(letters teaser)

In a democracy, we are the government

To the editor;

I would like to elaborate on the pointed and perceptive editorial of Sept. 1, 2022 (Pandemic shortage is a black eye for the NDP). I think that the content of concern in the editorial could have been easily extended to aspects of the entire health care system, the housing crisis, limited support for the disadvantaged, some aspects of policing and maybe even parts of the education system. And that pointed blame the editorial directed at the NDP could have been spread much more widely.

The first act of the new Liberal government in 2001 was to reduce provincial income taxes by approximately 25 per cent turning a $700 million deficit into a $3.8 billion deficit. This brought forth increases in health care premiums, cuts to legal aid, and cuts to supports for public school students with learning disabilities among other cost cutting changes. These reduced income tax rates have remained in place for 20 years.

As a result, we have been operating various public services with reduced revenues. Thus the Liberals bear as much blame for this collapse of public services as the NDP, but there are others more responsible. The ultimate blame lays with us. We think we can operate first class public services with a second class revenue stream. Then we had COVID-19, international supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine, and we are surprised that systems operating on the edge for two decades crack and crumble.

For 40 years many of you have believed that government is your enemy and that taxes are a form of theft. Sheer idiocy!

In a democracy, we are the government, and taxes are what we collectively pay to do things together. For 40 years I have discussed, disputed and argued with friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances to support taxes and oppose tax cuts. (Last Labour Day Weekend I spent part of a day on my roof while re-roofing my house defending the GST to my 60-year-old son.)

Many of you reading this are in favour of further tax cuts. And if you succeed, the rich will laugh all the way to their banks, and editorials will continue to be written complaining truthfully about the failure of certain public services.

Could anything more be expected?

Glen Andrews

Barriere, B.C.

P.S. Yes, I would raise taxes, even on me.


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