Originally posted on Half an Hour, December 13, 2007.
Letter to the Editor, Times & Transcript (Moncton)
Re: Give citizens their money back (editorial, December 13, 2007, p. D6)
It's nice that we have a budget surplus of $79 million. But we should not be calling for tax breaks as a result.
There is a lot we could do with $79 million. It could go toward schools, hospital expansion, a convention centre, a stadium, or restoration of the Petitcodiac river. Or we could use the money to help pay down the provincial debt, which will cut down on the interest payments we must make every year.
Calling for tax breaks is like recommending that we take the money and go out drinking instead of buying food or paying the Visa bill. It's irresponsible, and those advocating tax breaks should know better.
Besides, we all know that we will not each get $105. Large corporations will get most of any tax break. Doctors and lawyers will get larger tax cuts. They won't spend the money in New Brunswick, they'll invest it in their retirement savings or spend it while on vacation in the Bahamas. The average New Brunswicker will get 29 cents and a handshake. And none of us will benefit from the budget surplus.
If the editorial writers really wanted to give the money back to the people who need it, they could give the 7900 poorest people in the province $10,000 each. They would buy food or pay their debts. They would spend the money right here in New Brunswick. And it could help lift them out of poverty.
Tax cuts benefit only the rich. That's why it's always the rich people who are calling for them. Tax cuts take services and support away from the people who need them. You can't educate a child, get emergency surgery, or drive to work on a $105 rebate. But $79 million buys all of these things for us, and more.
People who are advocating tax cuts are thinking only of themselves, and are not thinking of the greater good for most people in this province.
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