-for-profit research and educational organization, I know it is very difficult to change the minds of those who hold this egalitarian, statist position. By definition, moral arguments are based on absolutes. The rest is just unimportant details.

I have actually come to the conclusion that those who support tax cuts, as my organization does, commit a strategic error in focusing exclusively on economic arguments and only very rarely …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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