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#1 2015-01-20 17:39:47

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,445
Website

Investment in Space vs Earth

In a "Human Missions" discussion thread...

louis wrote:

What's lacking is the political will (Obama in particular doesn't do space - he's a Chicago street activist and they were always complaining about the space budget not being spent on the poor).

This concerns me. I'm all for helping the little guy, but space is about opening new frontiers and new resources. Opening new resources makes the entire economy richer. The poor need consideration, but obsessing about them to the exclusion of opening new resources simply makes everyone poor.

I am concerned about what is going on in Canada. When the current Conservative government was elected in January 2006, they cancelled the last cut by the Liberal administration to personal income taxes. Then a year later brought back that same tax cut, claiming they had cut taxes. It was only 0.5%, but bringing back a cut they cancelled is not a cut. There has been no cuts to personal income tax since. Instead they cut corporate taxes. The Liberal administration passed a law to cancel corporate capital tax, but the effective date was after the 2006 election, so the Conservatives have claimed credit. The Liberals stated their intent to cancel corporate surtax, but during the 2006 election they were in the process of abolishing corporate capital tax. One at a time; if you cut taxes too deeply too quickly, you abolish the surplus. The surplus is used to pay down the debt, which reduces debt service charges (interest). That reduced interest is what allows the government to reduce taxes. So cuts have to be slow. Cutting too quickly kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. The goose is the surplus, and golden eggs are tax cuts. But the Conservatives didn't stop there, they cut corporate tax down to 15%. Personal income tax at the lowest income bracket is 15%. That means multi-billion dollar corporations are paying taxes at the same rate as individuals with income below the poverty line. That's absurd. That does have to change.

My proposal for Canada is:

  • Cut personal income tax by 2% points in every income bracket. For the lowest income bracket that reduces from 15% to 13%. Effective January 1st 2016. That's New Years Day following the next federal election. Election day is scheduled for October 19, 2015.

  • Increase corporate income tax by 1% point that same day, January 1st, 2016. From 15% to 16%.

  • Shift tax on dividends from personal income tax to corporate. Again January 1st 2016. That means corporations will no longer be able to deduct what they pay in dividends from taxable income, effectively charging corporate income tax on dividends. Corporations will be prohibited from deducting anything from the dividend cheque; the corporation pays, not shareholders. Of course how much a corporation pays in dividends is up to them. And dividend cheques from a corporation that pays corporate income tax to Canada will not be included in taxable income for personal income tax. Making a dividend cheque tax free. But that would not apply to dividends from foreign corporations, because they don't pay corporate income tax to Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency has to get their tax money somewhere.

  • Increase GST (Canada's federal sales tax) by 1%, from 5% to 6%, effective April 1st, 2016. That gives retailers time to adjust their cash registers, and April 1st is the beginning of the Canadian federal government's fiscal year. Increase a further 1% effective July 1st, raising from 6% to 7%. The GST was 7% on election day 2006, so this just puts it back to what it was.
    Note: Personal income tax cut by 2%, GST raised by 2%. But income tax is on all your income while GST is only on some things. And the raise in GST will be delayed, so taxpayers get a break.

  • The GST Credit is a rebate cheque mailed to low income taxpayers once per quarter. Effective April 1st (again start of the federal government's fiscal year), change that. Change it to a line item added to your paycheque. Instead of taking the annual amount, dividing by 4 and mailing a cheque, instead divide by how many paycheques you get per year, add that to every paycheque. So instead of 1/4 every 3rd month, you could get 1/26 bi-weekly. Current line items on a pay stub are deductions, but this would be added to your paycheque. And employers would net this out with income tax withholding. Most importantly, the total amount paid per year would double. Yes, this off-loads expenses to employers, and passes on those savings to taxpayers. If an employer complains, my response is "Suck it up buttercup."
    Anyone not employed but receiving Employment Insurance benefits would receive this on their EI cheque instead. Anyone not employed and not receiving EI, but retired and receiving Canada Pension Plan benefits would get it on their CPP cheque. Anyone not getting any of that but getting provincial welfare, would get it on their welfare cheque. Anyone who doesn't get any of that would get their GST Credit on the following year's income tax refund.
    And to ensure no one gets more than one payment, all employers will be required to register employee's Social Insurance Number (SIN) (Canadian equivalent to Social Security Number) with a website of the Canada Revenue Agency. If that SIN is already assigned to get the GST Credit elsewhere, or doesn't qualify to receive the GST Credit, the employer will be told "No". No explanation why, just "No".

  • The following year, effective January 1st 2017, federal personal income tax will be cut another 2% points in every income bracket. For the lowest income bracket that cuts from 13% to 11%.

  • To pay for that, the same day, January 1st 2017, corporate income tax will raise by 2%, from 16% to 18%.

  • The year after that, January 1st 2018, personal income tax cut another 1% point in every income bracket. The lowest income bracket will be cut from 11% to 10%.

  • To pay for that, the same January 1st 2018, corporate income tax increase 1%, from 18% to 19%.

Then leave it there. On election day 2006, corporate income tax was 21%, plus corporate surtax, plus corporate capital tax. After all this, corporate income tax will be 19%, and no corporate capital tax or surtax. That's lower and that's enough. Individuals below the poverty line will pay 10% income tax; that's a tithe.

I also want to restore the surplus, treat the federal debt like a mortgage, pay the whole damn thing off. Once the entire Canadian federal debt is gone, completely abolish federal personal income tax. Of course the GST Credit would have to go at the same time as federal personal income tax. One major purpose to the GST Credit is incentive to file your income tax return. If you don't file, you don't get the GST Credit. Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) together are the equivalent to Social Security. Those premiums pay for those programs, so the premiums have to stay. But no increase, no decrease, no change what so ever. Provincial income tax is under authority of provincial governments, so anyone who wants to change that has to talk to their provincial politicians. This plan doesn't change that. Corporate income tax and GST itself will stay at the level I just listed. The real reason for shifting dividends from personal income tax to corporate is so when federal personal income tax is completely abolished, dividends stay taxed. So this isn't magic. But if you look at your pay stub, look at the box that says "Federal Income Tax". That will be gone; your paycheque will be that much bigger because it simply won't be deducted.

Further spending cuts: In late 2005, the Liberal administration was a minority government, so to stay in power they needed support from at least one other political party. The Conservative Party was trying to force an election, so the Liberals tried to placate the NDP. In Canada, the Liberal Party is not as "liberal" as the Republicans in the United States use the word. The Liberal Party tries to be fiscally responsible. However, the New Democratic Party is socialist. In an effort to placate the NDP, in late 2005 they introduced a bill to create a national childcare program. It didn't pass, and the Conservative administration has instead created the "Universal Child Care Benefit for Children Under the Age of 6". Yea, long name. It's a $100 cheque mailed to parents every month. But it's considered taxable income. After tax that works out to $16 per week. Not much, but in 2011 cost the government $2.8 billion. They haven't included a line item for that program since. During the 2011 election, the Liberal calculated the cost of their childcare program: $0.5 billion the first year, rising each year until the 4th it would cost $1 billion, then capped at $1 billion thereafter. Now the Conservatives have promised to increase the cheques to $160 per month, parents would get the money starting this July. The election is October: can you say "buying votes"? I knew you could. My idea is replace the Conservative childcare plan with the Liberal one. Assuming the cost of the Conservative plan hasn't increase since 2011 (it probably has), then the 60% increase means $4.48 billion per year. Replacing that with a $0.5 billion program saves about $4 billion the first year alone. And the Liberal plan is more effective. It entails training unemployed people receiving EI benefits or welfare to establish a home business providing childcare. That gets individuals off social assistance, instead self-employed.

Isn't that more effective? This doesn't cut funding from space. Again, space is an investment. There's lots of new land on Mars. Lots of metals in asteroids. Lots of resources to make society richer.

Another perspective. My mother was a pre-school child during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She described growing up in a small town in southern Manitoba. Here in Canada, in the province where I now live. Her parents had a tiny house with a coal-and-wood stove; no furnace. They had to stoke the stove before going to bed at night, and during the coldest nights of winter had to get up during the night to re-stoke the stove. She often woke to find her bed sheets frozen to the bed. When they got up, they ran to the stove to warm up. They drew water in a bucket from a hand-pump; they didn't have running water. Their father (my grandfather) hunted for meat: deer, duck, geese, occasionally smaller animals. They had a small subsistence farm with a few acres of potatoes, vegetables, and some chickens. Canada didn't have a national healthcare system at that time. Their mother (my grandmother) got serious complications from childbirth, worse with each child. She stopped after 4 children. Her husband (my grandfather) had to pay punishing hospital bills, so they were dirt poor until those bills were paid. After the Great Depression they recovered; had a small restaurant for a few years, then my grandfather built houses until he retired. But now compare the so-called "poor" of today with how my own mother grew up. Are they really poor? It's all relative.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-01-20 22:32:25)

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#2 2015-01-20 18:19:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,196

Re: Investment in Space vs Earth

I used to wake up with frost on the inside of the windows as a child! LOL  And that was in the UK!

We need to reform taxation and benefits in the UK  as well as Canada. 

Personally I would go for: a flat rate income tax (no allowances); a universal citizen's benefit (to restore a strong work incentive, along with the flat income tax); a graduated property tax; a differential sales tax; and a financial transaction tax.  It's too easy for the rich and oligarchs living in the UK to dodge income tax.

Space investment is vital to economic development.  In fact the UK has huge a space satellite sector.  Apparently, because we were one of the first countries to develop satellite TV, we got a lead in the satellite economic sector generally and so became a world leader.

If I was in control of space policy in the UK I'd be looking to develop space tourism with a focus on lunar tourism.  I know Branson's run in to difficulties but I would link with Musk to achieve this.


RobertDyck wrote:

In a "Human Missions" discussion thread...

louis wrote:

What's lacking is the political will (Obama in particular doesn't do space - he's a Chicago street activist and they were always complaining about the space budget not being spent on the poor).

This concerns me. I'm all for helping the little guy, but space is about opening new frontiers and new resources. Opening new resources makes the entire economy richer. The poor need consideration, but obsessing about them to the exclusion of opening new resources simply makes everyone poor.

I am concerned about what is going on in Canada. When the current Conservative government was elected in January 2006, the cancelled the last cut by the Liberal administration to personal income taxes. Then a year later brought back that same tax cut, claiming they had cut taxes. It was only 0.5%, but bringing back a cut they cancelled is not a cut. There has been no cuts to personal income tax since. Instead they cut corporate taxes. The Liberal administration passed a law to cancel corporate capital tax, but the effective date was after the 2006 election, so the Conservatives have claimed credit. The Liberals stated their intent to cancel corporate surtax, but during the 2006 election they were in the process of abolishing corporate capital tax. One at a time; if you cut taxes too deeply too quickly, you abolish the surplus. The surplus is used to pay down the debt, which reduces debt service charges (interest). That reduced interest is what allows the government to reduce taxes. So cuts have to be slow. Cutting too quickly kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. The goose is the surplus, and golden eggs are tax cuts. But the Conservatives didn't stop there, they cut corporate tax down to 15%. Personal income tax at the lowest income bracket is 15%. That means multi-billion dollar corporations are paying taxes at the same rate as individuals with income below the poverty line. That's absurd. That does have to change.

My proposal for Canada is:

  • Cut personal income tax by 2% points in every income bracket. For the lowest income bracket that reduces from 15% to 13%. Effective January 1st 2016. That's New Years Day following the next federal election. Election day is scheduled for October 19, 2015.

  • Increase corporate income tax by 1% point that same day, January 1st, 2016. From 15% to 16%.

  • Shift tax on dividends from personal income tax to corporate. Again January 1st 2016. That means corporations will no longer be able to deduct what they pay in dividends from taxable income, effectively charging corporate income tax on dividends. Corporations will be prohibited from deducting anything from the dividend cheque; the corporation pays, now shareholders. Of course how much a corporation pays in dividends is up to them. And dividend cheques from a corporation that pays corporate income tax to Canada will not be included in taxable income for personal income tax. Making a dividend cheque tax free. But that would not apply to dividends from foreign corporations, because they don't pay corporate income tax to Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency has to get their tax money somewhere.

  • Increase GST (Canada's federal sales tax) by 1%, from 5% to 6%, effective April 1st, 2016. That gives retailers time to adjust their cash registers, and April 1st is the beginning of the Canadian federal government's fiscal year. Increase a further 1% effective July 1st, raising from 6% to 7%. The GST was 7% on election day 2006, so this just puts it back to what it was.
    Note: Personal income tax cut by 2%, GST raised by 2%. But income tax is on all your income while GST is only on some things. And the raise in GST will be delayed, so taxpayers get a break.

  • The GST Credit is a rebate cheque mailed to low income taxpayers once per quarter. Effective April 1st (again start of the federal government's fiscal year), change that. Change it to a line item added to your paycheque. Instead of taking the annual amount, dividing by 4 and mailing a cheque, instead divide by how many paycheques you get per year, add that to every paycheque. So instead of 1/4 every 3rd month, you could get 1/26 bi-weekly. Current line items on a pay stub are deductions, but this would be added to your paycheque. And employers would net this out with income tax withholding. Most importantly, the total amount paid per year would double. Yes, this off-loads expenses to employers, and passes on those savings to taxpayers. If an employer complains, my response is "Suck it up buttercup."
    Anyone not employed but receiving Employment Insurance benefits would receive this on their EI cheque instead. Anyone not employed and not receiving EI, but retired and receiving Canada Pension Plan benefits would get it on their CPP cheque. Anyone not getting any of that but getting provincial welfare, would get it on their welfare cheque. Anyone who doesn't get any of that would get their GST Credit on the following year's income tax refund.
    And to ensure no one gets more than one payment, all employers will be required to register employee's Social Insurance Number (SIN) (Canadian equivalent to Social Security Number) with a website of the Canada Revenue Agency. If that SIN is already assigned to get the GST Credit elsewhere, or doesn't qualify to receive the GST Credit, the employer will be told "No". No explanation why, just "No".

  • The following year, effective January 1st 2017, federal personal income tax will be cut another 2% points in every income bracket. For the lowest income bracket that cuts from 13% to 11%.

  • To pay for that, the same day, January 1st 2017, corporate income tax will raise by 2%, from 16% to 18%.

  • The year after that, January 1st 2018, personal income tax cut another 1% point in every income bracket. The lowest income bracket will be cut from 11% to 10%.

  • To pay for that, the same January 1st 2018, corporate income tax increase 1%, from 18% to 19%.

Then leave it there. On election day 2006, corporate income tax was 21%, plus corporate surtax, plus corporate capital tax. After all this, corporate income tax will be 19%, and no corporate capital tax or surtax. That's lower and that's enough. Individuals below the poverty line will pay 10% income tax; that's a tithe.

I also want to restore the surplus, treat the federal debt like a mortgage, pay the whole damn thing off. Once the entire Canadian federal debt is gone, completely abolish federal personal income tax. Of course the GST Credit would have to go at the same time as federal personal income tax. One major purpose to the GST Credit is incentive to file your income tax return. If you don't file, you don't get the GST Credit. Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) together are the equivalent to Social Security. Those premiums pay for those programs, so the premiums have to stay. But no increase, no decrease, no change what so ever. Provincial income tax is under authority of provincial governments, so anyone who wants to change that has to talk to their provincial politicians. This plan doesn't change that. Corporate income tax and GST itself will stay at the level I just listed. The real reason for shifting dividends from personal income tax to corporate is so when federal personal income tax is completely abolished, dividends stay taxed. So this isn't magic. But if you look at your pay stub, look at the box that says "Federal Income Tax". That will be gone; your paycheque will be that much bigger because it simply won't be deducted.

Further spending cuts: In late 2005, the Liberal administration was a minority government, so to stay in power they needed support from at least one other political party. The Conservative Party was trying to force an election, so the Liberals tried to placate the NDP. In Canada, the Liberal Party is not as "liberal" as the Republicans in the United States use the word. The Liberal Party tries to be fiscally responsible. However, the New Democratic Party is socialist. In an effort to placate the NDP, in late 2005 they introduced a bill to create a national childcare program. It didn't pass, and the Conservative administration has instead created the "Universal Child Care Benefit for Children Under the Age of 6". Yea, long name. It's a $100 cheque mailed to parents every month. But it's considered taxable income. After tax that works out to $16 per week. Not much, but in 2011 cost the government $2.8 billion. They haven't included a line item for that program since. During the 2011 election, the Liberal calculated the cost of their childcare program: $0.5 billion the first year, rising each year until the 4th it would cost $1 billion, then capped at $1 billion thereafter. Now the Conservatives have promised to increase the cheques to $160 per month, parents would get the money starting this July. The election is October: can you say "buying votes"? I knew you could. My idea is replace the Conservative childcare plan with the Liberal one. Assuming the cost of the Conservative plan hasn't increase since 2011 (it probably has), then the 60% increase means $4.48 billion per year. Replacing that with a $0.5% billion program saves about $4 billion the first year alone. And the Liberal plan is more effective. It entails training unemployed people receiving EI benefits or welfare to establish a home business providing childcare. That gets individuals off social assistance, instead self-employed.

Isn't that more effective?  This doesn't cut funding from space. Again, space is an investment. There's lots of new land on Mars. Lots of metals in asteroids. Lots of resources to make society richer.

Another perspective. My mother was a pre-school child during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She described growing up in a small town in southern Manitoba. Here in Canada, in the province where I now live. Her parents had a tiny house with a coal-and-wood stove; no furnace. They had to stoke the stove before going to bed at night, and during the coldest nights of winter had to get up during the night to re-stoke the stove. She often woke to find her bed sheets frozen to the bed. When they got up, they ran to the stove to warm up. They drew water in a bucket from a hand-pump; they didn't have running water. Their father (my grandfather) hunted for meat: deer, duck, geese, occasionally smaller animals. They had a small subsistence farm with a few acres of potatoes, vegetables, and some chickens. Canada didn't have a national healthcare system at that time. Their mother (my grandmother) got serious complications from childbirth, worse with each child. She stopped after 4 children. Her husband (my grandfather) had to pay punishing hospital bills, so they were dirt poor until those bills were paid. After the Great Depression they recovered; had a small restaurant for a few years, then my grandfather built houses until he retired. But now compare the so-called "poor" of today with how my own mother grew up. Are they really poor? It's all relative.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#3 2015-01-20 20:05:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,683

Re: Investment in Space vs Earth

The US is simular in that the rich dodge there fair taxation and the poor to lower middle class have no money to put towards the greater good when they are in survival mode.
Find people that are capable in the lower brackets and see if any can do the work and qualify for better jobs then you will get there vote for the future....

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#4 2015-03-31 05:37:14

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Investment in Space vs Earth

The best way to take care of the poor is by improving the economy, and when you do that, it doesn't cost any money, the better economy creates more revenue and provides more jobs, and that reduces the ranks of the poor. Some people of course are just incapable of working, but taking care of those people costs less than taking care of all the people who can't find work in a bad economy. It is important that taxes don't cripple the economy.

The economy is a short term problem, settling space is a long term one, to do the latter we need investments in a space transportation infrastructure.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2015-03-31 05:40:57)

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