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Stocks, Universities and Some Random Thoughts

A Friday appears again and another week slips through my fingers, but time has a way of running at it’s own speed no matter how much I wish it would slow down or speed up.

  • Is there an election brewing? Who knows, but you know what question I’ll be asking about, Taxation reform for Single Income Families!
  • University enrollments are up, and there are many more women than men in our Universities, according to Stats Canada. Luckily I went to a school where the men outnumbered the women in the major faculties (in the 80’s at least).
  • Larry McDonald wrote an interesting article for the Globe and Mail about stock screening tools, where he quotes Michael James about the tools he uses.

This Week’s Posts

Random Thoughts 2008

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Given that when I retire I will have that privledge with my CPP and such, I think that is a fair way to “even” the table (see supreme court ruling in this area).

    Your points about Dual Income families deserving breaks for day care is fine by me, as you said we have made a choice to not have my spouse work (and have foregone a fair amount of things). By the way, she does a great deal of volunteer work and I think volunteers should get tax breaks or something because there are so few folks willing to help out in our communities (with ever dwindling funding of programs (both recreational and educational)).

    I don’t think anyone needs to have their tax breaks rolled back or removed (given the government has an $11B surplus that is for sure), what I want to see is equity by having income splitting possible (before I turn 65).

    I’d like to see more tax breaks for families in general actually (dual, or single income, single parent, etc.,), but maybe I’ll save that for another posting.

  2. The argument is not that people who have a single income should be allowed to write off day care (I may have used that as an example however that is not the main point, I apologize if I confused you), it would be nice, but that is not the point.

    The main point is that if the taxation system had the concept of a flat household income tax the system would be more equitable to all involved.

  3. I take it you didn’t actually read my post, since I agreed that there may be a way to work in a deduction while the ‘at home’ spouse was volunteering. Since that would be a near insignificant number taking child care spots from parents who actually need them I don’t see much of a problem with that.

    Plus, like I said before the tax system is biased based on needs. You don’t need to drive kids all over the place in your huge SMV (I’d use SUV, but I think ‘sport mom vehicle’ is much more fitting, I’ll apologize if your driving an 8 passenger ’97 taurus wagon or something.) to play basketball when there are kids that can’t even afford to buy proper sneakers to play, even in dual income families. Your preschooler needs someone to take care of them, and you can because you don’t need to work. . . That’s a huge luxury. Someone else’s preschooler needs to be in a day care because both parents are working trying to bring home probably far less salary than your family is pulling in with just one income.

    Also, I made it fairly clear that most stay at home parents are not volunteering, not all. Maybe I’m not understanding the request here because I can’t think of any fathomable purpose for allowing people who can take care of their kids themselves to deduct expenses for someone else taking care of them instead.

    You get the UUCB, you get the CCTB, You get the child care credit, you just don’t get a tax deduction because you pay no tax . . . how is that unfair?

  4. As the mother of 3 teenagers and one preschooler, I have been in the schools long enough to know that parent volunteers are an integral part of the public and private education system. It seems to me that you are quite convinced that stay at home parents are lazy and have nothing to contribute, therefore no sympathy for our financial inequalities should be expected. Your arguments just seem to go in circles, my children never have and never will attend daycare because that’s not what we believe is in their best interest.
    Yes, we are a rare and valued breed, and I don’t know many stay at home moms or dads who go into this lightly.
    Have to go, I’m driving half of my daughter’s school basketball team to their game. And don’t worry, I’ll cheer for all the parents who can’t make it.


  5. Actually, the teachers who get paid, the librarian who gets paid, and librarian’s assistant who get paid, the after school care giver who get paid, and both income earning parents who get paid are reading to my kids. There is also a teacher on maternity leave I know who reads to the kids at our school . . . who in a round a bout way gets paid.

    The tax system is biased based on needs. You have someone home to care for your children, why should you need to pay someone else to watch them other than you don’t want to. This will just reduce the spots available in care facilities that are already strained because of lack of space.

    The only change I would agree to is allowing single income homes to deduct child care expenses to the high income earner for care paid during times that the ‘at home’ spouse is volunteering. This would be an acceptable change as it won’t reduce childcare spots for families that actually do need dual workers, since most of the ‘at homers’ will be sitting watching TV anyway. I doubt many more than 5% are volunteering regularly.

  6. Speaking as the bigcajunwife who does not contribute to society, I have been following this stream of comments for quite a while and am amused by the arguments from the dual income side. You seem to like to compare apples to oranges and not apples to apples. The point is the tax system is biased. The argument is about taxes, that’s it. We are not talking about lifestyle, quality of life or anything else. Duel income family’s seem to want to imply that we should pay more tax because my ability to stay home is a luxury, and in there minds luxury = rich. Trust me, while staying home was a very continuous choice, and in my opinion the best choice for my son, it comes with many sacrifices. Believe me, it’s not very often that my husband gets to come home to the clean house, the laundry done and the dinner made. As for “contributing to society” just remember I am the one who spends countless hours at school reading with your child, I am the parent who drives your child to games and tournament all over the province. Trust me, society is a much better place because of me and others like me.


  7. I have never said that dual income families should NOT have their tax breaks, I am saying those breaks should be extended to single income families (you seem to think I am saying that the tax system should strip hard working dual income families of these tax breaks). I apologize if you think that is the case, that is not my point, my point is the tax system should be expanded to include single income families to make the system equitable.

    And your final statement about Lazy spouses at home doing nothing?

  8. Te rule is very clear, if you are paying for care for your children in order to be a productive member of society, you get it as a deduction. If you are paying for care because you are too lazy to take care of them yourself even though you really have nothing better to do then you don’t. I see no problem with this at all.

    Using your argument, why should disabled people get all the tax advantages they do. I mean, if I buy an electric wheelchair because I’m just too damn lazy to walk to the store I can’t deduct that . . . just cause they are disabled they get it as a deduction? I mean, how fair is that?

    Though I don’t agree with that either, it’s basically the same argument. If you don’t like the way it works why not twist it to your advantage and enroll your spouse in school.

    “The purpose of the legislative provisions regarding child care expenses is to provide some relief for taxpayers who incur child care expenses in order to work, carry on a business or undertake certain educational activities.”

    The argument comes down to need. A disabled person may need medical expenses, so they get tax advantages. A dual income family needs to pay for childcare, so they get tax advantages. A single income family doesn’t need to pay for childcare, it’s a choice, so they get to pay the full amount. You guys get the spousal credit, which in the example above reduced the tax bill by 2100 bucks. Why should you get to claim a credit for your spouse just because they get to stay at home and not be a productive member of the workforce? I don’t get a credit for my spouse and I have one, yet my neighbour who has a spouse gets a credit for theirs . . . maybe the tax system loves single income families.

  9. You’ve made these points before, and I don’t agree with them. How can one set of parents be allowed to write off summer camp for their children, yet single income family cannot? Same camp, same enjoyment, same service, yet different under the tax laws.

    If there was a concept of the Household income (like in many states in the U.S.) the system becomes much more equitable for all involved, but as I have said, I doubt you agree with my contention.


  10. Darn, I did the second and third examples incorrectly. The total tax number included the CPP/EI and all that in the first example, but didn’t in the second.

    These numbers should be:

    1) Single Only – 45K

    Total taxes . . . 12037
    Net income after tax . . . 32963

    2) Married – Single Income 45K
    Total taxes . . . 9889
    Net income after tax . . . 35111

    3) Married + Kid – Single Income 45K
    Total taxes . . . 10,120
    Net income after tax . . . 37230.56

    4) Married + Kids – Dual Income 45K+30K
    Total Taxes . . . 16953
    Net Income After Tax . . . 52447.44

    The percents at the bottom were correct, just the two tax amounts in the middle two I didn’t include CPP/EI stuff for a ‘total tax’ figure. I used the calculator for 2007 tax year in NB (my province).

  11. I think you are incorrect in your assessment of multi-income taxes vs. single income taxes. The quality of life difference is huge; so much so that the tax advantages are far more than justified.

    For example, say a single person makes 45000 a year and lives alone. This person has a breakdown of this:

    Total taxes . . . 12037
    Net income after tax . . . 32963

    So, this person ends up getting hitched to someone who makes no income at all. This now turns in to:

    Total taxes . . . 7179
    Net income after tax . . . 35111

    Well, a year goes by and they pop out a kid . . . so they gain 1200 per year in UCCB, and get 1150.56 in CCTB. Now they look like this:

    Total Taxes . . . 7410
    Net Income after tax . . . 37230.56

    So they decide they want to buy a house, start an RESP, save for retirement, buy a car, go on vacations . . . so second spouse needs a job. They get a job making 30K and start paying for childcare (7500), full time year round infant care). I’ll ignore transportation costs, wardrobe, and all the other jazz. So now they look like this:

    Total Taxes . . . 16953
    Net Income After Tax . . . 52447.44

    So now they are 40% ahead of before, but spending twice as many people-hours working. Their quality of life sinks because they spend far less time as a family. Their apparent increase is 66% (75K instead of 45K), but that’s just an illusion.

  12. Thanks for mentioning me and my blog. According to the burn rate test, I’m a controlled spender. I particularly liked the “get advice” button at the end of the test. I thought it would take me to some page for help for problem spenders. Instead it goes to a page promoting financial products.

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