Better ways than charity to help the poor

TheStar.com – Opinions/Letter – Better ways than charity to help the poor
October 13, 2009.   Re:Aid charity through tax system, Opinion Oct. 10

This proposal from the senior adviser of BMO Capital Markets sounds to me like one more scheme to reduce corporate taxes and further impede the ability of governments to provide social programs to the Canadians who depend on them to stay financially afloat.

First off, if Donald K. Johnson can keep a straight face while describing the right-wing, corporate-funded, anti-tax C.D. Howe Institute as an “independent, non-partisan” body, he is not to be trusted as a reference point for the public interest.

A counter proposal for Mr. Johnson: Since corporations have lobbied unendingly for the benefits of being treated like people, let them assume the “ordinary people” responsibility of paying all of their taxes annually, rather than being allowed to continue deferring – which appears to mean never paying – billions of tax dollars owed to governments each year.

Ending such unwarranted corporate privilege alone would provide our governments with more than enough cash to adequately fund our public schools, hospitals and universities, while expanding medicare, employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, among other essential public programs.

It might even alleviate our society’s over-dependence on charity to provide the necessities of life for our least fortunate citizens.

Terry O’Connor, Toronto

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