Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tax zeitgeists

See now this is not so predictable and is interesting, "Higher taxation is back on the table," writes Lawrence Martin today. Well, maybe it is. I do agree with the argument that it should be. It's a hard one to make though because of the anti-tax environment that Stephen-no-tax-is-a-good-tax-Harper has imported from the U.S., as Martin notes.

You look at how far the anti-tax argument has gone in the U.S., to the extent that people have so harmed themselves that street lights are being turned off, school days cut, domestic violence prosecutions being sacrificed. Here, the Conservatives have the loudest megaphone in the form of money and messaging and will for the foreseeable future. You wonder how far they can take the argument.

And while the column sort of lionizes the notion of the NDP as those who will advance the higher taxation argument, they've actually played a part in narrowing the space for that argument in recent years. In the opposition to the HST in Ontario and in B.C., two of the highest profile tax changes in the country in the past few years. So let's keep this nobility thing in perspective. (And yes, the Liberals have played their part too.)