Recommended Reading – Tuesday, May 1st

May 1, 2012 by

When Considering A Familys’ Total Tax Bill, Income taxes Are Just The Tip of The Iceberg (Fraser Instititute)

“ In 2011, a Canadian family with average income of $74,233 paid $9,137 in income taxes. Personal income taxes are the single largest tax Canadians pay, but they represent just about one-third of the total.

Two other significant taxes on our tax returns are contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI). Additionally, residents of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec pay health care taxes either through direct premiums or payroll taxes. All together, the average Canadian family paid some $6,328 in CPP, EI, and health taxes in 2011. Payroll taxes are second only to income taxes as the single largest government levy.

Next up are sales taxes which many of us hate since they show up every time we make a purchase. Calculating the amount of sales taxes paid by Canadian families is difficult as it requires people to track all their purchases of taxable goods and services. Nonetheless, our estimates suggest the average Canadian family paid about $4,748 in sales taxes last year.

Property taxes are no more popular than sales taxes and add $3,520 to the average family’s tax bill. A common misconception is that only homeowners pay property taxes. But renters also pay these taxes since they are rolled into their monthly rent. In one form or another, we all pay property taxes.

And it doesn’t end there. Most federal and provincial governments are running budget deficits, meaning that current taxes do not cover current government spending. By running substantial budget deficits, Canadian governments of today are putting off tax bills that will inevitably come due. Including deferred taxation (deficits) in the total tax bill raises it an additional $2,663 to $33,455.”  (Click here to read more)

Burying Carbon Storage  (National Post)

“The ditching of TransAlta’s $1.4-billion Pioneer carbon capture and storage (CCS) project represents a victory for economic sanity, but a mixed blessing for Alberta Premier Alison Redford. Ms. Redford indicated after she took over from Ed Stelmach last year that she wasn’t exactly a fan of hefty subsidies for CCS. However, the abandoned project will no doubt provide ammunition for those environmental NGOs lining up to present her with dinosaur awards at next month’s Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, where she will attempt to make the case for the oil sands to a distinctly unsympathetic ­audience.

Attacks on her are likely to be more virulent because the pillars of sustainable development — alarmist science, grand schemes of UN-co-ordinated global governance, carbon taxes and government-promoted “technologies of the future” — are all crumbling.”  (Clikc here to read more)

Quebec’s University Students Are In For A Schock  (The Globe And Mail)

“Quebec’s students have good reason to be furious. They should be furious at the professors who tell them that their cause is just, and who have deluded them into thinking that social justice can be achieved if only the greedy corporations are brought to heel. They should be even more furious at all the adults in the government and education establishment who have fooled them into thinking that the education they’re getting will equip them to thrive and prosper in the world.

The truth is, the education they’re getting is overpriced at any cost. The protesters do not include accounting, science and engineering students, who have better things to do than hurl projectiles at police. They’re the sociology, anthropology, philosophy, arts, and victim-studies students, whose degrees are increasingly worthless in a world that increasingly demands hard skills. The world will not be kind to them. They’re the baristas of tomorrow and they don’t even know it, because the adults in their lives have sheltered them and encouraged their mass flight from reality.”  (Click here to read more)

Our World’s Not Coasting On Empty After All (The Globe And Mail)

“Published 40 years ago, the Club of Rome’s cataclysmic environmental bestseller The Limits to Growth heralded the imminent end of human progress. Written by five Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists, the book asserted – with relentlessly Malthusian logic – that the world was heading toward global economic collapse. For many people, the assertion made sense. For many people, it still does. An ever-rising world population must inexorably deplete the world’s finite resources. Doesn’t it?

In a retrospective analysis, U.S. economist Charles Kenny, senior fellow with the Washington-based Center for Global Development, says the world isn’t coasting on empty. Quite the contrary, he says. “The biggest concern isn’t that the planet is running out of resources – it’s having too many for the planet’s own good.”  (Click here to read more)

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