I was reading some of the comments by some readers yesterday on the Toronto Star’s website. It seems that not all is well in Canada when it comes to the latest budget. While letters to the editor are always a great way to be heard and to vent, nothing beats having your own media outlet such as this one to respond to such letters.

As an online professional who is fully conversant in the language of the new media, I will attempt to discern, decipher, and downright ridicule some of the letters that were posted yesterday.

For those of you who would have hoped that I would remain on the high road, fret not, as I am simply attempting my hand at a little political humour. What’s wrong with a little ha-ha now and then?

Here we go. Let’s look at some of the amazing feedback out there.

Richard says “This budget raises the base tax rate for the poorest people.” Actually, my friend, it is hard to do that since the poorest people in our nation pay zero tax. Their base rate is at nothing and will stay there. Nice try, though. I take it you voted ‘L’.

Harold asks “How come I didn’t see the word ‘senior’ anywhere in this budget?” I guess, Harold, because the word senior was replaced by ‘pension’, as in the doubling of the amount of pensionable income that is tax free.

It’s good to see a government coming through with its promises“, says Alon. Yeah, it’s been awhile since Mike Harris was in town. Since then, nothing but Liberals; nothing but deception and half truths.

John says “I have never voted Conservative in my life, however I find it refreshing that all promises made are being kept if the budget is approved. This party is making the Liberals look pathetic.” I’m thinking that John may be voting Tory next election.

“Tax cuts benefit the rich, even the GST cut. The middle class ends up paying the bills.” says Renette. Okay, let’s follow this thought through. The middle class end up paying the bills? What bills? The tax cuts? How does the middle class pay the bills? Through higher taxes? Am I missing something here? If taxes are cut, then how…..never mind.

Gabor laments “The current gas prices take more out of my pocket than I get from Flaherty’s tax cuts.” What, exactly, is the connection between the two? The government does not set gas prices, nor does it control world pricing or speculation on supply contracts.

Derek, from his Ikea couch, says “The Conservatives are attempting to woo the public into giving them a majority in the next election. Where they will proceed to follow through with a far-right agenda and dismantle Canada’s social programs.” Ya, that’s it. The hidden agenda is still hidden. Right. It is being guarded by soldiers with guns. Next time around, they may bring back slavery and will most certainly remove the constitution, charter of rights, and a woman’s right to vote.

Calvin says “At last a budget that is truly for everyone with all the excess wasted spending removed. What a pleasant breath of fresh air.” Here’s hoping Calvin is a teacher, preferably in the early impressionable grades.

“I think the tax credit for children enrolled in sports is a great idea. We have a huge problem with child obesity and I am glad to see that our government has finally stepped in to try and promote a more healthy lifestyle for our kids.” added Chris, who apparently can connect the dots. Obviously a conservative fellow.

Ian wrote “It’s not that I mind paying less taxes but I would feel better if more money went into health care.” Fear not, Ian, perhaps your provincial legislature will raise their health premiums. In fact, I have to ask. Why is it that we now pay 40% of our taxes for health care as well as user fees in some provinces and yet still call our health care free?

“Now there will be more stalling while the polluted water, inadequate schools and other deplorable conditions in First Nations reserves are again not being addressed.” Actually, $450 million has been set aside over 2 years to address water and housing issues in addition to the more than $9 billion that is directly yearly towards aboriginal issues yearly. Patrick Brazeau, the national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, says he will welcome the budget as an opportunity to rework the Kelowna agreement. He has said the government’s funding between on-reserve and off-reserve aboriginals is not balanced.

That’s all the time we have. Thanks for phoning in. I hope you have a great day!

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