- Armine Yalnizyan points out what a "Buffett tax" could do for Canada:
Put Larry and his 99 fellow CEOs together, and they could put almost a 10% down payment on a national program to bring dental care to school kids. Canadians spend more than $13 billion on dental care, and cavities are 100% preventable. Talk about putting our money where our mouths are—the savings would be enormous.- But of course, the Cons have other ideas as to what's most important. And Vic Toews is dictating that provinces have no choice but to slash social spending in order to pay for new prisons required by the Cons' dumb-on-crime legislation.
But you don’t need to be a millionaire to make a difference. If the 8,000 Canadians who received stock options as part of incomes over $250,000 paid taxes on this money at the same rate as the rest of their income—treating executive compensation the same way you treat the income of any other working stiff—it would have raised $337 million for federal coffers in 2009, a down year for options.
Now take that argument a little further. Canada’s federal personal income tax rate is 29% on all incomes above $129,000. That’s much lower than the current top rate of 35% in the U.S.—a rate that’s likely to rise. A new bracket that taxed incomes over $250,000 at 32%, lower than the 33% rate applied to that income level in the U.S., would raise about $2 billion. That could pay for the federal share of a national child-care program.
A 35% tax bracket for Canadians whose income is higher than $750,000—the U.S. top rate, except there it’s applied when your income hits $373,650—would yield $1.2 billion. That, for example, could start to address all our aging nationwide wastewater infrastructure.
- Rory MacLean reports on the need for a Saskatchewan provincial water strategy. But since a massive part of the problem arises from water wasted by the oil industry in Alberta, we can rest assured that Brad Wall's Sask Party won't have any interest in listening.
- Finally, Naomi Klein writes about the importance of Occupy Wall Street (the movement it's spawning around the globe).