Why Corporate Tax Cuts (in Canada) Make No Sense

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The January 27 budget is leaking faster than a flatulent elephant after eating a tonne of beans.

More and more details come out every day, and yet the Conservatives don’t have the courage to present it in the House of Commons.

That said, we’ve seen many trial balloons about several topics and the one that we’ll probably have confirmed at the last minute will be a wide array of new tax cuts.

Just as a reminder, the last ones didn’t work.  I’m still waiting for my two cents from the GST cut and now we’re paying the bill for effectively transferring 2% of all transactions in this country to the pockets of corporations instead of our governments.

And the corporate tax cuts have lead to a whopping volume of new jobs, haven’t they?  Oh yeah … they haven’t .

You see … there’s a reason for this.  Canada is in large part a transplant, subsidiary economy.  We’re whores of our natural endownments, junkies for more investments in primary production and victims of our own resources.

We certainly have lots of manufacturing as well, a great percentage of which is controlled not by Canadians, but by Americans, Europeans and other international decision makers.  They say, we do.

And that gets me to my central thesis:  with so much foreign ownership of the Canadian economy, what’s the point in cutting corporate taxes?  When we cut corporate taxes, all we do is enrich the treasuries of other countries.  We need to find creative ways to fund our own economy and future, thank you very much.

If anything, we need to consider greater taxes for those companies that simply come here to extract and leave holes in the ground, swelling tailings ponds and an abundance of nuclear waste.

In the interest trying to avoid being blind to my own ideology, I could be convinced of tax provisions in one area:  those that protect small businesses.  Let’s say we have a tax exemption for any company in this country that employs 20 people or less and/or has revenues less than $1 million per year.

Another suggestion might be special terms (particularly with respect to property taxes and lease rates) for small businesses that establish themselves in downtown or central areas.  This would clearly favour the creative class, as we tend not to do much manufacturing in our cores.

A reduced tax burden for the people that make a difference in our day-to-day living.  I could live with that.

3 comments on “Why Corporate Tax Cuts (in Canada) Make No Sense

  1. Ha ha … love your opening sentence. Good point re foreign ownership.

  2. Good point – we have become more so America's branch plant – which was the fear of NAFTA. So creative ways to look at cutting taxes for Canadian owned small and medium businesses that aren't incorporated would be good. Such as payroll taxes and so on – tied to jobs.

  3. Absolutely … and the more I think of this, the more I realize that we're being sold a picture by folks like the Fraser Institute that is dangerously incomplete.

    Another suggestion would be to help our co-op, non-profit and charity sector. Many people argue for larger write-offs (mainly to match political contributions), but politicians have reservations because they don't want the competition!

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