At our expense
The richs are getting richer
Christmas holidays are barely over. We still haven’t paid off the gifts we bought.
And already, three days into the New Year, the 100 top-paid heads of Canadian corporations have already made more than the average Canadian will earn in a whole year.
Figures supplied this week by the Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives, a respected progressive think-tank in Ottawa, show the 100 best paid business executives make on the average 189 times the salary of the average Canadian.
The average top-paid executive earns $8.3 million a year; the average Canadian earns $44,366 a year.
The gap is getting worse. Corporate salaries went up 27 per cent last year; the average worker’s salary went up one tiny percent. It was a really good year for the big guys.
The final score: Bosses 27; workers 1.
With numbers like that no wonder the kids are out in the streets in their tents with their “Occupy Wall Street” and “Occupy Montreal” protests.
So what are the politicians – the guys who set the tax rate -- doing about it?
Not much. No question of Prime Minister Stephen Harper taxing corporate heads any higher this year. In fact, Harper is going in the other direction on tax rates for corporations.
He’s reduced the corporate tax rate on big corporations from the current 16.5 % to 15 % -- that’s a drop of 1,5 % which works out to about $ 6 billion to $ 8 billion less in revenue for the government.
Thank you very much Mister Harper.
There was a time when corporate tax rates in Canada were at 29 % -- an incredible rate compared to what it is now. But that was decades ago, and big business has been most successful in getting politicians to lower the corporate tax rates for them. Too bad, ordinary Canadians couldn’t convince the politicians otherwise.
Economists figure that if corporate tax rates reductions continue at the present rate, within two decades big corporations will be paying a zero taxes and then we’ll be paying taxes to big corporations and thanking them for being kind enough to make money.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has a simple solution: Start taxing big corporations at a fair tax rate.
So far, there haven’t been many politicians willing to start taxing the rich. They want to get re-elected too much.