Increase taxes for better quality of life – comment/letter – Increase taxes for better quality of life
March 23, 2008

Re:Flaherty’s blame game – Editorial, March 21

There’s been a war of words between the federal and provincial governments on tax cuts. I’d encourage Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to read a report on taxation prepared more than a year ago by Neil Brooks and Thaddeus Hwong called “The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation.”

They compared “high- and low-tax countries on a wide range of social and economic indicators.” Six Anglo-American countries (low taxes) and four Nordic countries (high taxes) were studied. They concluded that it is not necessary for a country to trade off social justice for economic prosperity. The citizens of Nordic countries are enjoying a much higher quality of life even though they pay more taxes.

In January 2007, Brooks said, “the Conservative government is taking Canada in the wrong direction. It wants to make Canada more like the United States, yet our findings show that Americans bear severe social costs for living in one of the lowest taxed countries in the world.”

Hwong said that the tax cut lobby has it backwards. “Not only do government social programs create a healthier society, they also create the conditions for a vibrant – and competitive – economy.” For that we can check Finland, Denmark and Norway.

José H. Diaz, Mississauga

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