What 2% Means

December 4th, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Conservative leader, and Canadian Prime Minister hopeful Stephen Harper proposes to cut the GST by 2% over the next two years,

Earlier in the day, Harper announced he would lower the seven per cent goods and services tax by one percentage point immediately and by another point within five years if he becomes prime minister after the Jan. 23 vote. [ CBC News: Economists dump on Harper’s GST-lowering plan ]

So what does that mean to Canadian voters? Let’s take a second here to do the math. The Conservatives are describing this tax cut in the following way:

The real choice is between tax relief for some Canadians and tax relief for all: tax relief you can see versus tax relief you never see. “This will be a tax cut that you will see every time you shop, tax relief that you experience, a tax break that no politician will be able to take away without you noticing,” said Mr. Harper. [ Stephen Conservative.ca: Harper to cut the GST to five per cent ]

Let’s take a second here to see what this actually means. The impact has been described as about $400 yearly for a family earning $60,000 a year. Mathematically, 400/60000 is 0.6%. Lets look at this from another angle… $400/12 months = $33.33, $33.33 / 30 days in a month = $1.11/day. That’s right, Stephen Harper is proposing to eliminate $4.5 billion from Government so he can buy you cup of coffee every morning (and not that fancy $2 Second Cup Coffee either, not even $1.35 Tim Hortons (at least in Ontario) coffee).

A cup of coffee a day is not worth more to me than having $4.5 billion with which the Government can use to support health-care, education, etc. See, this is one of those times where math is useful in the ‘real world’.

10 Responses to “What 2% Means”

  1. mama got soul says:

    Stephen Barfer is a maniac who would single-handedly destroy Canada’s social programs, dismantle the public health system while spitting in the face of the Canada Health Act, undermine all impact and credibility of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights (re. his standpoint on same sex marriage), enable a raging alcoholic asshole Premier of Alberta to push the independence of provinces and break apart the country, all while boring Canadians with his utterly bland, uninspiring, and horrifying politics.

    However, this won’t happen because it’ll be a minority government, and even if the conservatives made it in, there is no way that any minority gov will last more than 12 months, and there’s no way any minority gov will be able to make any significant policy changes in 10 months anyway.

    This will be the decade of wasted money, wasted politics and wasted breath. But at least these four clowns will produce enough hot air to make up for the increased cost of heating our cold canadian winter homes.

  2. Brent says:

    Your points are expressed with a little more… let’s say, ‘enthusiasm’, than I might choose. Some might suggest we wont make much progress on either side if we don’t make more of effort to control our tempers. Thats not to say we shouldn’t debate, but perhaps it’s more productive to argue our points a little less viciously.

  3. rD says:

    sheesh why the security code? ..9-11 the gift that keeps on giving ?
    anyway yes I agree with you on the math side
    In all fairness to everyone this is merely an inflammatory nose-thumbing metaphor,and like all metaphors it is in the imagination of both the creator and receiver..
    Another question I have is that it really makes no difference how the pie is divided.For a purchase of 1$ it still costs me $1.15..now here in my neck o’the woods the PST is calculated on top of the base price plus the GST..sohow long is the Province willing to take a cut too.or will they up the ante to compensate for lost revenues by the Conservative promise.and what about the manufacturers and so on down the line.the whole issue centres round profit margin..so unless everyone is willing to cut their price “ain’t no big thing…” anyway you drink it..by the way if you can find a place anywhere now that sells even a bad cup o’ coffee for $1.11 post it..
    Here is another election oddity that dwells in the imagination of creator.Gilles Duceppe says K-bek should have it’s own Nash-nal Hockey team , citing as example the rugby /soccer teams of Wales ,Scotland and England..Perhaps Gilles should take a history lesson..It seems that his insular non-Anglo education promoted true ignorance by not informing him that both Wales & Scotland existed as “countries”long long before becoming part of the “United”Kingdom.If my knowledge of N.Amer Hist. serves me well K-bek was only ever a colony before it became a province..

  4. rD says:

    yo !!
    who yo mama got soul ?
    slow down sista
    this a forum for clear heads not hungry
    hearts..let reason over passion prevail.
    peeps is far more inclined to cross the line to your side when you dress up your ideas in high fashion civility, and leave the Doc’s and
    camoflage at home..Steve Harper’s views on marriage have just as much creedance
    as Jack’s or Paul’s…and maybe he will do us right by putting it to a referendum…Let the folks decide…everythng..including National Unity…Trudeau said it long ago,don’t give the provinces more power..strong central Govt.
    You can thank “The Brian” for selling out the
    farm ..lock stock ‘n barrel
    shalom sal’aam

  5. mama got soul says:

    hey man, just calling a spade a spade. Why dress it up? we Canadians need to stop being so polite.

    re. referendum – if people don’t think our democratic system works, then we gotta change it. referendums are redundant and only work as a band aid solution to a system that doesn’t reflect popular sentiment. referendums are a vote of non-confidence by the people. And in some cases, there is no room for referendum – for example, human rights trump the popular vote. Look at same sex marriage – the charter is clear, regardless of a homophobic House of Commons and elite set of voting consituents.

  6. rD says:

    yo mama!
    get out the vote ‘cuz the way I see it
    when the folks who run our lives are elected by well under 50% of an elegible electorate..you do the math..As far as the Charter or anything for that matter.. nothing is writ in stone.
    should the voice of a “majority” speak
    either through a referendum or the electoral process, there is always some sorta reaction and consequence.This is the nature of the beast and why one must be forever vigilant..Referendum may just be a poll of public opinion in allota cases, but they seem to have a greater percentage of participation than any election I have witnessed..
    Oui ou Non..
    again you do the math..
    ..politeness is just a tool of civility which
    separates the wheat from the chaff.
    “please & thankyou” can do so much n’est-ce-pas ?
    aum out

  7. rD says:

    And in some cases, there is no room for referendum – for example, human rights trump the popular vote
    … ah grasshopper this is the eternal conflict:
    “smoke anyone”
    “voting age” drinking age driving age..
    the issue here and is always at the core of the debate is where do the rights of the individual start to impinge upon the collective good..
    aum out

  8. yo ! mama!
    another issue surrounding your rant fuelled “indignites” is that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is also an expression of the boundaries of tolerance,which if placed into a legal context will naturally fall into the parameters of interpretation of law..which although firmly rooted in “precedence” is by no means bound by it. It (the Charter) was created to prevent wholesale abuse of the individual (or collective minority) and to provide a channel of due process in such cases.Dialogue is always required.But your own personal sense of justice may not always be served.A closer look at many moderate right wing challenges are well within the boundaries of reasonable concerns.People’s beliefs(especially religious)may be the cause of much intolerance and suffering to be sure,but the right to freedom of expression and practice of such is what is sacrosanct here…what you consider to be at issue is always up for renewal ..the ebb & flow of existence as youhave come to know it.
    pump up the volume
    aum out

  9. Brent says:

    While I have no problem with debate, the discussion taking place here has diverted well beyond the original topic introduced in my posting. I would prefer to keep comments on-topic. Please proceed accordingly.

  10. so true.. well put
    I was merely responding to the multidirectional rant by the “mama got soul” person
    other than that not much to respond to now
    I guess..
    any more topics ?
    how ’bout the low turnout among under 30 voters ?
    aum out
    Sri Oui tant pi’