by Charles Ramson, Jr.
A President who does not pay any tax is ordering the people he governs to pay more tax.
Since assumption of office as president, David Granger would have taken home approximately $50m from his salary - a sum which excludes any of the additional significant sums he would have obtained from frequent overseas trips. Most importantly, however, Granger has not paid a single penny in income tax yet he orders by law that the Guyanese people have to pay more and higher taxes. As simply as he has caused laws to be passed for Guyanese people to pay more and higher taxes he could have passed a law for his salary to be taxed just like every other Guyanese. This is the definition of duplicitous double standards.
Prior to May 2015, Granger made every possible promise under the sun to the Guyanese people in order to get elected – tuition free university for all students, guaranteed jobs for graduates within twelve (12) months of graduation, no more blackouts, no more floods, significant reduction in crime, minimum wage at $100,000 etc. but not once did he ever mention to the Guyanese people anything about paying more and/or higher taxes (over 200 more taxes and some in thousand percentile increases). Nor, incidentally, did he ever mention once prior to his assumption of the office of presidency anything about his intention to increase ministerial and crony salaries and expenses if he becomes president. In fact, prior to his assumption of office, many of the chronic issues facing Guyana like crime, poverty and job creation, seemed to be described by him as an easy fix. Since becoming president, however, not only have these promises disappeared from the agenda but we now have the most expensive government in the history of our nation and Guyanese people are now the most taxed in the history of our nation.
From Granger’s salary and trips all around the world leaving aside the excessive security detail to protect him from a public which purportedly loves him so much it certainly seems like president Granger is enjoying “the good life” but can the ordinary citizen he governs say that they have seen any increase in their standard of living in the last two years? By all measures the answer is no.
In the end it boils down to one thing - why should Guyanese be made to pay more and higher taxes by a president who does not pay a single penny in tax? What is good for the goose is good for the gander!