On this day, in 1917, Prime Minister Robert Borden – whose mustachioed visage is on the $100 bill – imposed an income tax on Canadians, varying from 4 -25% of one’s income, in large part to pay for the costs of the First World War into which our Dominion was drawn, the ‘war to end all wars’ – but we now know, it was only the beginning.
And so was the tax: Ostensibly, it was a ‘temporary and emergency measure’, to be withdrawn once the ’emergency’ was no longer so ’emergent’. Hmm. Where have we heard that before?
Of course, the government got addicted to all that extra cash flow – and there was lots of it – the emergency kept emerging, and what you see around you is what we got: A bloated bureaucracy and spiraling debt, now over a trillion dollars and counting.
If you want some idea of how much a ‘trillion’ is, ponder the following: If you made an average income of $50,000 a year, and spent none of that on anything, piling it up, it would still take you 20,000,000 years to become a trillionaire. (There are any number of other analogies in that link). They’re taxing us now just to pay the interest, and even that’s nowhere near adding up. Our income taxes – burden as they are – are not even a drop in the bucket.
If you want a summary of what’s wrong with the government taxing the income of its citizens, here is a good summary of ten of them. One of the most deleterious is the intrusion of the state, and a faceless functionary of the CRS, into the most private details of one’s life, under the excuse of ensuring we all declare all of our ‘income’, a vague and hard-to-define quantity, and income and outcome are often in a precarious balance, more precarious for many than for others.
And they wonder why so much business is done sub mensam.
It the midst of it all, live as you can, as morally as you can. Just as taxes are unavoidable, so is death, and we may take some comfort that the latter puts an end to the former. After that comes judgement, and so long as we have been faithful to the Truth, God will forgive our debts, so long as we have forgiven the debts of others, and it will all balance out in the end, flowing over, and full measure.