The popularity of taxing the rich

Further to this post last week, a new poll in Ontario finds massive support for a proposal of the province’s NDP.

Ontarians overwhelmingly favour NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s proposal to raise taxes on people who earn more than $500,000 a year, a new poll suggests. Horwath has put forward the wealth surtax as one of her party’s conditions for supporting Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s budget, which will be voted on next Tuesday.

More than three-quarters of people surveyed — 78 per cent — like her idea with only 17 per cent opposed and 5 per cent unsure, according to the Forum Research poll. “It’s hugely popular. You never see that — that’s huge,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said Wednesday.

Ms. Horwath would tax those earning more than $500,000 at a provincial rate of 13.16% (up from 11.6%).

There are no such proposals presently on offer at the federal level. During the NDP leadership race, Brian Topp proposed a tax rate of 35% for those earning over $250,000 and Nathan Cullen suggested a rate in the “low 30s” for anyone earning over $300,000 per year. Thomas Mulcair questioned the wisdom of those proposals.

Three years ago, the Bloc Quebecois suggested taxing those earning more than $150,000 an additional 1%.




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The popularity of taxing the rich

  1. All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws

  2. I don’t think anyone could realistically quibble at being asked to pay under 2 cents out of every dollar after the $500,000th earned each year.  If it was a punishing tax large enough to make people alter their location or tax structure because of it, there might be a counterargument.  

    • what they make is irrelevant…….if it was a tax bracket between 50K and 75K would you feel the same way? Of course you wouldn’t.

      They earned their money fair and square……taking a look at the whole code has some merit, but that would be fair now wouldn’t it…..couldn’t make and emotional appeal out of that one can you

  3. Who called for this poll….hint: if it came from NDP it’s probably not all that reliable…someone paid for it, so who?

    Second, I resent populist moves like this……Had the NDP said that we need to examine the tax code and adjust the rates all together based on income levels right across the board, I would have said that the notion has some merit…….but a populist ‘let’s punish people for what they have earned and for what I don’t have’ smacks of a class war.

    This shouldn’t be about rich or poor..haves or have nots. It’s about fairness all across the tax spectrum…….anything else is just populist play for support and votes and NOTHING more.

    •  what if they had examined all income brackets and this is what they came up with? Altering all brackets isn’t a necessary precursor to altering one.

      • That’s the point……they didn’t. How can the tax code for the wealthy be out of date and fine for everyone else?

        And examining the tax code isn’t something you draft up and communicate in 10 words or less…….this is policy light by Horvath and nothing more.

        • Easy answer.. the amounts of money people are making these days at the high end are exponentially larger than they ever were before, while for the rest of us, incomes have basically stagnated over the last 30 years once inflation is taken into account.

  4. Taxing the rich is always a popular idea.

    It taps into the resentment people have towards anyone better off than themselves.

    • It doesn’t even have to be resentment toward others, just a desire to be better off than we are now, and knowing that those at the top end feel the pain of taxation a lot less. Remember that our tax rates only apply to the money above the bracket. So if you make 500,001, an extra 10% is only costing you an extra 10 cents.  If you make 600,000 that extra ten percent costs you an extra 10,000.. which seems like a lot until you realize that still leaves 590,000 (minus whatever your previous tax was) — hardly a significant hardship.

      Not to mention trying to pull an extra 10k out of those earning less? Not as easy to do without causing hardship, because at the low end, an extra $200 in tax can mean the difference between a working vehicle to use for work and being unemployed.

      •  Yes, hence progressive taxation…and none at all below a certain level.

        But 500K a year isn’t rich either, so it’s a vague idea to begin with, just a way to channel resentment…..like the ‘sunshine list’ in Ont, back from when people thought 100K was big money.

  5. This is just ridiculous!  People making only $500,000 a year are hardly rich.  They generally can barely afford their penthouse condos, their second home on the lake, and their 46′ sailboats.  The nerve of some people, suggesting that an extra 2% of the money they earn over $500,000 should somehow pay for more nurses and teachers across this country.  Why, that’s an extra $2,000 per $100,000!  How can people earning only $600,000 afford that 56″ bathroom LCD if $2,000 is added to their tax burdens?  How will they be able to trickle-down on the rest of us?

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