The last time Canadian federal tax revenues have been this low (as a share of the economy). (Source)
Top federal personal income tax rate for anyone earning from $136,270 to you name it. In 1981, the rate for anyone earning $119,000 or more (1981 dollars) was 43 per cent. (Source)
Budget days should be days when Canadians are encouraged to imagine the possibilities for one of the richest countries in the world. Not the possibilities of the shopping mall or the offerings of Netflix, but the possibilities of building -- or rebuilding -- community.
At its best, that is what government is supposed to be about.
But the last eight budgets have been about smothering the national dream of prosperity and equality by systematically starving the federal government.
The outrageous tax cuts of the Harper government (and the Liberals' before that) have had one purpose: to dramatically reduce the role of government while redefining Canadian citizens increasingly as consumers.
Have you ever considered a career on stage? Do you like to manipulate peoples' emotions to make them fear catastrophe and then worship you when you save the day? Perhaps you should consider a career running the country's finances.
As an aspiring actor, you no doubt admire the pomp and circumstance of the throne speech. But the political theatrics go far beyond that. These days the politics of the federal budget book are worthy of a Broadway spectacle.
Federal fiscal theatre has it all. There is anxiety-provoking drama, a valiant superhero and a (not so surprising) happy ending. This week's throne speech is just one more glamorous soliloquy to remind us who to credit when the hero triumphs just in time to enhance the Conservatives' fortunes in the next election.