Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Harping on Personal Enrichment

In spite of a life of left leaning when it comes to politics, I must say that I have been impressed by some of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’spolicies for the people”. In the lead up to the last federal election, Harper bantered around the concept of making things like gym memberships tax deductible. More recently, it would appear that Harper’s government is moving toward allowing Canadian parents to claim $500 annually for sports registration fees for their children, though it is vague in terms of what will be covered (i.e. Soccer and Hockey = YES, Ballet, Martial Arts = ???). Personally, I’d like to see a “personal enrichment” tax credit that would allow people to claim up to $2000 per year for things like sports equipment, art supplies, courses of all sorts, etc.

Regardless of what develops, again, this initiative needs to be both commended and supported. I think that overall such policies would have so many benefits to the overall health and productivity of Canadians. I would love to take up rock climbing, for example, for myself, my wife and my daughter. We just couldn’t afford it. A family membership to a local rock climbing gym would cost $700 or so per year and that’s before equipment and instruction. Martial Arts for your child could run from $300/year at a non-profit club to $1000+ in other schools. If you are a runner, running shoes will cost you at least $100. If you run with any seriousness, you’re looking at 2-3 pairs of shoes per year. Gym memberships are $400-$1000 per year and that’s before any additional things like buying powder to make protein shakes! Have you looked at the price of Bikes these days? Acrylic paints, canvas’s and brushes? Irish dance classes? XC or downhill skis? Certainly many of these things can be bought used, but will still cost you a nice chunk of change. The fact is, with gas prices tripling over the past five years, electricity rates going up and additional life expenses and home maintenance, any break from the government would be a nice one.

So, whether you live in Canada or not, what I ask of you is this: Write your MP’s, Congressmen, etc. and lobby for a personal enrichment tax break (an Art allowance and Single Malt Scotch stipend are also excellent ideas too!). People need to be creative and play. Fun in life is what makes life fun. Pro-activity and passion is the key to healthy and happy societies (…and not religious fundamentalism!). And, most importantly of all, KILL YOUR TELEVISION!

Photo: Putting the passion of paddling in our daughter, Enya, as early as possible!


  • At 1:00 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you mean.. kill your television but watch the sport!

  • At 1:53 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    ...Sport is not "television", it is simply "on" television - there is a profound subtleness there...ehm.


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