Benson wore a pair of new shoes on budget day in 1968, although he said, "He didn't buy them just for the budget." The following year he did not wear new shoes when delivering the budget, saying jokingly that he couldn't afford them, and in 1970 proudly displayed his worn soles on budget day.
Benson's balanced budget for 1969–70 would be the last until Paul Martin's budget of 1997–98. Later in 1969, he introduced his white paper on Canadian tax reform, which paved the way for:
a capital gains tax that was severely criticized by the business community, particularly Israel Asper who wrote a book called The Benson Iceberg, which condemned the measure.
The proposals were subjected to intensive debate that lasted more than a year, and were only passed after significant amendment, and then only through the use of closure. They came into effect in 1972.
He was also instrument in rolling out a national medical care plan and supplementary old age pensions, and played a key role in federal-provincial relations. Benson died on September 2, 2011 at the age of 88.