We doubt if there is anyone among those reading these pages who is in favor of taxes. We doubt if there is anyone who pays taxes who would not welcome the chance to rid our society of them. Taxes are legion in number; there is the tax on your income, the taxes on your property; the sales tax you pay when you buy over the counter. There are a multitude of hidden taxes which you may never realize you are paying. There are the inheritance taxes which cut away the major part of what you may have labored hard to earn in order to leave your family something.
No one wants taxes for the sake of taxation. Even those who are responsible for taxation, our representatives in parliament, don't want them. When they vote themselves an increase in salary they are very careful to add: "exempt from taxation". In other words, those whose sole duty (or so it would seem) is to levy taxes right and left wherever they can, are the most careful to exempt themselves from any taxation. This may or may not be unjust, but it does prove what we said — no one likes taxes; taxes hurt those whom they touch, and those who can escape them do so without any hesitation or pretense.
But supposing we could find a means of getting rid of taxes! And we are speaking quite seriously. If we could abolish them would not everyone be happy? Would we not find support for such a move, even among those holding down parliamentary seats?
Now, someone is bound to cry out: "Oh, but we must have taxation!" Well, let our friend listen a little more attentively to what we said. We said, supposing, supposing that by some extraordinary way we had found a means of ridding society of taxes, would not everyone feel it their duty, not to say pleasure, to aid, in using this means to rid ourselves of this great plague? Very well. We are in agreement. If we have such a means then all will gladly join in the work of sweeping taxes out of the country.
Now it so happens that we do, in fact, have just such a means at hand for getting rid of taxes: That means is Social Credit. In 1917, some 42 years ago, Major C.H. Douglas, a Scottish engineer working for the British government, published his first writings in which can be found the instrument for relieving us of the heavy burden of taxation.
Don't say, right off, that you have no confidence in Social Credit. Remember that we have all agreed to support any means which would help abolish taxation. Furthermore, if you take the trouble to read the works on Social Credit, you will find that the more you read and understand the greater will be your confidence in its efficacity. Social Credit is not a creed requiring an act of faith and nothing else. It is a truth which flows from right reasoning. It can be understood and accepted without any difficulty by those who will apply a little thinking and understanding to its principles. But you, you must have the good will to want to understand it. The door to understanding is the will. Those who don't want to understand will never understand. We have a saying that "There are none so deaf as those who do not want to hear". The same can be applied to the matter of understanding Social Credit.
Taxation and progress are as opposed to one another as black is to white. Taxes are a sign of debt, the symbol of deficiency. Progress is just the contrary; it is the mark of plenty, of wealth, of abundance.
Now, our age is witnessing such progress as has never before been known in the history of man. And yet, at the same time, never has the width and range of taxation over the whole civilized world, been so great. And in the measure that progress continues, in that same measure taxation increases. In other words, taxation seems to be hitched to progress. That is the great contradiction. That is why, we say that taxation is completely illogical.
Progress should mean dividends. When a private company makes progress the shareholders are issued dividends; they are not called on to lay out more cash in order to keep the company going. So too, here in Canada; progress should spell dividends for Canadians. But just the contrary is true. Progress has come to mean taxes for Canadians.
We are beginning to wonder if Canada really is making progress. Oh, yes, our politicians hasten to assure us. The prime minister flies about the country telling everyone, in glowing words, how rich we are, how lucky Canadians are to be living in such a rich country. And there is not a politician who misses the chance to talk about the era of "prosperity" through which Canada is actually passing. But if such is the case, then how does it happen that Canadians do not receive a dividend on the progress of Canada, of which Canada they are the share-holders? Capitalists receive dividends on the money they invest in companies. Canadians are the capitalists who have invested their time and labor in that wealthy land of Ganada; it is they who have made it what it is all Canadians. And without any detriment to private enterprise, they have a right to a dividend on the wealth they produce — all Canadians! But instead of receiving a financial dividend with which to buy the wealth they produce, they receive a bill for taxes. This is nonsense, a complete lack of logic. If taxes are so illogical and so nonsensical under existing conditions, then they should disappear. But how to make them disappear? Social Credit will tell you how to get rid of taxation. Let the taxes be replaced by dividends, since Canada is continually making progress. And let this dividend be distributed to each and every Canadian citizen without distinction. For each and every citizen contributes to that progress.
Since taxes are so unreasonable, they hurt us. If taxes had no other function but to drain off excess money, they couldn't possibly hurt us. Excess money is like an abcess; it must be removed in order to restore health to the body politic. But who can say that we have too much money today, considering the abundance of goods available and the multitude of needs which cry out for these goods? We all of us still have the essential needs to satisfy. The market on the other hand, offers us goods in abundance with which to satisfy these needs. But we lack the money. And still the taxes keep coming, taking more and more of our money, which is already too scarce. That is how taxes hurt us. They are an evil thing. The true tax ought to take from us that which we have in excess; not deprive us of what we need. The significance of a tax ought to be to balance purchasing power by paring off excess money in order that the money supply balances with the price of goods. Nothing else! Today, however, taxes go much farther than that. Taxes today take from us the money we need to buy goods which the country can provide us with.
And how much can be said of the inquiries, investigations, and persecutions that inevitably follow in the wake of any system of taxation such as we have today? Taxation becomes a veritable pestilence. Government tax reports to be filled out, the possible prosecution by the government, the denunciation by jealous acquaintances, persecution by political appointees, investigations, the police, seizures, prison — all of these are possible to the man who is taxed and finds himself faced with the possibility of being treated like a common criminal. The honest citizen of the country becomes ipso facto suspect by the government. That is quite evident when we are obliged to receive the visit of income tax inspectors. They come into our place like police, making no attempt to conceal the fact that they suspect us of robbing the government, and threatening us with prosecution. These bureaucrats of the government are free to insult those who are owners of the country, who have inherited the land which was opened and developped by their fathers; they are permitted to enter our homes and places of business without any warrant, against our wishes; they are given unlimited power simply because they are the paid agents of the robbers of the financial system.
What greater ignominy can there be than for a family to be thrown out into the streets after the house has been seized for the non-payment of taxes! The home, the very fountainhead of society, is taxed and taxed by the all-devouring state; the cradle is attacked by the very men elected by the father of the family to protect the home! The small birds are endowed by providence with all the necessary instincts to protect their nests from wild animals which would prey upon them. And yet intelligent men are unable to defend themselves against there usurpers who mortgage so unjustly the family home and who exercise their ignoble powers to snatch from the father of the family this annual tribute.
Beyond all doubt, taxes are an evil, they are illogical and nonsensical in the era in which we live. They have become sheer robbery in an age when we produce so much and yet have so little purchasing power with which to buy all the goods available to meet a multitude of needs. For these and many other reasons taxes must be abolished— and without delay!
There are those who believe that all the money we pay out to the government in taxes goes to pay for the administration of government and for carrying on vital public services. Those who are of this mind are walking in error. A very large slice of our tax money goes to the financiers to pay the interest on loans, to pay off capital borrowed. Do you think, for example, that the 166 millions paid by the property owners of Montreal and others, is used exclusively to pay the firemen, policemen, garbage collectors, etc. of the city? The financiers gobble up a large share of this sum in interest on loans and the repayment of capital. Here is what the federal Minister of Finance, Mr. Fleming, had to say in his annual report to the Commons on April 19 of this year:
"In 1958-59, public debt charges were again the second largest item of budgetary expenditure. These charges which consist of interest on public debt, the annual amortization of bonds discounts, the cost of issuing new loans and other costs in servicing the public debt, amounted to $644,000,000:00...
"Interest on the public debt was $604,000,000.00....
"During the fiscal year ended March 31, 1959, the gross-public debt increased to $20,220,000,000.00.."
Well, Social Credit will rid the land of taxes, of loans and the interest on loans and the repayment of capital to those exploiters of our land and our people. The Bank of Canada ought to advance credit for municipal and school developments needed by the people and which ultimately are realized through the material and labor supplied by the people who themselves are developing and enriching the land.
If this be done then progress will really be a blessing and not just a further excuse for the robber barons of finance to lay new burdens of taxations upon our shoulders. As the people develop the land and produce new material wealth, so in that measure will finance bring forward new credit, new money, free of interest, free of debt, so that all may participate in and share in the wealth which all are actually producing.