May 29, 2015

Guaranteed annual income? Nenshi thinks NDP might propose "negative income tax"

Rebel Staff

Now that Alberta's first NDP majority government is in power, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has raised the possibility of implementing a so-called "negative income tax."

That's because -- like many individuals in Premier Rachel Notley's cabinet -- new finance minister Joe Ceci is a former "progressive" activist. In such circles, the "negative income tax" is a policy that's been advocated for years. It would combine existing government benefits into a single guaranteed annual income.

Asked about what actions he expected Notley's government to take, Nenshi told reporters:

I am really, really interested if he will bring that to bear in terms of some really significant changes to the taxation system that would really help us manage poverty in a brand new way." (...)

As to what kinds of changes he figured Ceci might float, Nenshi said: “A negative income tax, maybe.”

One Calgary group, Momentum, is currently pushing an "Alberta Child Benefit, that would pay parents in households earning less than $41,000 annually a total of $1,300 per year per child":

"We’ve only looked at it for families,” said the group's publc policy advisor Mike Brown, “But the logic is sound for families, so I think we can extrapolate it for all Albertans and make sure that no one has to live in poverty in Alberta.”

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commented 2015-05-31 15:35:25 -0400
I just can’t wrap my head around GAI. Would it cost less than welfare money only to those who are either in need short term or completely unable and unfit to make a living for themselves? Those are the only two reasons for getting assistance. As it stands, it IS often abused,(easily done the way its set up) and at the same time doesn’t go far enough to help those who truly cannot take care of themselves. We all know of multiple cases where single mothers have no incentive to retrain and get back into the job market, because of how it negatively affects their assistance. Even though it is a pitiful amount, they will often choose to get by with it rather than work, unless the work is under the table, or often illegal like selling drugs. There has to be a system that encourages these women to get back into the work force, by helping them with daycare and providing real incentives for advancement. How? I;m not exactly sure but I question that the answer is a guaranteed income. The sick and unable absolutely require help. But anyone who is able bodied is needed, to help pay for the needy. Self sufficiency should be the goal of anyone on temporary assistance, as a means to an end. How can that happen with GAI? In the U.K. don’t they reward unwed mothers with free apartments and living expenses, one kid a one bedroom two kids a two bedroom etc. Makes no sense to me.
commented 2015-05-31 00:23:04 -0400
Joan I don’t know how those people manage. The people I know on welfare have had a grievous incident that makes it impossible for them to work. There are people not on welfare working to the bone doing two jobs and make $12k per year. Then there are those making $100k a year doing non productive jobs. Nothing really makes sense does it?
commented 2015-05-30 21:38:06 -0400
For those of you who think Anonymous’s budget of $35,000 a year is tight, try living on the under $8,000.00 a year individuals on welfare get per year. Just try to pay for both housing and food, not to mention telecommunications, clothing, sanitary products, laundry, etc.

Those of you who complain about people on welfare eating fast food and drinking beer – those are not the poor; those are the criminal who do not live on welfare but who take a welfare cheque and supplement it with proceeds of crime. They are not the poor but the criminal.
commented 2015-05-30 21:30:39 -0400
Prince Knight – trouble is that local “non-profits” are not interested in helping “these people”. They take the money to buy themselves a middle-class lifestyle to oppress and blame the broken and disabled poor.

GAI legislation would give money not to “whomever” but directly to the poor so they can purchase their own food, their own rental housing, according to their own tastes, not the interests of some non-profit that demands they rent in some ghetto their agency is funded for. The poor suffer from inadequate means not poor character, not stupidity, not an inability to manage money. They don’t need some third party telling them what to eat, where to live and with whom to associate. GAI would give them the dignity of means with which to make their own choices, build their own lives. Non-profits oppress.

I’ll never forget a homeless woman I met at a shelter when I worked for public health. I asked if she needed anything and she asked if I could get her a piece of fruit. The shelter provided two meals a day that were donations of left-over, day-old donuts from Timmy’s. All residents slept on thin mats on the floor of a large gymnasium-sized room and were required to leave between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Lots of intimidation, lots of thefts, lots of assaults, including sexual assaults. No police investigations because, you know, of how crazy, retarded and dishonest all poor are. Not much of a home, is it? Not like the homes the agents of non-profit funding go back to after they blame and oppress the poor all day for profit. My client was homeless initially because of a domestic break-up, then because every month on cheque day, gangs came into the shelter and beat any resident who refused to hand over their welfare money as protection from the gang violence, while the non-profit staff looked the other way. My client was repeatedly in ICU because she tried to resist paying protection.

The current social service system, including the non-profits, is broken beyond repair by crime corruption. Give the poor the money to buy their own food and housing and shut down the shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, welfare agencies and tax-funded non-profits. They are all corrupt.
commented 2015-05-30 21:08:32 -0400
Paul Synnott gets it.
commented 2015-05-30 13:19:35 -0400
Brain dead turd.
commented 2015-05-30 01:38:53 -0400
Well! good for Alberta…. now you will find out what you voted for… good by to the little engine that could… soon you will look like Ontario, all blow but no dough.
commented 2015-05-29 18:19:47 -0400
Joan I will go for your idea and like Anonymous I will take anything Notley wants to throw my way. I don’t know much about Mr. Ceci although I live in his riding. He doesn’t seem to have any accounting background.
commented 2015-05-29 14:49:42 -0400
Negative income tax solutions have been proposed for decades – and nobody has found a sustainable and fair way to implement them. The US has a version of it – called the Earned Income Tax Credit – depending on your income you get an amount added to your tax refund at the end of the year – in 1996 it cost the US government $25 billion dollars, and estimated fraud rates are at 45%. The theory is ok, but it would need to be national (cost of living differs in each province/city so there is issue number 1), provide a bare minimum of income just like welfare, but for it to work there needs to be some motivation built in for recipients to actually work – just like work for welfare, but as your earned income goes up the cheque you get from the government goes down, so by working you become better off until you are earning a good enough wage the cheque stops and you get to start contributing to the system. Setting what a “good enough wage” is poses another issue. Also all other welfare/subsidies from all levels of government would need to be stopped.
Definitely not something any government should even consider implementing.
commented 2015-05-29 14:44:08 -0400
Terry – not all of us retards in AB voted for this travesty! Everyone knew that this election was going to be a wild ride, and many just don’t understand the implications of socialism, and just wanted to punish all conservatives for the actions of a few. I voted Wild Rose, so I voted for the only other conservative party. Some of us got it right, and those that voted for the NDP need to be educated in the disease of socialism.
commented 2015-05-29 14:21:45 -0400
On a daily basis I see numerous street people, aish recipients, welfare cases, etc, always finding the cash for smokes, fast food, and booze….but then they bitch when their free money runs out before the end of the month. How about putting the brakes on the gravy train and putting some of these people on some kind of work detail to retain their benefits….oh, I forgot, the loony left thinks that is degrading.
commented 2015-05-29 14:06:13 -0400
No more OSAP or student grants, no more funding for University/College, no more welfare and many more programs, Federal and Provincial. Bureaucracies gone. I’ll take a GAI any day!
commented 2015-05-29 14:05:56 -0400
Joan, the real por (the victims of crime, the vets, and others you mentioned) don’t need a government handout; they just need assistance. I, for one, would rather fund a local non-profit organization geared to helping these people (and I do!) than paying taxes so that some bureaucratic, inefficient government agency can waste it and give it away to whomever.

But I found a way around the system: Legally, I pay no personal taxes whatsoever, and minimal taxes corporately. (And Revenue Canada has no issue.)
commented 2015-05-29 14:05:32 -0400
He’s setting Aberta up like Marxist Obama has done in the States – to make an energetic hard working people of Alberta to become lazy and decadent and dependant on the Government, so the Government cam have their way with the Alberta people and call the shots on them – hence able to take away Civil Rights and slence demands from the people, in order for the Government to be able to think for the people!

This is what I am afraid of should the Canadian people go retard like the Albertans’ have and vote in the Socialist ( Communist/Marxist Thomas Mulcair Government into power into Canada!
Are the Canadian people so blind that they cannot see the tyranny that is occuring in America under the Democrat/Socialist Obama Government – whereby it turns out the Republicans are going along with the Stasi setup!

Seems what was supposed to be two parties has turned into one Socialist/Marxist style Government for the American people…… Fascism for the Corporate Oligarch Corporations’!

Please Canadians’ and Albertans’ don’t fall for this World Government trap!
commented 2015-05-29 13:56:23 -0400
You live the way regular folks USED to live. Within your means, whatever those means may be. And with pride no less. 35k is a tight budget, You’re have discipline and should applauded for that.
commented 2015-05-29 11:55:46 -0400
Nenshi is again demonstrating his total incompetence when it comes to matters intellectual. This is just another socialist/communist concept that rewards those who refuse to prepare themselves for real work and/or do not wish to put out the necessary real effort to succeed in life. “If the do not earn the money, let’s give it to them anyway” which, of course, comes from the pockets of those who have prepared themselves and then put out the effort and skill necessary to succeed. These latter will then decide to go elsewhere where they are allowed by real governments to keep their own money.

This, in turn, removes the financial impetus from the economy and makes the province or country become a welfare case in itself. Any government that implements such a scheme is bound to destroy that which it governs!
commented 2015-05-29 11:44:55 -0400
i make $35,000 before taxes, no pension, no benefits, and yes I live comfortable, don’t consider myself poor but if you want to give me money I will take it. Though I wonder wouldn’t it be just sane to teach people early in life on how to save and not to over consume. I am an exception to my peers because I know people who make 2 to 3 times more income and don’t have anything to show for it. Yes they have travelled, own nice car(s), and have all the next gadgets and that tells you all you need to know…
commented 2015-05-29 11:37:04 -0400
Far too many of Canada’s real poor, homeless and starving are victims of crime and veterans of war.

I, for one, don’t want to further punish these folks.
commented 2015-05-29 11:34:32 -0400
Heath – try to get a job when you have no residence, no telephone, no money to do laundry, nowhere to take a bath let alone to relieve your bowels. Not as easy as it seems.

Having said that, the numbers of real poor in Canada are inflated. Many who live on the streets have family willing to house them but they prefer the streets because that is where business is. But that is not a social welfare issue we should tgrow money at but a criminal justice issue that badly needs clesning up.
commented 2015-05-29 11:29:51 -0400
Ivan, Heath and Prince – Federal guaranteed income law would replace the provincial administration of current welfare programs and save taxpayers millions in administration costs because it can be administered by software just like the current gst rebates. Think about it.
commented 2015-05-29 11:22:05 -0400
@heath – Yeah, but in this case, the incentive ends up being “do eff-all and get a paycheck anyways.” I agree with you, though – the bottom line is that this “system” is absolutely preposterous to anyone with a lick of sense.
commented 2015-05-29 10:38:14 -0400
One of the most rudimentary laws of economics: “People respond to incentives”

A fiscal policy that unequivocally promotes and encourages social loafing and unemployment is absurd.

“Keep calm and Nenshi on”? more like “Keep calm, and get a job”
commented 2015-05-29 10:01:48 -0400
“Negative income tax’? Huh… Interesting phraseology… Not mathematically sound, though. Income tax is money you give the government based on how much you make. Negative income is a loss. A negative tax means the government gives you. Which also means the government must have the money they’re giving you in the first place — which it doesn’t! How, exactly, would this proposed quasi-welfare scheme be implemented and paid for? (Hint: they gotta have the money first, and the only way they’re going to get it is from you…)

Boiled down, a “negative income tax” only means higher taxes for you…
commented 2015-05-29 09:58:33 -0400
That wooshing sound you hear are people paying for other people’s guaranteed income moving to work in Saskatchewan.
commented 2015-05-29 09:53:48 -0400
Listen, folks, guaranteed income law is not supported by NDP ideology because it is anti-union.

Because it is administered by software with no means and no desserts tests – software automatically generates a cheque to everyone whose income tax return reports income below the poverty line – there is no need for social services workers to oppress the poor, no need for police to arrest the poor for overpayments, no need for Crown Attorneys to prosecute them, no needfor homeless (or for abuse victims) shelters, no need for soup kitchens, no need for government grants to middle-class agents to keep the poor poor and increase their numbers.

Guaranteed income law is promoted regularly by Conservatives like Ernie Eves on 640toronto radio. Conservatives promote it because its administration would save taxpayers millions in salaries to the unionized that need to grow poverty in order to pay for their middle-class entitlements.

Make no mistake. The NDP, like the Liberals, don’t give a damn about Canada’s real oppressed, Canada’s real poor and starving. The middle-class that both the NDP and Libersls pitch to profits from the poverty industry, all those shelters and soup kitchens that guaranteed income law would render obsolete and irrelevant. Not to mention savings in health care and criminal justice.

I say bring on guaranteed income law but at the federal level – no more transfer payments to provinces to administer pro-poverty programs that benefit the unionized.

All the welfare workers that lose their jobs as a result can transfer their skills to criminal justice which is a growth industry. The skill sets are the same.
commented 2015-05-29 09:39:44 -0400
Light ’er up!
commented 2015-05-29 09:38:17 -0400
Nenshi never misses an opportunity to be on the front page of anything. Quit projecting Nenshi, you aren’t in charge of the province, but you certainly make sure your two cents worth is out there. And I hope that we are finally rid of you in the next election!
commented 2015-05-29 09:00:00 -0400
LMFAO!!!!! Alberta’s population will double as all the vermin in Canada and the rest of the world will be new residents of Alberta.

And that wooshing sound you hear? That’s the oil industry leaving the province circa 1980s NEP pete troodo plan.

commented 2015-05-29 08:58:15 -0400
I know I left my hammer and sickle around here somewhere…