Kesselman's main arguments are:
- restricting the measure to couples with children is inconsistent with the purported fairness rationale of taxing couples at the same rates as singles
- families with the greatest need will get no benefits at all
- families don't have to demonstrate or undertake any actual child care obligations in order to get the benefits
- the policy will decrease the after-tax value of a family's second earner (because earnings are effectively taxed at the higher-earner's marginal rate)
He ends by suggesting a number of alternative ways the government could spend money to support families in need without introducing these distortions.
It does feel frustrating that everywhere one looks, politicians just seem have no shame about trying to buy their next elections, and populations seem all too willing to be bought so long as you tell them it's for the "hard working" among us. The question is, whom does the Harper government define as hard-working? With this announcement, the message is: you are only a hard-working family, and therefore deserving of tax cuts, if you
- have a child under 18;
- with two parents;
- one of whom earns a lot;
- and who earns a lot more than the other.