The more you know


Abacus asks Canadians how they feel about the corporate tax rate.

Once respondents were made aware of Canada’s tax position relative to the United States, Germany, Japan, and Britain, two statements were presented – the federal government’s argument and the opposition parties’ argument. “This finding suggests that as Canadians become aware of how low Canada’s tax rates are compared to other countries, it becomes more difficult to convince them to support them.”

“Right now, public opinion is firmly aligned with the opposition parties,” said Coletto.  “Only 21% of respondents buy the job creation argument when given the alternative to spend more on health care or to reduce the deficit.” The survey then asked Canadians if they support or oppose the government’s plan to continue with the corporate tax cuts.  In total, 52% strongly or somewhat oppose the government’s plan, while 26% support or strongly support it.


The more you know

  1. If the tax cuts are there to create jobs, make the tax cuts contingent on creating jobs, right?

  2. I do tend to believe that corporate tax cuts can generally be good, but they are only a small small piece to economic health (especially after years of Liberal cuts to make us competitive). We had our lowest level of unemployment in over 3 decades (under the Liberals) when corporate taxes were higher. Harper's payroll tax increases and his airport tax are both costlier and bigger job crushers.

    And there are other factors to consider like the deficit and the narcotic effect of tax cuts: Ireland road a wave of investments after drastically cutting taxes, but it created a false economy. If companies can be attracted by government deals and tax cuts, they can just as easily leave because of government deals and tax cuts. Which is what happened.

    To build a sustainable economy, the whole economy needs to be competitive and more deeply rooted through wise investment of tax dollars. I don't see that as a concern for Harper.

  3. I think overall the efforts to directly link job creation to a company's economic treatment by government have proven clumsy, short sighted and ultimately ineffective.

  4. Corporate tax cuts would make more sense if they were coupled with a carbon tax – a tax shift. The most outspoken economists in support of continued CIT cuts have conveniently dropped this side of their argument. And hence a lot of the leverage.

  5. A lot like straight tax cuts to create jobs then, right?

  6. The fact that only a bare majority of identified Conservatives support the tax cuts is interesting. Of course, I am not sure we can trust the poll's methodology given that the young pollster emerged from a seething hotbed of socialism just recently and is hardly likely to have shaken off all the bad influences of his mentors.

  7. I suspect that it is impossible to isolate the effects of corporate tax cuts on the economy, as there are so many other variables to consider. This means that the side that shouts the loudest and/or produces the most effective presentation to bolster their argument will likely win the day.

    My own belief is that corporate tax cuts shouldn't be the highest priority at present, but that's just a semi-informed guess.

  8. Your guess is probably as good as anyone elses. It's incredibly unlikely that Canada's "economic recovery" is contingent upon them, as a certain political party seems to suggest.

  9. Polls such as this show one thing consistently.

    A lot of Canadians have no idea of how an economy works, nor are they aware of the process by which lower taxes create wealth.

    And that's exactly what the Liberals and New Democrats depend upon.

  10. That's not fair, adding CONTEXT to the question like that! That's like asking Canadians if they're upset that the Liberal Senate blocked the Tories' crime legislation only AFTER telling them that the Tory crime legislation was never put before the Senate.

    How are we supposed to keep Canadians riled up about our high corporate tax rates if pollsters are going to just blatantly explain to people that our corporate tax rates are comparatively low already?

  11. I think the idea is that in order to starve the beast (that being the federal government monstrosity that was given life by Pierre Trudeau and fed continuously by big-government parties that followed), you need cut off its food supply (that being our hard earned tax dollars and the profits of massive-yet-benevolent corporations). Hence, tax cuts. Soon, you'll only have enough money for prisons and the military. And while the latte-sipping elites dread having their snouts kicked out of the government trough, the government will finally be a government for real everyday Canadians. We want our country back!

    You'll have to forgive me, I think I'm coming down with a case of Tea Party Conservatism.

  12. Lets just cut the corporate tax rate to 1% then. According to the government, it will produce more revenue.

  13. yes, Companies are presumably always interested in making more money. I suspect like all of us, they are more likely to do something dynamic if they have ready cash at hand. If hiring a new person with that money leads to substantial new income for the company, then they will hire. If buying sophisticated, automated equipment with that money (and laying off some workers) leads to more income they will do that. In my view, governments should set a fair, predictable playing field and resist the urge to meddle. My large proviso is that in industries that are very highly regulated (say power generation) then government is already fully entangled and needs to be much more sophisticated in how it treats them. In particular, I find the argument that the private sector will always outperform the public sector to be specious wrt cases where both price and methodology is regulated.

  14. "This means that the side that shouts the loudest and/or produces the most effective presentation to bolster their argument will likely win the day."

    Thus Harper spending millions of tax dollars electioneering and campaigning on the issue. Which is so very ethically wrong: the current cuts at issue were already passed in the last budget and there is nothing the opposition can do to force the cancellation of the tax cuts, short of winning an election or convincing the government to change its mind. Convincing Canadians of the wisdom of a tax cut after the fact serves no governmental purpose whatsoever.

    So this is pure crass electioneering by Harper on the taxpayer dime.

  15. Yeah, Bulgaria and Algeria have really low corporate income taxes, and god knows that these are places that corporations are looking to invest and create high value jobs.

  16. … or that we had our lowest unemployment rates in over 3 decades with higher corporate tax rates just a few years ago.

  17. What this poll shows is the vast majority of Canadians are hard core, doctrinaire communists, most likely Marxist-Leninists of the Trotskyite persuasion. If Canadians aren't careful all the rich and clever people will leave for a more tax advantageous clime and then there will be nobody left to innovate new products and engage in financial jimperigijjo, or import nice things or think amusing thoughts.

    Somebody should explain to these comrade Canuckes that the only way to save health care in this country is to slash corporate taxes to nothing. We should pay corporations to be in Canada. Corporations create wealth. People consume it. Tax people.

  18. If the tax cuts are there to create jobs, make the tax cuts contingent on creating jobs, right?

    If you think that cutting corporate taxes is the means, and creating jobs is the end, then sure. If you think the "creating jobs" rhetoric is the means and cutting corporate taxes is the end, maybe not.

    Besides, expecting companies to create jobs with their job-creating tax cuts wouldn't be fair. That'd be like putting in requirements to ensure that daycare space creating tax credits actually create daycare spaces. What's important is that the politicians are able to SAY that these tax changes will have effect X. Putting in measures to ensure that effect X actually happens would be entirely beside the point.

  19. You mean tax consumption? Like a goods and services tax? But slanted toward pollution? That my friend is anti-Alberta and anti-free enterprise and essentially communist.

    Next you'll be saying it was stupid to cut the GST. Fascist!!!

  20. I'm not sure I totally understand this reply (Nor Stewart's above). Mike T.'s comment seems to suggest that he's skeptical that corporate tax cuts will create jobs, so he only wants corporations to be eligible for these corporate tax cuts if they actually create jobs. Your reply and Stewart's seem to me to have a critical tone, as though you're trying to make a counterpoint, but you both seem to ALSO be skeptical that the tax cuts will create jobs.

    Maybe it's a matter of online nuance, but you both seem to be agreeing with Mike's point, but in a way that makes it seem like you're criticizing it.

  21. I think overall the efforts to directly link job creation to a company's economic treatment by government have proven clumsy, short sighted and ultimately ineffective.

    So, are you agreeing with Mike then that companies should only get this favorable treatment from the government if they can show that they've actually accomplished the job creation that is supposedly the point of the favorable treatment?

  22. "What this poll shows is the vast majority of Canadians are hard core, doctrinaire communists, most likely Marxist-Leninists of the Trotskyite persuasion."

    Hyperbole much? Those polled were evenly split on whether taxes were too high, too low or just right when first asked, then changed their answers when information about other countries' corporate tax rates was given to them. Given that they would change their mind so easily, I wouldn't say they're hard-core anything.

    Anyway, when a party starts polling in the 50-plus range on policies like the nationalization of all business and the elimination of private property ownership, I'll believe we have some hard-core communists in our midst.

  23. You'll have to forgive me, I think I'm coming down with a case of Tea Party Conservatism.

    You'll be coming down with a case of listeria if your dream ever comes to fruition.

  24. A lot of Canadians have no idea of how an economy works, nor are they aware of the process by which lower taxes create wealth.

    Sure they do. Corporate taxes are cut and CEOs get wealthy.

  25. A lot of Canadians have no idea of how an economy works, nor are they aware of the process by which lower taxes create wealth..

    Maybe, but a lot of Canadians are ALSO unaware that our corporate tax rates are lower than the United States, so companies locating here already get lower taxes AND don't have the high health care costs for their employees that they would in the States. Canadians may even be unaware of the fact that corporations get their "job creating" tax cuts whether they create jobs or eliminate them.

  26. Oh, baloney. You're being listerical.

  27. It wouldn't matter if we eliminated corporate taxes altogether. It's still not going to make the economy boom. Same for every other country.

  28. Tax people.

    Corporations are just groups of people. Also, how do you suppose corporations pay their taxes? Were you under the impression that they build their profits by selling their products and services to well-heeled monkeys?

  29. Do you speak backwards as well?

  30. That's exactly what I would expect a communist to say. Congratulations … Stalin!

    So, basically, Canadians are hard core mind changers. What does this mean?

    It means that Canadians don't believe in anything and if they don't believe in anything that means they will believe in anything and if they'll believe in anything that means they'll believe in Communism which means Canadians are Communists.

    You might not believe in freedom. But I do. If they want to take my iPad away from me, the Canomunists are going to have to pry it from my cold, carpal-tunnel induced arthritic, dead hands.

  31. Oh, how I long for the day when the Dapper Dolt is ensconed as leader for life of her majesty's loyal opposition!

  32. I speak reality. Ireland has a very low rate, some countries have none at all, and as Obama pointed out the other night some companies arrange their affairs in the US so they pay nothing at all. It hasn't made the slightest difference to job creation.

  33. No. Corporations are legal entities, normally operating under a structure of limited financial liability. I'll explain to you how this works. Try to pay attention. I'll write it in a simplified form, one you are capable of understanding.

    If a corporation rams a school bus full of refugee children with its black, Burberry-interior Escalade while driving drunk and then makes a pass at the female police officer investigating the incident, insinuating she should accompany said corporation back to corporate headquarters for some bunga bunga, you can only surmise that said corporation is, in reality, Silvio Berlusconi. Also, the officer's blouse is not standard issue but is silk and very revealing of her shape; oh, and she's not really a police officer, but a model, sometime TV presenter whose long blond hair flows out from under the police cap perched atop her head.

    You get the idea?

  34. Are you related to Emily Dickenson?

    You have the same first name.

  35. Corporate tax cuts to companies in Alberta that were going to invest anyway due to high commodity prices are like throwing good money after bad. A 1.5% CIT cut won't make any difference to these types of investment decisions. In economics – these getting the windfall are often called "free riders". Why not guarantee added investment, rather than "trust us?" Investments in R&D in the oil patch on cleaning things up have been relatively dismal, although improving of late.

  36. I suggest you have another coffee so you can focus.

  37. Ted – you are blowing smoke.
    The capitalism model has been broken for several decades now – much as innovation has been largely focused upon creative financial instruments, creation of product for the Military / Industrial complex and Big Oil and Big Pharma.
    Reward for risk has been replaced by protection by government – either by rolling back any regulation that might once have been in place – or protection for "investors" to pay fewer and fewer of their dollars into the communal pot! this mantra you are chanting that "all corporate tax cuts are good" is just another aspect of these trends!

  38. I'm allergic to caffeine. Are you trying to kill me?

  39. wait, this wasn't meant to be satirical??

  40. No. It's parodasical.

  41. That would probably improve your understanding of the economy. It would at the least prevent you from wasting space on silly posts.

  42. You mean bank profits and CEO salaries? Why not just lower them to 0?

  43. So … you are not related to Emily Dickenson?

  44. Leading the witness

  45. I'm not sure what it says about online conversation when a post as over the top as yours is still too subtle a parody :)

  46. Also. I doubt death ever improved anybody's understanding of anything. Think about it.

  47. Your irony detector needs adjustment.

  48. It wouldn't matter if we eliminated corporate taxes altogether. It's still not going to make the economy boom. Same for every other country.

    Ireland has a very low rate, some countries have none at all, and as Obama pointed out the other night some companies arrange their affairs in the US so they pay nothing at all. It hasn't made the slightest difference to job creation.

  49. This thread represents the bulk of my Master's Thesis on online communication.

    I've provisionly titled it: Futile or Merely Annoying.

  50. Now, now. It convinces them Atheists were right.


  51. I know you are but what am I?

  52. Granted. But death tells us very little about tax policy, despite what Mrs Dickenson might believe.

  53. It will mean corporations pay less taxes.

  54. It doesn't create more jobs….which is what the govt is claiming.

  55. More like "leading" the jury through use of evidence.

  56. Gee, what I took from GBS's comment is that the initial impression is that all taxes are bad. However, if you give them some data on which to base a decision, they just might make a more informed decision.

    Changing your mind is hardly a bad thing, especially if it is replacing a 'feeling' with something that required a little more brain-power.

    But, hey, if using your brain to make a decision impinges on your freedom, just keep poking away at that iPad.

  57. The Right cannot be parodied.

  58. I think you hate Alberta.

  59. project much?

  60. I don't poke my iPad. I run my fingers atop its surface.


  61. Are you related to Mike Tyson, the boxer?

  62. Seriously! Are you or are you not related to Emily Dickenson?

    She's my favourite 19th Century Poetess.

  63. "Canadians don't believe in anything and if they don't believe in anything that means they will believe in anything and if they'll believe in anything that means they'll believe in Communism which means Canadians are Communists."

    Airtight logic, that. Socrates would be proud.

  64. There is so much that is wrong with this statement, I don't even know where to begin…

  65. Just curious, Ted: Do you agree with the Liberal position that the existing corporate tax cuts should be rescinded?

  66. Of course tax cuts create jobs, I think this has been proven extensively, I don't think there is any debate about this. That doesn't mean that every single company that receives a tax cut will create jobs, that's ridiculous. But frankly, a report was just released the other day that estimated about 100,000 additional jobs should the tax cuts take place.

    And of course, we are all entitled to equal protection under the law, and we're also supposed to be a free country, so forcing all companies to hire would be preposterous. You let companies keep more of their own money, and they will use it in many ways, all of it good. Either it will be returned to investors as dividends and your RRSP goes up. Or it will be used to invest in machinery or other capital to improve their products and their competitiveness. Or they will improve their competitiveness because they'll be able to hire more people.

  67. Putting in measures to ensure that effect X actually happens would be entirely beside the point.

    Well, we are supposed to be living in a free country. But if you like communism better, that's your prerogative. The fact is, governments are in the position to allow us to keep more of our money. They are not in the position to tell us how to spend our own money. That's what freedom is all about. Many corporations will create more jobs, especially the weaker ones, the ones that did not have the money to hire the people they need in the first place.

  68. good luck wsam, definitely some of your best work here.

  69. You must be related to Peter Mackay.

  70. All right, here's my attempt to analyze this poll. I'm no pollster, so I'm interested to hear what y'all think.

    We are told that the arguments of the federal government and the opposition parties were presented to those being polled. From what I can gather, that refers to the following two statements: "On one hand, the federal government argues that lower corporate tax rates encourage investment in Canada and create jobs. On the other hand, opposition political parties argue that Canada already has the lowest corporate income taxes already [sic, why two "already's"?], and the money should be spent on more important things like health care or reducing the deficit."

    Those are the statements as quoted – with the double "already" and everything – from the pollster's website.

    So, it should be obvious that those two statements are quite loaded. While the statement of the government's argument includes the positive of "create jobs", it should be noted that the statement of the opposition's argument has some interesting implications. First, the statement "the money should be spent." This implies that the government's position will be one that brings less money into the government. Of course, the government argument is precisely the opposite. While in absolute terms there is less revenue generated by corporate taxes in the current year due to the lower rate, the government argues that this actually causes a long term growth in corporate tax revenues. The corollary, not lowering taxes actually causes a long term decline in corporate tax revenues.

    Second, the statement, "more important things." I mean, c'mon. This is obviously designed to encourage a value judgment among those being polled about what is "more important", and helps them along in their decision by stating the things that are more important for them. Surely, the government would never want to say that health care or cutting down the deficit is not important. And while no doubt many of you disagree with that, I think we can at least say that the governments position on corporate tax rates is not a consequence of not understanding the importance of health care and the deficit, as this statement implies.

    Anyway, that's my start. No doubt it needs refining. What do you think?

  71. "… the money should be spent on more important things like health care or reducing the deficit"

    Which of three stooges is advocating spending the money on "reducing the deficit" ???

    There is no point in the pollster offering that as a consideration, since only in a parralel universe will another set of three stooges reduce the deficit.

  72. There are many many words here you do not seem to know the meaning of.

  73. Plus, if you read the report, the results were weighted using census data. Therefore, Jedi Knights were likely overrepresented in the totals.

  74. Deficits are more of a pet peeve to me than high taxes, and I do not think that now is a good time for cutting taxes. I certainly don't think the economy is going to come down by getting rid of them or by keeping them. In the grand scheme of things, this is not the biggest most consequential issue.

    It is not, for example, nearly as consequential to businesses and employees and employment as increasing payroll taxes. That has a direct impact on people's take home pay and employers decisions to hire or not. Corporate taxes have a more long term planning impact.

    I would say in addition though that the longer the tax cuts are in place, the more reluctant I would be to rescind. As I think I've mentioned to you before, predictability and stability is so critical to business planning, especially when the market has been so volatile, that the added instability of public policy volatility is more damaging than rescinding tax cuts (if you've implemented them) or cutting taxes (if you have not implemented them yet).

  75. He's my aunt.

  76. Ah, the 'Calgary School'. Bolshies.

  77. Socrates was a drunk who corrupted young people. You are just jealous of my iPad! I bet you want to steal it. Stealer!!

  78. Poking is for Facebook.

  79. Thank you!

  80. What is more important than aquiring a new iPad?

  81. Too many variables. What if the BRUNETTE cop is carrying a copy of 'Atlas Shrugged' – signed – her chemise is actually cotton-poly blend and the Escalade's interior isn't Burberry, but LMVH? And the corporation is named Jeff.

    Who's the bolshie now, comrade?

  82. "Socrates was a drunk who corrupted young people. " So said the oppressive state that had him executed following a show trial! Who's side are you on?

    And, yes, I am jealous of your iPad. If I had one of those I'd be smarter than Socrates.

  83. "…When governments allocate large sums of revenue to corporate tax cuts, those resources are no longer available to fund other priorities – like extending EI benefits for laid-off workers, investing in infrastructure or housing, or supporting public programs through transfer payments (like health care or education). All of those programs create far more jobs than corporate tax cuts. Therefore, shifting money from EI benefits (or infrastructure or public services) into corporate tax cuts destroys net jobs…"

  84. Fair enough, but is that not an argument that this is about tax cuts not job creation?

  85. Good point. Very loaded questions. It's shocking how few people can grasp that lowering the tax rate can increase revenues.

  86. Progressive-economics

    "Jim Stanford is an Economist in the Research Department of the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada's largest private-sector trade union."

    Of course this guy will write this with his own bias.

  87. It's not that anyone's suggesting "spending money" to reduce the deficit, it's that some people may be suggesting that "not taking in less money" may help reduce the deficit. In other words, don't let the corporations keep more of their money in the hopes that doing so will create jobs, keep taking the same amount of money from them as you are now, because reducing the deficit is a higher priority.

    It's complicated of course by the fact that some might argue that decreasing taxes actually INCREASES government revenue, but putting that argument to the side for a moment, if you collect less taxes then the deficit goes up (barring other changes) and if you collect more taxes then the deficit goes down (barring other changes). So it's not as though the argument that NOT collecting less taxes will help with the deficit is logically inconsistent.

    One can argue that keeping that money in the federal coffers rather than letting the corporations keep it won't actually help reduce the deficit, but you seem to be arguing that the very premise is crazy, which doesn't seem at all true to me.

  88. In many, many ways corporations are treated as "persons" under the law. They have rights which have been recognized by the courts. As long as corporations have rights, I don't have a problem with corporations paying taxes.

  89. I'm trying to get my head around this. If tax cuts are what creates the jobs, then how are there cases where tax cuts don't create jobs?

    There's some truth to your argument I think, but I'm struggling with the notion that "Of course X causes Y, this has been proven extensively. That doesn't mean that X always causes Y". If some companies that get tax cuts create jobs, and some don't, doesn't that call in to question the causal link between tax cuts and job creation?

    I don't disagree that dictating to companies what they should do with their money would be wrong, I just ALSO think that claiming that cutting taxes creates jobs is wrong too.

  90. Damn you Kitchener's own! I just wet myself. It took me a good minute to stop laughing!

  91. Or they will address pollution issues such as mine tailings or polluted water systems. Then taxpayers wouldn't need to fund such clean ups.

  92. A thought experiment.

    If cutting corporate taxes creates jobs, and Canada already has lower corporate taxes than most of our competitors, is there a point to which we could lower our corporate tax rates such that every job on the planet would belong to a Canadian?

  93. I bet there's a pretty good correlation to lowered taxes for corporations and bigger bonuses for CEOs! Although i'm certain CEOs will find a way to get that bonus bigger one way or another…

  94. Actually, there can never be a meaningful poll of Canadians on such topics because without some sort of contextual cue most Canadians wouldn't know about the fiscal/monetary debate if it jumped up and bit them .

  95. I'm guessing there'd be a good percentage of corporations and businesses who would take their tax savings and pay down their own debt… at the expense of the Canadian gov't (and general populace) going further into debt. So instead of telling business to get their houses in order on their own dime, we'll clean it for them, and kick the servants when its done for them!

  96. Always good for a laff?

  97. It is a given that countries with very low taxation experience very high rates of crime, poverty and unequal access to good healthcare. This is a fundamental tenet of teaching in public policy research.

  98. User fees and licenses are taxes. The Swiss government charges a variety of user, license and education fees to cover costs. They are nonetheless taxes.

  99. "Right now, public opinion is firmly aligned with the opposition parties,” said Coletto. “Only 21% of respondents buy the job creation argument when given the alternative to spend more on health care or to reduce the deficit"

    There it is Mr Ignatieff. Take that ball and run with it. The one time TH's man is onside – play it for all it's worth.

  100. yes.

  101. So Harper's like Earnest Goes To Camp? Where withall his all-cabinet-out and extra advertising advantage, plus PMO on steroids spending our money on novelty check stuff, do you see any interest in deficit control by the so-called leader? How is corporate welfare, whether cutting already one of the leanest business tax rates in the G20, or handing money to a private corp to build a rink, at all in a universe where a balanced budget matters? I don't think it's the floride in Calgary water making people so dense…

  102. It's worth noting that the proposed difference between the tax rates could in no reasonable way mean the difference between low and high. REally the burning question is do you want modest corporate tax rates which likely will have limited to no effect on job creation, or a slightly different rate of modest corporate tax rates which will likely have limited to no effect on job creation.

  103. Deficits are more of a pet peeve to me than high taxes, and I do not think that now is a good time for cutting taxes.

    I note that the Liberals don't want to rescind the corporate tax cuts to pay down the deficit. My understanding is that they want to kill the tax cuts in order to help pay for their promises, such as the Family Care Plan and the national daycare plan. Of course, since the cost of these new social programs is likely to be $7B/year or higher, the $1.6B – $3B gained from reversing the tax cuts will only help cover a portion of the cost.

    I agree with you that the benefits of CTC are mostly long term, so it won't make or break the economy in the short term. I'm sure we also agree, along with most economists, that corporate tax cuts are smart policy.

    If I read you correctly, you would be reluctant to rescind the tax cuts that went into effect at the start of the year, to avoid the volatility and unpredictability? But you're against further reducing the federal tax rate to 15% in 2012?

  104. Something sort of like that.

    The thing that most gets under my skin is spending millions of taxpayer dollars travelling the country accusing the Liberals of proposing job losses because of the CTC (which is a lie) while they have gone and increase payroll taxes which have a immediate and bigger hit directly on job numbers and, worse, directly on family take-home pay.

    Add to that their job killing or at least economy slowing air tax which costs the fragile airline industry $1.5 billion.

    The outright lying and complete hypocrisy really really bugs me with Harper. And he rarely gets called on it. No wonder he avoids the press, open mics and ordinary Canadians.

  105. I lke Stanford as an alternative economic voice out there. However, i am puzzled how extending EI benefits would create more jobs? As a spending stimulus measure, sure, but jobs? During the big melt down i agreed with those who said ramping up EI temporarily was a superior way[ along with the gas tax] of getting stimulus funds out to Canadians – unfortunately it doesn't allow for splashy giant cheque charades. In fairness it could also be said the GST cuts did probably have a similar stimulus effect. Both the GST and delivering stimulus through EI [ which also needed to be broadened – it has become shamefully limited ] were sensible proven ways to deliver needed stimulus. The evidence is the CPC action plan fiasco has been a day late and far too many $ short of the most efective targets.

  106. I get the sense that you're not an enthusiastic supporter of the LPC position on CTC. Just a hunch. ;-)

    Speaking of the hypocrisy of party leaders, if Ignatieff had the courage of his convictions, wouldn't the smart move be to keep the corporate tax cuts and rescind the sales tax cuts by raising the GST to 7%?

  107. Yes! Yes! Yes! Oui!

  108. "This is a fundamental tenet of teaching in public policy research."
    and that is why you fail.

  109. They've already gone much further. To me, that ad's just annoying because the messages are annoying, not because they're overly partisan or excessively politicizing the public service.

  110. I think fairer to say I'm a little indifferent about either party's position on this seeing as it is not that consequential, but pissed that Harper could actually raise more in "job killing" taxes that directly hit small businesses and workers immediately and make the kind of lying claims that he does.

  111. Not sure what you are getting at with your second comment.

    If you are referring to supporting CTC when we had no deficit and now opposing them because we do, I defer to the wise and mocking comment from my friend Jeff Jedras:

    In 2007, the Ottawa Senators played in the Stanley Cup final against the Anaheim Ducks.

    In 2011, the Ottawa Senators are 15 points out of a playoff spot.

    You can budget for buying four rounds of Senators playoff tickets this year like you did in 2007. But you may want to come up with a new plan, giving the fact the team now sucks.

  112. Tyson once said my ankles were hairy. He was a moron and so are you, you revaunchist backsliding misogynist..

    Priceless thread wasm. Haven't laughed so much in a ages. Come back more often.

  113. Maybe since the EI funds are going to people who will go out and spend the money? At the link, Stanford says the Dept of Finance figures show EI has the biggest macroeconomic impact.

    Maybe there's an answer somewhere in here:

  114. I think Holly is onto the theoretical explanation. Transfers to low income recipients, such as EI and social assistance, are likely to be spent directly in the local economy, hence fostering employment. Transfers to higher income groups are used in a more discretionary fashion (saved, invested, spent in off-shore vacations), hence less likely to make a direct impact on the local economy.

    I believe that's the theory, in any event.

  115. Why would Bernier want to be leader of the Liberals ?

  116. "once they figure out"

    ….because we tell them…. how unacceptably low it is…..

    The pushiest of all push polls,

    thought don't let me discourage the Libs of running on a campaign of higher taxes on our fragile recovering economy and against current and would be employers.

    Canadians love economy destroying positions.

  117. and I suspect while they tell them how low Canada's rates are to say… the UK and the USA, they probably don't also tell them how much healthier our economies are.

    lest they draw the incorrect inference or something,

    best to let them "figure out" only so much.

  118. Stop it! Please, I beg of you, stop it! My gut is so, so sore…;-)

  119. Ahhh, yes, a 'theory', dreamed up by some 'expert' in some 'ivory tower'…who needs theories.

  120. Do you have a more expansive take on stimulus spending or the tax cuts?

  121. Not sure whether your comment is sarcasm or serious contempt for the model. I would point out that, not only does it ring true intuitively, it's based on some research.

  122. No. You?

  123. I think I hate you.

  124. It was a joke…I just forgot the ;-)

    I was a little punchy after following a thread that involved wsam, and some very subtle wit on his/her part!!


  125. OK, no problem…thanks.

    wsam was a regular home entertainment center, wasn't he?

  126. Many fewer than you, however.

  127. Sure. (Btw, my slight apologies for stooping to such snark – once in a while I fall off the waagon ;-))

    I'm quite mixed on the merits of the CIT cut or freeze or increase or whatever it actually would be. Over on WCI, in a post from ~late October of 2010, there is a chart that shows that CIT has been cut essentially in half over the last 30 years or so and that during that same time tax revenue collected by the federall government from CIT (measured as a % of GDP) has hardly moved at all (CIT revenues are currently about 2% of GDP). That's not to say that revenue collected has been flat – revenue has varied from as low as 1% to as high as 2.7%. From that data it almost seems as though businesses are somehow able to arrange their affairs so as to be able to exert at least some influence on the total amount of cash that goes to taxes regardless of the actual tax rate. And that idea actually has some plausibility in my mind.

    On that basis I'm not convinced that the CIT rate cut will cost us $6B in revenue. However, for completeness, I'm equally unconvinced that:
    – the increased income to corporations will obviously be passed along to shareholders in the form of increased dividends, which will then be taxed in their hands, and
    – the CIT rate cut will gain the country 230,000 jobs.

    I think I might be inclined to look at the CIT rates amongst other G8 or G20 countries, and use that information in large part – but not solely – to set 'my' CIT rate, aiming to be amongst the lower rates, but probably not head and shoulders above (actually legs and ankles below, I suppose) all of our peers.

  128. I'll be careful what i ask of you in future. Thanks for the info – as much of it as i can honestly digest any road. I try to stay away from purely economic questions as it's way above my pay-scale. Your conclusions seem very reasonable – it's sorta where i am. I'm generally of the view we seem to be ahead of the curve as far as CIT goes, and would like to see a bit of reinvestment in our education system and perhaps our health care. My personal interest[ not my vocation, more of an avocation] is in Aboriginal education – it's pretty abysmal and we are really missing the boat in not helping our Aboringinal brothers and sisters along whatever road they chose to take – this is an important distinction. We have been telling these good people what's good for them in one way or another for far too long. So would i be unhappy to see Corporations forgoe some growth – absolutely not!

  129. Indeed!

  130. No need to be careful, at least from my perspective. ;-)

    For reference, here is the link to the chart and discussion.

    Regarding Canada's aboriginal citizens, I would agree that a fairly significant overhaul is in order, although I'm much less sure about what that overhaul should include.

  131. Ladies and Gentlemen, today's tolerant and progressive left.

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