Taxing the rich, only different

by Aaron Wherry

Nathan Cullen has quibbled with Brian Topp’s tax proposals, but Mr. Cullen’s plan is rather similar.

Mr. Topp proposes to tax those earning more than $250,000 at a rate of 35%. Mr. Cullen proposes to tax those earning more than $300,000 at a rate in the “low 30s.”

Mr. Topp proposes to raise the corporate tax rate to 22.12%. Mr. Cullen proposes to raise the corporate tax rate to 20%, except for oil and gas companies, which would be taxed at a rate of 25%.

Mr. Topp adds two measures which apparently aren’t in Mr. Cullen’s plan: taxing capital gains (with two caveats) as ordinary income and taxing income from cashing in stock options at the full rate.




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Taxing the rich, only different

  1. “Mr. Topp proposes to raise the corporate tax rate to 22.12%. Mr. Cullen proposes to raise the corporate tax rate to 20%, except for oil and gas companies, which would be taxed at a rate of 25%.”

    Doug Saunders ~ Abolish Corp Tax – It Has Been Worldwide Failure:

    In fact, the strongest arguments against corporate tax come from the left. They were most eloquently expressed by Robert Reich, the economist who was considered on the far left of Bill Clinton’s cabinet during his tenure as labour secretary. 

    Corporate tax, he noted, is fundamentally regressive: It shifts wealth to the rich. And not just because General Electric avoids it and corner shops don’t. Since corporations do not physically exist, corporate tax is ultimately paid by individuals – and, as many studies have shown, those individuals tend to be the company’s workers more often than its shareholders or executives.

    There is another strong argument against corporate tax: It gives businesses far too much power in politics, law and society. As “taxpayers,” corporations are given citizen-like rights in court and legislatures; as financiers of the state, they are given far too much lobbying power and influence over legislation – almost obligatory given their large taxpaying role. The Canadian documentary The Corporation ironically made the strongest argument against corporate taxation. It turns corporations into de facto humans, which is not healthy for democracy.

    • Actually, it doesn’t.
      We can entirely separate taxation of corporations from their “citizen-like” rights, if we simply remember the reason we give them the corporate charter and the various benefits that come from it.

      Remember, you don’t *have* to be a corporation to do business. However, most folks want to because it provides some significant advantages for organization *and in taxation*. One of the largest being that you don’t get taxed on your gross income, but rather on your net. So you can buy those computers and desks and chairs that you need and the money you did it with doesn’t get taxed at all.

      Corporate taxation is simply society’s way of getting something back for providing these benefits.  Taxation doesn’t give them lobbying power, taxation is what gives them corporate organization. Money is what gives them lobbying power, so taxing them less certainly isn’t going to help *that* problem.

      • Yeah, the poster above you has absolutely no understanding of the principles of taxing a corporation.  We can give them all, some or none of the rights we want to and tax them in any manner we wish, both irrespective of each other.

  2. Raising taxes on people earning 250,000 is the worst idea possible. Look at california as an example. The proposed tax increases in this article will only make things worse

  3. At least one of Topp’s caveats is the $4 billion handout to wealthy Canadians in the form of capital gains-free selling of residential properties.  This hideously regressive handout encourages real estate speculation and is largely responsible for Canada’s overheated housing market.  

    A tax hike for the rich does zero to help young Canadians buy homes and low income Canadians to put a roof over their heads – every penny Topp and Cullen will raise from taxing the rich will be siphoned off to their wealthy public sector union buddies.  

    Topp and Cullen know we have a housing crisis – they just don’t care.Food, clothing, and shelter – the three basics of life – are all a lot cheaper in USA, and were even before their housing crash.  Remember that the next time a smug Canadian uses American as pejorative.

    •  ”This hideously regressive handout encourages real estate speculation”

      Not really, because there are principal residency requirements to be exempt from captial gains.

      • Which can be and is easily gamed by providing RevCan with another address; that aside, it still encourages speculation, and it is still hideously regressive handout from broke assed renters to wealthy landowners.  

        Most socialists have never taken an economics course in their life and conservatives like me have to teach them concepts like “regressive”.  Time consuming, but part of the change I want to be.

        • Not a single word you’ve said here is true. 

  4. Consumers pay for corporate taxes. Oil Co. taxes are paid by consumers at the pump.

    • Not necessarily. Corporations can also choose to pay taxes by paying their workers less including their executive management, or by providing less return to their shareholders. 

      Corporations that put all their taxes onto the consumer place themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the consumer market.

      Corporations that put all their taxes onto the workers place themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the labour market.

      Corporations that put their taxes onto their shareholders place themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the investment market.

      But the thing is, the corporation gets to choose where it wants to take the taxes from, and then the market as a whole decides whether that choice was a good one through competition. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

    • A tax on production will generally be passed on to the consumer, a tax on profits generally is not, as economic policy.  Now that might not stop gas companies from huge markups and claiming “hey, it’s the taxman, what can we do?” but they will be following different principles.

  5. It’s great that all of the NDP leadership contenders are setting themselves up to be unelectable come next election.

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