Too much government control?

Lethbridge Herald

By Letter to the Editor on April 11, 2015.

Deeper skims into disposable income and net pay don’t heighten our standard of living. Can “progressive” taxes address Alberta’s debt? This idea of the solution is one big facet of the problem.

A little government is necessary, but we have way more than that. Taxation is government greed. Instead of preparing for bad times, policy-makers run up the usual expenses and bill us. They use, elsewhere, predatory measures against personal finances to cover an unaffordable status quo.

The government of Cyprus seized private savings two years ago to avert bankruptcy. The Greek government now plunders its own citizen’s pensions so it can meet IMF and EU obligations. Poor households, already without nearly 86 per cent of their former income, lose a further nine per cent to tax increases.

The next involuntary forfeiture introduces a change in account-holder status: depositors become “creditors” to whom the system owes money. Good luck collecting! The policy’s ideal because it leaves people without recourse.

U.S. Civil Asset Forfeiture laws are so abused that Ottawa issued a travel advisory against carrying large amounts of cash into the United States. Victims have a poor track record of getting it back.

In Alberta we haven’t reached those extremes – but we’re on that road, and the latest budget didn’t roll back the general hit.

Jim Prentice gesturally cut caucus pay by five per cent. If he’d cut 25 per cent, he would’ve been serious. If the budget had phased out unseen cadres of deputies, assistants, executives and managers, secretariats and commissions, he’d have fully changed the game. What we see instead is that Prentice fronts a self-protective establishment. We had no direct say when it broke its own law against going back into debt; we’re at its whim on the new election. Among the first acts of a trustworthy Opposition administration should be to open all the books, and show us how the money’s gone.

Freedom’s sticker shock, maybe … but the more beholden to government we are, the less freedom we really have.

Tom Yeoman