Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tax Increases - A New Episode of Hoarders

"Government decision makers are hoarders"

Federal and Provincial budgets are a complex and convoluted mechanism. So much so that we, without having Ph.D’s in Economics and/or Political Science are at the mercy of the political spin doctors and the press to see what the impact of new budgets will have on us.

As with any complex issue, lack of understanding leaves us helpless to comprehend what the real causes and effects of the messages may be. At this time, we are being prepared for increases in income taxes, sales taxes, user fees as well as new methods of taxation such as health care user fees and highway tolls.

All of these messages are being delivered hand in hand with the announcements of uncontrolled deficits, and potential reductions of services.

How about we find something to consider that might be easier to wrap our heads around. There is a rather successful television series that I confess I seem to be drawn into. The program is called “Hoarders”. A simple premise for a reality program actually. The producers seek out home owners, with the mental disorder of hoarding – filling their homes to extreme with collectables, useless items, garbage, and outdated junk. Their homes are filled to the ceilings, often impassable and dangerous.

Even with their homes filled near to collapse, many of the hoarders continue to acquire junk, to the point of bankruptcy, borrowing money to fill rented storage buildings. Even leaving a house filled with their clutter to rent a new home just to fill that as well.

A professional therapist and assistants enter the scene to attempt to change the hoarders ways. To stop buying, stop spending and clear out the mountains of expired belongings. Inevitably the hoarder fights vigorously to keep their excesses as seeing them all so important, and even on occasion continues to spend as the effort to clean out is in progress.

This is a frustrating show to watch, as a layman, even we can see that they need to stop acquiring junk, and the belongings they have serve no purpose other than take up space in their home. But it is not a complicated program to watch, nor solve their problem.. Clean the house, and stop buying junk, and for gods sake, don’t rent a storage unit and fill that also.

Back to the point - Federal and Provincial Budgets, and tax increases. Now it is much easier to understand. Our government decision makers are hoarders. It is that simple. We have an infrastructure filled to overflowing with waste, with duplication of services, with inefficiencies, with million dollar useless bureaucracy, uncontrolled spending on non necessary acquisitions. But they (our government) are unwilling to clean up this mess, this hoard of waste. Instead, they continue to spend - to near bankruptcy levels, like our friends in the television program. But unlike our friends with a finite amount of spending money, than can result in bankruptcy, our hoarding government continues to go to the bank for more money. But alas.. Taxpayers are their bank.

I wonder, if the therapists on the program, who are often successful in curbing hoarder’s behaviour  could come to the governments front door, ring the bell, squeeze inside past the millions and millions of dollars wasted daily within our government, and have an intervention. Have a nice sit down with the government, and (as they do on the show) have the hoarder, our government, sit on a chair, and look at, item by item and ask, is this expense needed, are these bureaucrats needed, is this new office lease needed, do we need to have two hundred employees doing a job that twenty-five could.. And start throwing out the trash. Part of the therapy would also require that they learn, not to continue to spend and add to the useless clutter, because although the government can’t go bankrupt – their bank sure can (the taxpayers)