Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tom Parkin duly slams the Libs for a "middle class" tax message being used to sell a giveaway to the rich:
Here’s the blunt facts: the tax cut by Finance Minister Bill Morneau gives $0 to anyone earning under about $45,000. Then the benefit starts phasing in. At $90,000, the benefit is $670. And every person earning over $90,000—even people with million dollar paycheques—gets the $670.

University of Laval economist Stephen Gordon recently pointed out that a $90,000 income is in the top 10% in Canada.

And according to Statistics Canada’s most recent full report of tax filing data, the middle point of Canadian incomes was $33,920 in 2015. That means half of all income earners are above $33,920, half are below.

The facts don’t lie. Morneau is giving $670 a year to everyone with a top 10% income. He’s giving $0 to actual middle income earners. His words are deceptive. It’s a tax cut for the affluent.

Of course, nobody would vote for an upper class cut taxes. So the Liberals said it was a middle class tax cut and hoped you wouldn’t figure it out.
- But Parkin does briefly go off the rails somewhat by focusing needlessly on debt rather than social costs. On that front, Paul Krugman offers a reminder that the right only cares about deficits as an excuse to avoid or destroy social supports. And Corey Robin's takeaways from the Republicans' plan signal the danger of allowing deficit hysteria to dominate the opposition message.

- And Gregori Galofré-Vilà, Christopher M. Meissner, Martin McKee and David Stuckler study how austerity politics were a major factor in the rise of the Nazi party.

- Patricia Aldana rightly argues that citizens need to start recognizing - and taking responsibility for - the damage Canadian-based exploitative resource companies are doing in Honduras and elsewhere.

- Finally, Brett Dolter offers his take on how the Saskatchewan Party's long-delayed excuse for a climate change strategy falls short of the mark.

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