Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here we Go Again...

Yet another Globe and Mail columnist, Gary Mason this time, writing another shockingly dishonest column about healthcare costs. I feel like I'm playing whack a mole with these schmucks.
Now, it appears the federal government understands there is a reckoning about to occur. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty can read numbers as well as the next guy and he knows that the current cost of delivering health care in Canada is unsustainable unless the country wants to go into perpetual debt or people are prepared to pay much higher taxes.
Like Jeffery Simpson a few weeks ago, Mason raises and then abandons the question of whether Canadians are prepared to pay higher taxes to protect Canada's healthcare system. He raises and then abandons the point without comment, presumably to imply that the answer is so unambiguous as to not even need to be addressed, and since the rest of the piece is all about implying that the 'hard choices' to delist and privatize healthcare are what is necessary he is clearly implying that Canadians are not, in fact, willing to pay more.

But this question has been concretely answered by multiple polls that have shown over and over again that the majority of Canadians are in fact willing to pay more to protect and expand healthcare. It isn't healthcare costs, utterly static for years as measured by the most reliable and useful measurement of percentage of GDP that are unsustainable. It is irresponsible and deliberatly insufficiant taxation and revenue collection policies of both Liberal and Conservative governments that truly deserve the title 'unsustainable'.

Canadians have clearly answered the question Mason and Simpson so sneakily try to dismiss without answering: We are willing to pay more in taxes to protect and expand healthcare. Of course the bulk of irresponsible tax cuts of the last few decades have been for upper income and corporate tax rates - our corporate rate is currently lower than the USA's.

The Globe and Mail has a reliably neo-liberal attitude towards protecting the rich and powerful from paying their fair share of the cost of the social contract, so expect them to continue to refuse to even address the argument of dealing with healthcare's increasing share of the budget pie - by increasing the size of the pie by making Canada's wealthiest give up some of their ideological, discredited trickle down theory inspired tax cuts of the last few decades rather than decreasing the size of healthcare's piece.

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