In case there was any doubt in your minds, in case anyone was still confused about Stephen Harper's loyalty, in case a sliver of wonder existed in the Canadian psyche, you can put all that aside.
The Conservatives are going to hike E.I. premiums to help cover the federal deficit.
Now I know everyone hates the GST. But the fact is that a value added tax is one of the fairest ways to collect taxes. It hits the rich and the poor at the same rate. It applies to what you buy and doesn't care if you earned that money through capital gains or by working for a living. It only makes an exception for food and children's clothing and the like, to take the burden off lower income families.
Value added taxes are fair.
Therefore, Stephen Harper wants to reduce them. He wants the burden to be on income taxes where his wealthy friends can hide their incomes in stock options, capital gains and all sorts of schemes that I can't even personally describe.
"But come on, Greg", you're probably saying, "He lowered a tax that everybody hates, right?"
Maybe. But remember how the Martin government wanted to lower the tax rate on the poorest in the country via cutting income taxes? Remember how the Tories opposed that move in favour of GST cut? That tells you a story right there, doesn't it? Cut the GST for the rich while keeping the income tax rate higher for the poor. If you're a rich guy buying a yacht, you're very happy with the GST cut. The income tax cut barely affects you.
And now this. Let's crank up the E.I. rate. Employment Insurance is a very special kind of tax, isn't it? It stops applying to your income once you hit about $40k. It's a very regressive tax, meaning that it affects the working poor more than the rich.
Are we done with this story now? Can we stop pretending there's a "he said, she said" going on with who supports working families the most? Can we call a spade and spade and simply say that the Conservatives don't give a damn about your family and are selling this country to their wealthy party donors?
You know what? I think we can.
Tell you what, Mr. Prime Minister. The current E.I. rate is 1.73% on the first $42 300 a person earns. You can raise the E.I. rate on one condition: instead of stopping at $42 300 and having that be the end, you can raise the rate as long as you start a new bracket somewhere in the $250 000 range where people will start paying 1.73% again.
That ought to lick this "deficit problem" you're having.