The main advocate of the idea is Roger Martin, Dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. Former Ontario health minister and Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Tony Clement has come out in favour of reforming Canada's tax code to embrace this notion.
Clement's plan makes a good example of such a system. Those who have earned less than $250,000 over their life time wouldn't have to pay taxes. Those who have made between $250,000 and $500,000 over their lifetime would be taxed at a 14% rate. Earners of a cumulative $501,000 to $750,000 would be taxed at a 24% rate, and those who had made $1 million over time would be taxed at 27%.
This system would have several advantages:
The system would also have some disadvantages.
The system would maintain tax brackets that other alternative taxation schemes would do away with.
The implementation of the policy would also be difficult. Martin believes that before computers such a tax could not have been managed, but that it is today possible. The transition between systems would be difficult, taking many years. The politics of implementing such a system would also be difficult. Young people in much of the west are the least likely section of the population to vote, while seniors are the most likely, so that any system that transfers money from seniors to the young has a major hurdle to overcome.