I was having lunch with a friend of mine and we got into talking politics. The below is the opinion of a visible minority and their support of the Progressive Conservative Party who wishes to remain anonymous. – Curtis@liveinthesix.com
I am in my 40s and a visible minority. I also support the PC Party of Ontario for the provincial election on June 7, 2018. I was asked by the organizer of this site to explain my reasons for being pro-conservative, particularly in light of being a visible minority.
As I considered the question, I realized that being a visible minority is irrelevant. I do happen to be very opposed to the identity politics practiced by our federal government but that issue is less prevalent at the provincial level. I pro-PC and my skin colour has nothing to do with it.
There are multiple reasons why I have voted Conservative and I would encourage every single taxpaying voter to do the same. The top 4 reasons are here:
Taxation – Taxes are necessary. However, excess taxation has become the norm across Canada. According to the Fraser Institute, in 2016 the average Canadian family with an income of $83,100 paid 42.5% of that ($35,300) in total taxes including income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and payroll taxes. At the higher brackets, it is much worse. The top marginal income tax rate in Ontario is 53.5%. With HST added, the marginal rate is almost 60%. With property taxes and government fees, it exceeds 60%. Fact: political parties are required by law to inform Elections Ontario if they intend to increase taxes if elected. The Liberals and NDP have each done that. The PC Party of Ontario has filed no such notice, therefore the PC Party of Ontario is the only party that will hold the line on tax in this province. Andrea Horwath is proposing multiple new taxes, and do not forget that gas prices will increase substantially and the likelihood of a 14% HST by September is a virtual certainty under NDP rule. As it relates to income, she intends to raise the top marginal income tax rate to 54.5% for incomes between $220,000 and $300,000. She intends to raise the marginal rate to a whopping 55.5% on incomes over $300,000. Yet the person making $300,000 has ALREADY paid approximately $100,000 in income taxes and tens of thousands more in consumption and property taxes. And what is the NDP’s argument? That the so-called wealthy can afford to pay “just a little bit more”. That premise is wrong on every single level. More on that later. The top Ontario marginal rate in 2007 was 46.4%. The current level represents a 15.3% increase in 11 years. Ontario already has a progressive tax system, meaning the more you make the more you pay. The increase in the rate itself represents an acceleration of taxation; not only do top earners already pay a disproportionately high share of tax, the rate and share are each increasing. This approach, unfortunately, has consequences. Quite simply, people work less. Or business owners recognize less income from their companies. Or taxpayers find ways to shelter their income from tax via different asset structures. There is a paradoxical tipping point after which governments collect less tax with higher tax rates and more tax with lower tax rates, to say nothing of the underground economy (cash) and bartering, which become increasingly prevalent in high-tax environments. Finally, excess tax by definition lowers consumption and therefore lowers the multiplier effect.
Ideology – I am a proponent of the profit motive. If you want the best in people, there has to be an incentive and normally that incentive is money. Spare me the altruistic platitudes of the greater good. The greater good may be collateral benefit but profit matters. However, the profit motive has been decimated by taxation. I consider Andrea Horwath and her party to be the most severe ideologues to ever have a chance at legislative power in Ontario. The NDP’s premise is to equalize outcomes. If one person is a ‘have’ and another person is a ‘have not’, it will never occur to the NDP that the second person can work their way up to being a ‘have’. In the NDP’s version of reality, the ‘have’ should be forced to redistribute more than half of their wealth to the have-nots, because the haves can afford “just a little bit more”. Horwath and her followers have defined and claimed the moral high ground and structured the debate such that if you do not agree with their self-defined high ground, then you are either immoral or amoral. The concept of living within one’s means does not enter into the equation. The moment an individual achieves success, Horwath will be there to confiscate the individual’s “fair share” – with zero acknowledgement of the risk, hours, diligence and sheer will required from that individual to achieve success. Yet I have already shown you with the tax rates that those who succeed pay more than their “fair share”; in fact, they pay a disproportionately high unfair share. This entire principle is demonstrated by the ideological rigidity with which the Liberals and NDP alike claim the moral high ground on the minimum wage debate. I could spend a lot of time on this topic but suffice it to say that the Liberal-implemented increase was one of the worst policy decisions I have ever seen. It amounts to an unfair and unjustified transfer of wealth (here we go again) from business owners (the alleged “haves” to workers (in the eyes of the Liberals and NDP, the oppressed “have nots”). It completely ignored the ability of the business to absorb the shock. There are many facets to my opposition to the increase that would take far too long in this piece. However, for proponents of the minimum wage increase: ask yourselves what economic analysis was done to arrive at $14.00 and $15.00. The answer is none. And if minimum wage is the answer, why not make it $50? Or $100? The PC approach of tax credits is the correct way to help minimum wage earners.
Fiscal Responsibility – I am also a proponent of fiscal responsibility. I strongly favour balanced budgets and I am very much against deficits and deficit financing. Yet scandal after scandal, boondoggle after boondoggle from 15 years of Liberal rule has cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars. I mean truly obscene amounts of money. The current cost to service Ontario’s debt is $1 billion per month. That is only interest payments, and interest rates are still at historic lows. And what does Ontario have to show for all that debt? The most recent Liberal budget was absolutely full of words like “invest” and “rebuild”. Well after 15 years of Liberal rule, and $330 billion worth of debt, if there is any necessary investing or rebuilding then the root cause of the problem is squarely on the shoulders of that same Liberal party. Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath has propped up that same party on multiple occasions and therefore deserves her “fair share” (see what I did there) of blame. Doug Ford has been the only leader in this campaign to sound any alarm bells about the size of Ontario’s debt. Horwath’s approach tells you that she believes Ontario has a revenue problem. At an average tax rate of 42.5% for a truly middle class family, I submit that Ontario has a government spending problem. The idea of doubling down and increasing public spending in the current fiscal reality is asinine. Interest rates will increase and dominoes will fall.
Bench Strength – I understand that Doug Ford may be a polarizing figure. However, it is clear to me that Andrea Horwath has slipped under the radar and enjoys a very un-deserved net approval rating. In my opinion, Horwath will have a very detrimental effect on the lives on Ontarians. Ford will actually have a positive effect despite left wing claims to the contrary. The NDP candidates in this election are no longer simply pro-labour candidates. They are extremists. This is not fear mongering, designed to make you nervous. There is a reason why Andrea Horwath has not even presented a possible cabinet and her stated reason of ‘presumptuousness’ is complete nonsense. She has not released a probable cabinet because her choices would be subject to intense scrutiny.
In my opinion, this election should be a referendum on failed tax-and-spend policies. It should be a referendum on 15 years of Liberal governance that I believe has decimated Ontario. The facts are plain to see. Wait times, hallway medicine, terrible student test scores, obscene hydro rates, the consumer-penalizing Green Energy Act, resident-penalizing Cap and Trade/Carbon Tax. The multi-billion-dollar boondoggles. All of them caused by Liberals and supported by the NDP. Now, it does appear that the electorate will indeed punish the Liberals. Unfortunately, it seems that while Liberal voters are willing to punish their party, they are stuck on either their own left-leaning ideology or their mistrust of the PC Party of Ontario to the point that they are willing to consider Andrea Horwath as the alternative. That will be a colossal mistake. History tells you, Alberta tells you, BC tells you, and Andrea Horwath’s own platform and complete lack of bench strength tell you. Forewarned is forearmed. I have no illusions about Doug Ford. He is not the ideal candidate, although really, who is? His party’s platform and ideology make me pro-PC. However, the reason I am so adamantly opposed to the NDP is that I have no illusions about Andrea Horwath. She and her party would be destructive.
Note: The views expressed in the above blog do not necessarily represent the the opinions of Live in the Six or it’s contributors. We encourage anyone with apposing views to submit any counter points in the comments or a blog to Liveinthesix.com.