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LETTER: Ask the hard questions and above all vote

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
CODROY, N.L. —

Well folks, we will all be heading to the voting booths again soon both provincially and federally.

As a person who is on the outside looking in, I try to listen understand and be impartial.

As we all know there are three sides to every story: Yours, mine and (somewhere in between) the truth, or at least some variation of it if all the facts are known.

But in today’s political environment that’s like trying to figure out how the universe was created.

From my point of view, running the government is sort of like running your household.

Money comes in, money goes out, you often have to borrow to make big purchases on which someone will charge you some interest, and over time you pay them back. If you default on payment you may get a short reprieve, but if, in the end you can’t pay you will eventually lose whatever it was you purchased, and your credit rating suffers.

So, needless to say, when I hear both levels of our government saying we are running deficits, and everyone needs to tighten their belts you expect the government to do the same. But it’s an election year and the promises of extravagant spending are flowing, which is great some might say.

My problem is: Where is the money coming from to fund the promises?

It’s a simple question. Apparently, the people making the promises do not provide much of the information when making the promises.

We all know if you have a poor credit rating it costs more to borrow money, which means it will probably take longer to pay it back. That means all the promises, if funded, have to be paid for by someone.

Let me see, that means either raising taxes or creating new ones. A few come to mind over the years — the GST and Carbon Tax, or robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In this case, Peter is probably the surplus in the EI fund. Last time I checked, government does not contribute to this fund. It is the administrator, which apparently gives it carte blanch to use the surplus any way it sees fit.

Just ask the federal Conservatives. It’s how they balanced the budget a few terms ago. I guess that’s the same as saying the budget will balance itself.

So let me see if I can put this into perspective, maybe in layman’s terms, something most politicians have no idea about, or maybe they are just geniuses on creative public speaking.

I checked my pay stub from 2013 and my pay stub in 2019. During that time, I have had small increases to my income. The strange part is my net pay is less in 2019 than it was in 2013. Increases in CPP, EI and personal income tax, plus changes to the company pension plan, have eaten up the gains. On the surface I’m making more money, but in reality, I’m falling behind.

So much for putting more money back in the pockets of working Canadians. Considering all of this with the extra taxes, fees, soon-to-be skyrocketing electricity rates and levies introduced provincially and the New Federal Carbon Tax, and I’m losing even more.

Don’t get me wrong here folks. I agree with paying taxes and doing my fair share. I have received EI in the past and my taxes are needed to fund programs like health care and pay for infrastructure. And it is a big country to maintain. But the fact is our tax dollars are not adequately taking care of things like health care and our infrastructure is crumbling.

My question is when — or will — all of this end? I’m guessing it will be on the day I draw my last breath.

Like the rest of us in this great country, (It is a great one. We are blessed in many ways and we are afforded many opportunities to better ourselves.) I’m growing tired of politicians from all walks of life that continually lie to us to either better themselves or maybe someone that helped them along the way to achieve their position in the political world. I’m upset that some politicians can receive a pension after just two years of service. No matter the size of the pension or when they receive it, it’s still a pension.

All of this gets me back to the household and the government.

If we can’t pay our bills, we either lose what we have or must find a way to hold onto it. In a household it typically means two people working vs. one or working multiple jobs.

The government, when it runs deficits, has to find creative ways to fund current programs and new promises. That may mean robbing surpluses which do not belong to them or raising or creating new taxes. It’s usually the latter.

The problem here is that the government is now asking the same people who are bringing home less to give more and more. So in the end it doesn’t add up and will eventually come to a breaking point. We all know the old saying: “You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.”

There is a growing frustration with our governments at almost every level in this country and in my opinion it’s needless and fuelled by the people who are elected and their personal aspirations or ideology on what they believe the country and the world should look like.

So when your MHA, MP or the person looking to displace them shows up at your door invite them in. Sit them down and ask them why you should vote for them. Ask them what’s the plan going forward for your riding. And ask them this one, and it’s the biggest: Who will they represent when their leader demands they vote on issues and policy that they know is not in their constituency’s best interest?

In the end, they were voted in to represent you first and their party and leader second.

I’m betting there will be some uncomfortable moments during the conversation.

No matter what folks. I know we are all frustrated with the process, just vote. It’s the strongest power the people have in the democratic process.

If we don’t, we have given up a right that many are not afforded.

Just one man’s point of view.

Allan Keeping

Doyles, N.L.

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