Letter to the Editor – Ontario’s Debt


Dear Editor,

A response to Ms. Rekmans’ article in the Jan 20/21 “Letter to the Editor” wherein she laments the state of Ontario’s debt, OHIP system, and long term care facilities. I happen to agree with Ms. Rekmans assertions; however, I disagree with the proposed solutions, that is, to tax more. Several times Ms. Rekman indicates that millionaires are given tax breaks when, in her opinion, they should be taxed more. Perhaps? According to Census Canada, the estimated population of Canada in 2020 between 25 and 80 years of age is 25 million. Let’s consider the “garden variety” of millionaires, those having a net wealth between 1 to 5 million USD. The estimate is that there are 764,033 of these individuals or 3% of the working and retired population. Does Ms. Rekmans believe that 3% of the population can alleviate the financial position of all the provinces? What of the Federal government?

If a “wealth tax” is legislated to millionaires, such that the “garden variety” are assessed an extra $20,000 per annum, the 91,823 having between 5-30 million are taxed an extra $100,000 per annum, and the 10,395 having more than 30 million are taxed an extra $200,000 per annum, that would raise approximately 26.5 billion annually. The Federal, Ontario and Alberta governments alone had increased their 2019-2020 deficits by 38.8 billion. The extra taxing of millionaires can’t even pay the rate at which those governments are going into debt per annum. Wait until the final COVID 19 deficit comes in for 2020-2021. A quote from Winston Churchill “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle”.

Ms Rekmans also contends that Doug Ford provided tax cuts for Ontario’s wealthiest. In 2019, the Conservatives did eliminate a planned surtax on Ontario’s wealthiest, a plan proposed by the Wynn Liberals. So, in fact, the Conservatives did not give a tax cut, but did not charge a Liberal tax increase.

I would encourage Ms. Rekmen to read the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” (1996). The “garden variety millionaire” lives in a middle class neighbourhood, drives a used Ford F150 pickup, is self-employed, is married to his first and only wife, eats meals at home, lives well below his income level, and has a spouse that can handle finances well. He invests a minimum of 25% of his income and plans for the long term. These traits are the “time proven” methods of accumulating “wealth”. These are the people Ms. Rekmans proposes to tax even more than they are presently taxed. I would propose that Municipal, Provincial, and Federal governments should take some financial management lessons from the “garden variety millionaire”.

Ms. Rekman submitted an article in the NGT for the Sept 23/20 edition supporting the “minimum basic income”. Even though Ms. Rekman laments the state of Ontario’s finances, she would spend more on OHIP, Long Term Care, and all those deserving of the “minimum basic income”. I would reply with a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” As the left (NDP and Greens) promise ever greater services to the electorate, I would leave you with a final quote from Thomas Jefferson: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have”.

Willem Van Dam


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