Support for Dupuch’s letter
Former Cabinet minister Pierre Dupuch is to be applauded on his recent letter in defense of Rupert Roberts against the pseudo-intellectual nonsense published by The Graduate, concerning Roberts’ supposed disqualification from questioning the government’s headlong (but rationally flawed) rush into the WTO.
While few sensible readers take The Graduate for anything more than a political hack, mindlessly singing the praises of a hopelessly incompetent government, it is nonetheless important that his most spurious arguments are not permitted to drift into the national discourse unchallenged. Of these, few are more spurious than the notion that we need WTO to address the glaring inadequacies and inequities of our tax system.
We did not need the WTO to craft for us a tax regime that endlessly pushes up the cost of living on the poor and the middle class while sparing corporate taxes on even the most fabulously profitable companies. So why exactly do we need the excuse of the WTO to get us out of it? In fact, all that is needed is the application of a little common sense to see that taxes such as VAT and import duties must be augmented and replaced by progressive taxes on income if we are to become a properly funded society and address the growing gap between rich and poor that is at the root of so many ills.
Moreover, as Dupuch points out, duties were (like VAT) originally conceived as a minimal across-the-board tax. Today, they have grown (again, owing to our failure to also tax actual wealth) beyond those original expectations and are helping to impoverish the most vulnerable of our citizens.
Nobody expects The Graduate or, for that matter, the dimwits that he defends, to understand any of these things. But it is important that Bahamians like Dupuch and Roberts, who speak their minds, rather than singing for their supper, continue to contribute to the national discourse.
– Andrew Allen
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