Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Dennis Howlett comments on the distortions in Canada's tax system which redistribute money upward to those who need it least:
It’s time for Mr. Morneau to deliver a comprehensive and comprehensible tax strategy that will work in 2017 and beyond because, currently, tax breaks for the richest 10 per cent amount to almost $58 billion.

That includes the nearly $1 billion a year lost to the stock option loophole that Liberals promised — and failed — to ditch after pressure from CEOs and their lobbyists. Corporate tax loopholes cost another $23 billion.

That’s $80 billion not working the way it is supposed to. That’s over $80 billion the government is giving to the very richest, making them richer.

That $80 billion could provide affordable child care, free university tuition, clean water to First Nations reserves. It could kickstart a pharmacare program, address child and seniors’ poverty, boost international development funding and allow us to invest in affordable housing and clean energy.
Imagine how much more robust our communities and democracy would be if we spent that money wisely.

Imagine how much more competitive we could be if emerging Canadian companies were on the same playing field as those that currently use tax haven subsidiaries to avoid paying their fair share.

Money talks. Many Canadians might not appreciate the message they’re getting from this preferential tax treatment.
- Meanwhile, Richard Shillington and Robin Shaban offer the strongest critique yet of the Fraser Institute's torqued "tax freedom day" spin, while also noting that our tax rates are already on the low end within the OECD. And PressProgress wonders whether Canada's media will finally apply at least some scrutiny to anti-tax spin rather than reproducing it uncritically.

- Norman Farrell comments on the scandal that is the B.C. Libs' use of power contracts to systematically enrich donors at public expense. And Chrystia Freeland's announcement that the federal Libs will be delivering billions to the military-industrial complex after breaking promises of social investment signals that Justin Trudeau too is focused mostly on further entrenching existing wealth.

- Peter Prontzos reviews Keith Payne's The Broken Ladder as a useful discussion of the relationship between economic inequality and social problems. And Andre Picard comments on Canada's continued failure to provide anything approaching a reasonable standard of living and health to Indigenous children. 

- Finally, Stephen Tweedale sets out the case as to why Christy Clark shouldn't be able to force British Columbia into another election after the one which elected a majority of MLAs for change. And David Climenhaga reveals how the Wildrose Party is telling its members they can ignore political financing laws based on a plan to change them retroactively for partisan benefit.

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