The problem with Trudeau’s high road

Paul Wells: The Liberals can’t seem to resist claiming moral superiority. But on their tax reforms, it’s not totally clear what side they’re on.


 
Liberal Members of Parliament give Minister of Finance Bill Morneau a standing ovation as he delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday March 22, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Liberal Members of Parliament give Minister of Finance Bill Morneau a standing ovation as he delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday March 22, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

It’s fun these days watching Pierre Poilievre go after Bill Morneau on the government’s proposed tax changes. Poilievre is the Conservative finance critic, and Morneau is the finance minister, and typically their exchanges go this way.

Poilievre opens by asking why Morneau is hellbent on unleashing a plague of locusts on Canadian pizza parlour owners. Morneau says he’s not in fact doing that, he’s just trying to make the system more fair. Poilievre says, well, if you’re so obsessed with fairness, why aren’t you touching the cozy tax rules that make life so cushy for Morneau Shepell, your own company, or inherited trusts like Justin Trudeau’s? Suddenly Morneau isn’t sure what to say next.

Last Thursday, Poilievre began by citing a Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey in which lots of respondents said “this new Liberal tax increase will make it harder to create jobs and grow. That means thousands of young people and new Canadians will not get that first job, and many more might be laid off.”

“Scare tactics,” Morneau replied. “We know that the current system, a system that they were comfortable with, actually gives advantages to the richest over the middle class.”

Poilievre says, what do you mean, richest? “Our millionaire Prime Minister confirmed these tax changes will not affect what he called his ‘family fortune.’ The Minister of Finance made sure his billion-dollar family business, Morneau Shepell is sheltered from any of the changes.”

READ MORE: Trudeau’s small-business tax fight fits with his old inequality messaging

Morneau was incensed. “Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is deliberately misleading Canadians.” You’re not allowed to say that, so the Speaker made him retract. Which he did, and then the minister was left with more or less the same answer he’s had all along. “We know that our system right now encourages the wealthiest Canadians to set up a private corporation so they can pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. We know that the party opposite is perfectly comfortable with wealthier Canadians paying a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. What we are working toward is to make sure we look at those advantages, and listen to Canadians to make sure we are taking measures that will ensure that our system is fair.”

This is not a satisfying answer. If the government’s goal is fairness, then why can’t Morneau discuss the tax treatment of companies as big as his own? So the emerging dynamic is: Conservative asks question, Morneau argues fairness, Conservative points out something else in the world that obviously isn’t fair, Morneau doesn’t have an answer.

This is because the nation’s finances are full of things that aren’t fair. And while it’s clear the Liberals hope to use their tax changes as a sort of parable for the standing-up-for-ordinary-workers part of their broader discourse—a centre-left populism that Trudeau believes other like-minded leaders, such as Hillary Clinton, forgot to defend, to their peril—the specific tax changes in question didn’t appear on the Liberals’ radar because the current arrangements are unfair.

No, they first drew the attention of Liberals because they’d drawn the attention of the Finance department, because the use of incorporation to avoid hefty tax bills was increasing rapidly. A few years ago, incorporation for tax purposes was still a rather exotic procedure for many Canadians who could benefit. But the faster word spread about the formidable tax advantages, the more people made use of incorporation to cut their tax bills.

Apparently a lot of people who’ve incorporated are sensitive about having this gap between personal and small-business tax rates called a “loophole,” but what the heck: It’s a loophole, in the sense that it was never designed as a goal of public policy.

There was never a meeting, under Paul Martin or Stephen Harper or anywhere else, where enlightened policy-makers sat around saying, “We need a way to encourage feisty innovators to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. If we can just get the gap between personal and small-business tax rates wide enough…” No, it just happened by accident.

The large and accelerating rates of incorporation happened because of the weird interaction of two different populist instincts: (1) Even tax-cutting governments were reluctant to reduce personal income taxes on the top tier of income-earners, for fear of being accused of delivering “a tax cut to the richest Canadians;” (2) Just about every government from Jean Chrétien’s onward was eager to cut small-business tax rates, because this seemed to be a handy spur to the plucky spirit of the theoretically job-creating mom-and-pop entrepreneurial class.

So, personal income tax rates stay high, while small-business taxes drop steadily. Soon it makes sense for anyone who can do it to announce that they are no longer an income-earner, they are… a job-creating centre of plucky innovation. The tax advantage is obvious. I’ve been advised to do it forever, by well-meaning friends: Why do you persist as a Rogers salaryman when you could contract your services as the CEO of Inkless Words Inc.? The funny thing is, nobody ever argued it would make me more entrepreneurial and innovative. The argument began and ended with tax advantage. And it probably doesn’t flatter my financial acuity to admit I never made the change.

It’s not entirely clear to me where fairness enters into any of this. Or rather, once fairness gets into it, I have no idea how to get it out. If the stated goal of tax reform is to make it fairer, then of course the taxation of Bill Morneau’s company is a reasonable question, and of course it’s simply weird when Morneau refuses, for days on end, to answer it.

It would have been interesting to see whether the Liberals would have fared better if they’d kept fairness out of it. Their remedy on small-business taxation is similar to Jim Flaherty’s remedy to income-trust taxation early in the Conservatives’ decade in office: a previously innocuous accounting practice was exploding in popularity because the tax advantage was too great to ignore. The loss in revenue was becoming a problem. Technical problem, technical solution. (The Liberals have the added advantage of having campaigned in an election for the changes they now propose, whereas the Conservatives had campaigned against the changes Flaherty introduced. But the situations are otherwise comparable.)

The problem is, it’s really hard for Liberals to resist the temptation to claim moral superiority. “We need the revenue” is less appealing, because less flattering, than “We’re making the system fairer for all Canadians.” Self-flattery is a weakness that stalks us all, but your average Trudeau Liberal is perhaps unusually susceptible. Justin Trudeau spent Monday morning listening with a straight face while Jack Ma, the CEO of the jillion-dollar Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, talked about the importance of “EQ, IQ and LQ” in running a successful business. LQ, in this formula, is “Love Quotient.” A steady diet of this sort of thing may dull one’s ability to spot an argument that will risk provoking listeners’ gag reflex.

One more thing. The other problem with Trudeau and Morneau styling themselves as champions of the working class is that they may forget that they, and a large fraction of the people they know, are fabulously wealthy. And it turns out a lot of Liberals have spent the last few years incorporating themselves to take advantage of the gap between personal income tax and small-business tax rates. That’s all the more true for Liberals who are too old, or too entrenched in their family lives, to move back to Ottawa to become political staffers again. I wonder whether Morneau is surprised by the number of Liberal activists, in Toronto and Vancouver and Montreal ridings, who feel targeted by the proposed changes and by the fairness rhetoric around them.

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MORE ABOUT TAX REFORM:


 

The problem with Trudeau’s high road

  1. The problem is that these small business tax changes not only end up those seeking the so-called tax advantage, but it also ends up hitting the real small businesses, entrepreneurs, and family farms. The well-compensated mandarins in Ottawa used a sledgehammer and are causing a lot of collateral damage amongst the “innocent” small businesses.

    Plus, the trust fund “twins” or “‘eau bros” didn’t go after the big loopholes used by the really wealthy like themselves.

    • I view this situation as a smokescreen by the Conservatives trying to scoop up for votes rather than proposing their own ideas, and do wish to keep a system where the rich are favoured. They are not even proposing closing tax loopholes, tax havens, reducing CEO pay, reducing executive pay, getting rid of family trusts and taxing corporations more.

      I think what has to happen is an incremental approach to ending unfairness in the tax code and truly assisting small businesses.

      I believe Morneau and Trudeau are probably doing this, and they have been unfairly targeted and it is disingenuous of the Conservatives to not understand that conversations are going on.

      I take the approach as a Progressive Canadian party that we need to have a fair tax code that is progressive, and a tax code that assists small business and punishes corporations more. We need to balance social progress with fiscal responsibility.

      Ideas are in short supply in the Conservatives and they do seem to be bringing up ideas to favour the rich and an article with the Toronto Star does show this fact and show that they could get hammered in the long run.

      • John S.,
        How can you say we have a system where the rich are favored. The top 1% of income earners pay 10% of all income tax collected and the top 10% pay 34% of all income tax collected. Doesn’t look like favoring to me!!

        • More than 34% for the top 10% – 54%. “According to Statistics Canada data, in 2013 the top 10 per cent earned 35 per cent of Canada’s total income yet paid 54 per cent of federal and provincial income taxes.” It will be even higher now with the new 33-per-cent federal tax rate for Canadians earning $200,000 or more which is expected to generate $3 billion in revenue. .

  2. I view this situation as a smokescreen by the Conservatives trying to scoop up for votes rather than proposing their own ideas, and do wish to keep a system where the rich are favoured. They are not even proposing closing tax loopholes, tax havens, reducing CEO pay, reducing executive pay, getting rid of family trusts and taxing corporations more.

    I think what has to happen is an incremental approach to ending unfairness in the tax code and truly assisting small businesses.

    I believe Morneau and Trudeau are probably doing this, and they have been unfairly targeted and it is disingenuous of the Conservatives to not understand that conversations are going on.

    I take the approach as a Progressive Canadian party that we need to have a fair tax code that is progressive, and a tax code that assists small business and punishes corporations more. We need to balance social progress with fiscal responsibility.

    Ideas are in short supply in the Conservatives and they do seem to be bringing up ideas to favour the rich and an article with the Toronto Star does show this fact and show that they could get hammered in the long run.

    I want real change. The Conservatives have shown they are a party for big business with their tax cuts for corporations during their time in office.

    • The ‘eau bros are not interested in tax fairness.

      They are invited the global 0.1%’ers into Canada with their privatization bank to asset strip Canada risk free (losses assumed by the taxpayer), setting up rentier streams for them that would be more expensive for us than just borrowing the money and owning the assets ourselves.

      The only purpose of a privatization bank is to shift the risk to the Canadian taxpayer to make the investments risk free for the global 0.1%’ers.

      Which is why Domenic Barton is only taking a loonie from Canada as pay, because he isn’t working for us, he is working for the asset stripping rentier seeking global 0.1%’ers.

    • I *totally* disagree with the CPC’s position on the proposed changes. I think the proposed changes make sense (assuming no unintended negative consequences ensue).

      However, let’s get real, it’s not just the CPC that’s short of ideas, the Liberal government is also not proposing closing “tax havens, reducing CEO pay, reducing executive pay, getting rid of family trusts and taxing corporations more” (not that I agree with targeting all of these).
      PW hit the nail on the head when he demonstrated the hypocrisy of Morneau and Trudeau re their financial arrangements.

      An example of an area that’s desperately crying out for involvement is looking at the apparent tax evasion going on as exemplified by near-poverty incomes being reported by owners of extremely expensive homes. Not a peep from the government on this.
      See: h$$p://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-tax-avoidance-behind-metros-disconnect-between-housing-income

      BTW, Chetien/Martin lowered the corporate tax rate from 28% to 21%, so it’s not just the CPC that would appear to be the party of “big business”.

      • There are negative consequences probably unintended, but these are 1%’ers imposing the taxes, so they are oblivous to the real world and the real consequences of their measures.

        That is why there is outrage from small businesses and farmers. Bay Street isn’t complaining. Forest HIll isn’t complained. No outrage from Westmount or the Annex.

        The outrage is coming from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundlan, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba…strange locations for the Canadian 1%.

  3. This is fantastic – and indicative. A while back I sent an email to the Liberal Party explaining the incredibly negative impact their proposed small business plan would have on my family and others like us, with specifics – no generalities. I wanted to be part of the feedback they claimed to desperately want by Oct. 2nd. A week later I get a stock reply from Sophie Trudeau (!) welcoming me to the Liberal Party and asking for a donation. Amazingly, I declined. Today I got a more substantial stock reply with the usual political pablum about PM Trudeau’s noble struggle to make life fair for all Canadians – no mention of the points in my email, in fact a thoroughly generic advert for the Libs. And then just now, an email from Stephen Bronfman (personal disclaimer: I actually knew the guy many years ago when he was a lost and fabulously wealthy lost boy and I was a struggling schmo) asking for more money. Now he’s the Chief Revenue Officer for the Liberal Party and still a multi-billionaire and he’s shilling for the Libs, the party of the middle class!
    Morneau and Bronfman, these are the people Trudeau surrounds himsef with – and they ain’t there because they hob-nob with the common folk he uses for photo-ops – they’re there because they wanna make sure their financial interests are never far from his heart. This is the modern Liberal Party: multi-millionaires and billionaires, pitchforks in hand with the working class, skewering small business.

    • I realize that you may not want to share specifics of your situation publicly, however, can you provide concrete examples (not necessarily of your situation) of how the proposed changes could negatively impact small businesses? So far there has literally just been a bunch of arm-waving on how these proposed changes are bad, with no attempt to provide concrete examples. Without legitimate concrete examples, I have a very hard time taking the criticism seriously.

      • Imagine you’re a small business that’s moved to Ontario within the last few years. You’ve invested many years and well over a million dollars on the basis that you can shield some of your income for growing the business, investment, retirement, etc. Meanwhile you’re paying off that investment at hopefully whatever the prime rate (currently 3.2%) is. You’re already paying 53% in taxes personally plus roughly 15% on anything left in the corp – when you withdraw that corp money plus capital gains for retirement the gov’t will grab anything you’ve made on top at the highest tax rate applicable. If you’re lucky, only 73% in Ontario. You have no guaranteed pension, no sick leave, no vacation pay, etc. as well as providing jobs to scores of people with accompanying taxes, health benefits, etc. In other words, you are not a gov’t employee. Along come Morneau and Trudeau, one a trust fund baby & the other the son of a very wealthy businessman who inherits his dad’s business and then marries the heiress of one of the wealthiest families in the country. Morneau has tens of millions in stock options which, before the election, he promised to tax more fairly. Mysteriously, after the election he abandons that plan, even though Liberal economists projected plugging the stock option loophole would bring in 3-4 times the amount Libs expect to bring in from taxing small business. Trudeau, as you’ve read above, also mysteriously leaves his family fortune out of the equation. These gentlemen, lovers of ‘fairness’ and ‘a level playing field’, who have benefitted from every unequal advantage life can provide, now want to essentially eviscerate said family’s retirement and their children’s inheritance. So that they can politically play ‘men of the people’ for ‘hard working’ Canadians and of course the poverty stricken of Bay Street. I don’t know about you, but if I heard that family’s story, I might take their fury and criticism as beyond valid.

        • You got it. Someone’s got to pay for the 2.5 billion to the UN Climate Change buzzword extravaganza and the 1.2 billion to the Middle East.

  4. I’ve worked in international corporate tax for eight years, and the longer I work in the field, the more I’m convinced that there is no such thing as morality in taxation. Everybody’s idea of a moral or fair allocation of the tax burden is different. There is only tax incidence. And everyone things that the other guy (or a faceless corporation) is getting an unfair advantage and should be the one paying more tax.

    I would plea that governments quick tinkering with small business corporate taxes as if they can create lots of jobs by doing so. In reality, short of creating a program that will cause the government to employ lots of people directly, governments can’t really claim that they are creating jobs. The accounting for this is incredibly nebulous. Unfortunately voters fall for these false promises of job creation, which creates an incentive for governments to cling to this fiction. Progressive corporate taxation creates its own problems, by creating an incentive for businesses to stay small. Also, it has been a very bad idea to make it desirable for individual professionals to move from the personal tax system to the corporate tax system, which is more complicated, allows for more deductions, and harder and costlier to enforce.

  5. IMO, the most important statement in that the Liberals don’t want to say “We need the revenue”. And the most important question is “Why? ” “Why do they need the revenue?” They came into power with a balanced budget. (And, no, I am not a member of the Conservative Party). The reason they need the revenue is so that they can continue to bring more immigrants/refugees/ and illegally- border- crossing people into the country – to continue towards their stated objective of making a “post-national” state. (that is, to fundamentally change the make-up of Canadian society, because — as Trudeau says, “Canada belongs more to immigrants than to long term Canadians, because long-term Canadians “don’t appreciate it. ” And because Canadians have no “nation identity” — or so says Justin Trudeau.
    As of this past summer, the Syrian refugee program has cost Canadians $30 billion dollars (that is from the government’s own lips). Add to this the cost of the Haitian people currently in camps, the $10 million dollars given to Omar Khadr, the $10 million recently announced as being set aside to “protect” Islamic mosques , the 2 billion dollars which just “disappeared” from the Canadian treasury… etc.. etc.. What you are left with is a government on the road to bankrupting the country it is supposed to be protecting. Justin Trudeau and his friends do not care about “ordinary Canadians”, the middle class, or — despite his empty words at the UN, the First Nations peoples of this country. If they need, they would tackle the problems of homelessness, the poverty of many Senior Citizens, and the living conditions of the First peoples of this country. At least Stephen Harper did not betray his country or his citizens. (again, no — I am not a member of the Conservative Party)

    • I fully agree. We have a government run by silver spooners who can’t manage a thing other than frittering away our collected taxes.

    • the 2 billion dollars which just “disappeared” from the Canadian treasury… The MSM is sure quiet on that. Someone’s got to pay for the 2.5 billion to the UN Climate Change buzzword extravaganza and the 1.2 billion to the Middle East.

  6. Taxes? Still? I though this ‘high road’ was about the other ‘sure thing’ – death. The natural result of the weapons we’ve decided to provide the Ukraine now that Trump told them ‘No’.

    Add modern hi tech to the training we’ve been giving their low-tech fascist militias and their next ‘tooth breaking offensive” against the Donbass goldfish bowl, might just restore all that ‘territorial integrity’ we ‘support’ them having. It won’t however make then much nicer people – and it won’t do those ‘terrorist supporting’ civilians any good.

    On second thought the ‘high’ part might have come from all the Poroshenko friendship toasts.

  7. How many urbanites really understand how this affects Farmers, small business or the risk involved that is their own funds, Small business people do not have pensions or benefits,like the majority of people who support the Liberals. Wonder why Prime Minister has 3 numbered companies, and Finance minister registered his business in Alberta – makes you wonder what they are trying to hide by ramming these changes thru. Trudeau has shown that he has no understanding of the economy

  8. Mr. Wells,
    I enjoyed most of your article, but take offence to one sentence which is very misleading :

    “It’s a loophole, in the sense that it was never designed as a goal of public policy.”

    Where you’re wrong with that statement is the community of physicians in Ontario and also across Canada. Incorporation was specifically recommended to Ontario doctors TO COMPENSATE for a lack of fee increases that would have normally occurred to keep up with inflation. So this was in fact a purposeful tool used by the government to limit costs of medical fees. I will point out that once fees are set in Ontario they are used in averages with other prairie provinces to set the fees of those other provinces to try to ensure similar wages between provinces.

    So this move by the Ontario government trickled through the physician community as a compensatory measure in a field where we cannot make any adjustments to our own fees. Now by following this advice and saving the provinces money we are labelled as tax cheats. Justin Trudeau is clearly targeting us having decided that we can afford it based on our wages, without regard for previous promises, the minimum decade (or more) of post-graduate education every physician pays for before they make it to that higher income, or any of the other missing benefits similar to every other small business owner out there:

    I don’t get to just go home at a certain time because it’s the end of a shift. I don’t bill overtime if I end up staying late. I don’t get paid if I’m sick and can’t work. My corporation has no income if I stop work for months to have a baby. If I stop work to have a vacation I stop being paid. I’m expected to fund my retirement from the income of my working years, while also paying off any debt I incurred to get there.

    Physicians who incorporate do so as a result of the policy negotiated by the Ontario government whereby the benefits of a corporation were deemed appropriate for our particular situation, and incorporating was a way to recoup the effective losses of a lack of appropriate fee increase. Unfortunately, these details never get mentioned and the public is only aware of what you have published, which wrongly indicates that physicians are spontaneously taking advantage of what you call a tax loophole.

    • Dear Persecuted Doc, I am one Canadian who is perfectly happy to have doctors be “wealthier” than I am. My family doctor gives, and gives, and gives of himself — and if he can , in any measure, be compensated for this tireless efforts through money, then he is more than welcome to it. Canadians respect their Doctors. (BTW : Did it ever occur to the Cdn. Medical Association that this is a back-handed way to “get rid of ” established doctors, and make room for immigrants who have been trained in other countries ?? I believe that this was a policy announcement of his in the spring of this year — to begin to allow those trained elsewhere to be eligible for a Medical Licence in Canada. )

  9. This isn’t about fairness. From my perspective it’s Justin with both a spending problem and a penchant for styling himself as a heroic figure. I think making small business people the villains is … well … disgusting.

    To get businesses going people forgo their own income, invest their savings, and/or put everything they own on the line. The next part of the recipe is a boatload of hard work. After all that there is no guarantee of success. In other words they sacrifice long before they reap any rewards. Now Justin wants to dig into their pockets as soon as they are successful. Another example is Doctors who go to school for at least 8 years and they are under attack by Justin too.

    In Justin’s so called “fair” Canada nobody has the right to work hard and get ahead, but it’s okay to be born rich. How fair is that?

    • And don’t forget — Canada “belongs more to immigrants” than to those whose families have worked hard to build this country. That is what he said , in his July 1st speech, that long-term Canadians do not “appreciate” what they have. No , Justin — we only fought in two World Wars , demonstrated in the street for “social justice” ; paid almost 50% of our income in taxes to provide our Social Safety nets . You need to go back to teaching drama, Justin — you are NOT going to keep your ‘global citizen” awards on the backs of hard-working, caring, and dedicated Canadians.

  10. If the Liberals want to level the income tax system and the Prime Minister and Finance Minister atone for all the income tax loop holes they and their family have taken advantage of over the years. Here.
    Net WORTH TAXATION like property tax, only the loans would be deductible. Assets minus liabilities.
    All citizens, born in the country and residence are taxable. Share owners and not the corporations are taxable.
    Leases, food, travel, clothing, child care, child education and etc. become deductible.
    Offshore and proceeds of crime must now be reported.
    Fail to claim assets, 75% penalty.
    $10,000,000 to $50,000,000 @ 1.0% ,,
    $50,000,000 to $100,000,000 @ 2.5% ,,
    $100,000,000 to $1 billion @ 5.0% ,,
    $1 billion to $5 billion @ 7.5% ,,
    $5 billion to $10 billion @ 10% ,,
    $10 billion to $15 billion @ 15% ,,
    $15 billion to $20 billion @ 20% ,,
    $20 billion to $25 billion @ 25% ,,
    $25 billion to $30 billion @ 30% ,,
    $30 billion to $35 billion @ 35% ,,
    $35 billion to $40 billion @ 40% ,,
    $40 billion to $45 billion @ 45% ,,
    $45 billion to $50 billion @50% ,,
    etc. ,, etc. ,, etc. ,, etc. ,,

  11. No small businessperson should be allowed to pay a family member a salary for doing nothing.

    Does anyone think income sprinkling is fair?

    • Actually, in 2007 the gov’t announced that those with defined benefit pension plans can income split when a public servant retires, ie income sprinkle. A couple with no other income at retirement will pay roughly 20% in taxes. These defined pension plans (courtesy of Morneau/Schepell, natch) are guaranteed and are paid for primarily by taxpayers. So you have 3.6 million public sector employees with a guaranteed retirement income based on the average of 5 consecutive years of their highest paid service, group benefits, paid sick leave, paid vacation pay, etc. etc. who can use that horrible income sprinkling when they retire.
      Then there’s about 1.2 million small business owners and professionals and their families who have no guaranteed benefits or pension – these are the people Trudeau and Morneau want to tar and feather and royally screw because their passion in life (besides family trusts and stock options) is ‘fairness’ and ‘a level playing field.’ – Does that address your question?

      • Expanding from that comment, there’s more money to be had for the public purse in government employee pension reform than there is in this tax measure. Placing a cap on the amount available in defined pension benefits, for example. Cap public sector pensions at 75% of the average Canadian family income, regardless of earnings. Don’t allow access to pensions before age 65.
        Simply combining these two steps would (likely, as I’m merely making an educated estimate) save the treasury the same 1/4 billion the feds are looking for from the tax reform. There would be at least as much public support for the measure, as the public is becoming better educated and more aware of the huge discrepancies between the public (non-profit) and private sector when it comes to how they are allowed to save for their retirement.
        Every passing year, a greater amount of our tax dollars are going toward funding the retirements of public sector workers, who benefit greatly from tax rules that have been specifically adjusted to allow the public sector greater savings power per dollar of earnings than what those of us in the private, tax paying world are allowed.
        That’s what the feds would do if these really was about fairness. And if you actually believe it’s about fairness, I’d bet you still believe in the Easter Bunny.

        • There would be more money around if JT hadn’t flushed away 2.5 billion to the UN Climate Change buzzword extravaganza and the 1.2 billion to the Middle East. Many THINK Canada is helping by buying solar panels and windmills. Uh uh
          Check out the pricey UN buzzwords:
          • At COP22, Canada announced progress on the delivery of its pledge to provide $2.65 billion over five year, including
          $1.8 billion in funding for a range of climate-change *mitigation and *adaptation –*initiatives– to *support developing countries *transition to low-carbon, sustainable economies,
          o $14 million to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, like methane, through –*partnerships– with Mexico and Chile;
          o $3M contribution and joined the World Bank’s Transformative Carbon Asset Facility, which aims –to find new ways– for developing countries to reduce their emissions and –*collaborate– with partners on clean energy projects like geothermal, solar and wind power, as well as pricing carbon pollution;
          o $2.5 million to the Climate Technology Centre and Network to help developing countries –*access technologies– in sectors such as energy, water, forestry, and agriculture; and $2 million to the National Adaptation Plans Global Network, which helps weave climate change –*adaptation considerations– into developing countries’ policy,-*planning and *decision-making-.

  12. Another agenda disguised as reporting, in an article about nothing. Any idiot with a rented suit can stand around yelling “hypocrisy” when other people are trying to work, and any other idiot with a borrowed laptop can ask the usual list of unanswerable questions designed to make your chosen target look bad. It’s like one of those old “Search for the Loch Ness Bigfoot” shows: “There’s never been any evidence that the monster exists, but is it possible that the monster really does exist? Scientists are divided on the issue.” I suppose it’s just a pleasant side-effect for the writer that it obscures the patently self-serving nature of his “evidence”, which is nothing but the usual list of capitalist variations on “Business knows best, because business knows best”. No, really, shut up for a minute and listen: this is my country, and I’d really rather that you don’t try to find a better formula for reducing me to a source of revenue for your business ventures. I don’t care about your hurt feelings, because you don’t pay your taxes anyway. When business, whatever that is, can be trusted to do the right thing and pay its fair share, I’ll do my best to shed a tear for you. Because you know what? Business doesn’t know best; citizens know best. And you know what else? Citizens own this country, and business should learn to mind its own business; I, for one, am profoundly grateful that tax-cheats and tax-avoiders don’t get to write the taxation codes they so frequently cry like babies over.

  13. Morneau is not the only lying liberal who doesn’t have an answer! The other ‘eau’ brother has no answers either!

  14. The big questions are:
    1. How many of these critics have actually read the tax change proposal?

    2. Where is the emperical evidence to support the dire consequences predicted (or are they pure supposition, and is so often the case)?