Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Picking our pockets

It's no wonder Clarkson decided to stay on as the Queen's representative:

Calling her "Canada's last freeloader," a Winnipeg MP wants Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson to pay her share of taxes. On top of the all-expenses-paid lavish digs at Rideau Hall, the Queen's representative rakes in a salary of $114,000, without paying a penny to the taxman [. . .]

"It just fosters the resentment that there's an elitist nature to the office," he said.

"There should be no tax freeloaders, no matter who you are. It's offensive to the sensibilities of most Canadians that she isn't paying her fair share of taxes."

Noting that the tax exemption on salaries for MPs and Senators ended years ago, Martin said there's no justification for the GG to continue to be exempt.

"She drives on the roads we all pay taxes for, and income earned in Canada is taxed at source," he said.
It is offensive that she receives taxpayer dollars in the first place - on top of her salary, she gets free trips around the world at taxpayer expense and other perks besides. I would like to remind Pat Martin here that the nature of taxation necessarily results in unfair redistribution of earned income and elitism. It is no better than common theft - in fact worse, as such theft is shamelessly justified by reference to 'the common good' (as determined by Martin and his ilk) and sanctioned by law. If I had my way, Pat Martin wouldn't be receiving a dime from the trough and both Martin and Clarkson would thereby be required to actually earn their income by getting an honest job.
John Williamson, federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, was also outraged to learn of the GG's tax-exempt status.

"At a time when even the Queen of Canada pays taxes, this suggests that the governor general and the whole institution is acting like it's living in another time," he said.

The GG would have to pay about $40,000 in income taxes on a $114,000 salary. As it stands, her annual salary is equivalent to $185,000 for a tax-paying earner.

Williamson hopes the government doesn't simply double her pay so she takes home the same figure.

Lysander Spooner - excerpt from No Treason - The Constitution of No Authority:
The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travelers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.