2007 Conservative Tax Plan

The Canadian government issued $60 billion in tax relief this week. Here’s a brief breakdown.

* GST cut one percentage point to 5 per cent, effective 1 Jan 2008
* Personal income tax cut retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007, cutting lowest marginal tax rate to 15 per cent from 15.5 per cent
* Jump in basic personal exemption to $9,600, retroactive to 1 Jan 2007, increasing to $10,100 in 2009
* $10-billion in federal debt relief
* One percentage point cut in corporate tax to 20 per cent in 2008
* Reduction in corporate tax rate to 15 per cent by 2012
* Small business income tax reduced to 11 per cent by 2008

Overall, a good tax plan. Apply surplus to the debt, cut corporate tax, and reduce income tax.

A couple of comments though.

Generally, I agree with corporate tax cuts. I am especially intrigued by the plan to have the lowest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. I am just not so sure giving a blanket tax cut is th right idea. I believe what we need is more diversity in our economy. Our economy is still very heavy in manufacturing (despite the western boom in energy). Blanket tax cuts will encourage manufacturing companies (and export companies for that matter) to use the extra surplus to compete with our strong dollar. Hopefully, they’ll use the surplus to invest in mechanisms that will help them as the dollar pushes higher, but I am sceptical it will get used for much more than profit.

I’d like to see tax structures in place that encourage more economic diversity, so we can prosper no matter the position of our dollar.

The second comment was toward personal income tax. I am glad they are raising the personal exemption amount an decreasing income tax for the lowest tax bracket. when we consider, however, that they raised the income tax for the lowest tax bracket and lowered the exemption amount when they first took power, it’s hardly much of a cut. It brings us back to nearly what we were at when the Liberals were in power.

The GST cut is my last point. I disagree with it. I mean, honestly, 1% savings? How am I going to benefit from getting $1 back for every $100 I spend? Superstore gives me more back in coupons when I shop (e.g $30 for every $250 spent). The only way I can benefit from a smoke-and-mirrors cut like this is making large purchases like homes and vehicles, but these are not things I buy frequently.

How about cutting the lowest tax bracket to 14% and raising the cap to $40,000? Now, that would be a nice tax break. Oh, and make the universal child benefit tax-free.

My faith crisis story (Sally)

This is the third post in a series how several of us have dealt with a crisis in faith.

No one can make us do anything we seriously don’t want to do. I can’t even say when I started to slide backwards it was such a gradual change. In all hindsight, I can honestly say it was because I took my membership and my temple recommend for granted. I believed that members sealed in the temple were sealed for all time and eternity; therefore, there is no divorce. You work things out.

Continue reading My faith crisis story (Sally)

Using scriptures directed at others

In D&C 32, we find a revelation given to Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson. They were all called on a mission in the revelation. The following is one of the things outlined in the revelation:

>And they shall give heed to that which is written, and pretend to no other revelation; and they shall pray always that I may unfold the same to their understanding.

After reading it, I was left wondering something. This revelation seems to be specifically directed at the four men. Can anyone else use this scripture to support the idea that any of us can receive greater understanding if we pray always?

Female role parallel to priesthood

During our elders quorum lesson on Sunday, we were discussing women in the church, and specifically the different roles men and women hold in the church. Eventually, we established that men hold the priesthood; someone indicated the role of women different from that was motherhood.

Everyone seemed to be content with that comparison until someone mentioned men in the church also have the role of fatherhood.

It would seem that fatherhood would be more directly related to motherhood than priesthood is. If that is so, then what female role would be parallel to the male role of priesthood bearer?