Blog Strike for Income-Splitting
I wish to add my voice to the Blog Strike for income-splitting. I have no special training in this area, but I thought I'd add my two cents of what this particular measure would mean to me and my family.
To me, income-splitting is a tangible way to accomplish many laudable goals. First of all, it is a measure of respect for marriage. How so? When a man and a woman declare their vows before witnesses, they are committing to a shared life, 'until death do us part'. If they take these vows seriously, then they are creating a covenant partnership, one that means that their very lives belong to each other, in a committed, mutual self-giving. The State ought to respect and encourage these promises, as they contribute to stability for society. By separating these individuals through individual taxation, the State, in effect, pays lip service to this covenant, but doesn't really honour it. By treating the couple/family as a single economic unit, the State shows a willingness to acknowledge this partnership in a privileged way, as it should be. Income-splitting would also do this in a non-discriminatory way, unlike, for example, past Liberal/NDP child care plans. Whereas only privileged individuals would have benefitted from such a plan, income-splitting, like the CPC child care plan, applies across the board, leveling the playing field for families seeking to make the best choice for their own families. Income-splitting honours the fact that families are in the best position to make these decisions, and not far-off bureaucrats with their own visions of how families should be making decisions about work.
I mentioned the child care decision of the CPC for another reason - it was one of the few times in my relatively short life that I recall the government making a decision that honoured families and their own abilities to choose the best for their situations. It could, in that case, be credibly argued that the child care benefit is best left in taxpayers pockets (I won't argue against that) - but the contrast is tremendous between the CPC decision to equally-honour all of Canada's children and the Lib/NDP one to create spaces for the privileged-few from the taxes of all. It was a heart-warming moment for me when that priority was passed. Not primarily because of the extra money we receive, but especially that our country, for once, didn't kick the family in the teeth in order to achieve some politically-correct program. I see income-splitting as another opportunity to affirm the family, and to put families even more in control of their destinies in a great Canada.
I suspect that some portion of the CPC decision for the child care benefit, and potentially income-splitting, would be for political reasons - to attract and keep voters like me in their column. I can appreciate the need to appeal to voters in many ways, and I would like to encourage all politicians, not just the CPC, to take ownership over this issue and to pass it in a bipartisan way, to demonstrate that it is the right thing to do. Done especially in this fashion, it would help to build trust and honour in political institutions that badly need shoring up. Do the right thing, guys!
As tempting as it is, I'll resist the temptation to call for not only income-splitting, but retroactive income-splitting to compensate for the years that married couples, especially those with one wage-earner, have been discriminated against, as though the State has the right to decide how to punitively tax families and thereby tempt/force more of its citizens into the workforce.
UPDATE: Can't believe I forgot this point - IS also allows the spouse staying at home to effectively be 'paid' for the work done in maintaining the home, a very effective way to put pay respect to the hard work done by those who stay home to care for children and otherwise take on the role of homemakers.