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The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I have a blog post titled: “Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget.” The link to the post is here. . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dix choses à savoir sur les défis associés avec mettre fin à l’itinérance au Canada

Le 18 novembre, j’ai fait une présentation sur les défis en ce qui concerne « mettre fin à l’itinérance » au Canada au 7 Cities Leadership Summit à Edmonton. Ma présentation, illustrée de diapositives, peut être téléchargée ici. Voici dix choses à savoir en tant que défis concernant « mettre fin à l’itinérance » au Canada. […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dix choses à savoir sur les défis associés avec mettre fin à l’itinérance au Canada

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things to Know About the Challenges of Ending Homelessness in Canada

On November 18, I gave a presentation on “ending homelessness” at the 7 Cities Leadership Summit in Edmonton. My PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here.

Here are ten things to know about “ending homelessness” in Canada:

1. In 2008, Calgary became the first Canadian municipality to publicly commit to “ending homelessness.” More than a dozen . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things to Know About the Challenges of Ending Homelessness in Canada

The Progressive Economics Forum: Small Business Taxes, Big Loopholes

by: Kaylie Tiessen & David Macdonald

Small business taxes made the news last week when, during a CBC interview, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suggested many business owners are using the small business tax rate as a de facto in-country tax shelter.

Responding to the interview, Conservative leader Stephen Harper accused Trudeau of taking aim . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Small Business Taxes, Big Loopholes

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s failed experiment with corporate income tax cuts

 

After a generation of comparatively high corporate income tax (CIT) rates, in the late 1980s Canadian governments at the federal and provincial levels began a series of corporate income tax reforms. According to many mainstream (‘neoclassical’) economists, reducing CIT rates was a wise public policy. A reduced CIT rate means a reduction in the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s failed experiment with corporate income tax cuts

The Progressive Economics Forum: Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

Opinions on deficit budgeting have become a short-hand litmus test in Canadian politics. Deficits are left-wing and balanced budgets are right-wing austerity. Economists know that there is virtually no difference between a small surplus and a small deficit, but politicians and voters are a different story.

I have spent the past three and half years . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Harper right? Did corporate tax cuts really pay for themselves?

In a little noticed comment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently was reported to say:

“Dropping our tax rate has not caused the government’s corporate income tax revenues to fall, which indicates that it does in fact attract business.”

No one seems to have questioned his statement, even though it was made on the same day . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Harper right? Did corporate tax cuts really pay for themselves?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Cash Stash Surpasses National Debt

Today’s National Balance Sheet Accounts indicate that the amount of cash held by private non-financial corporations in Canada soared from $591 billion in the third quarter of 2013 to $626 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Corporate Canada’s accumulated stock of cash now exceeds the federal government’s accumulated deficit, which was $612 billion at . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Cash Stash Surpasses National Debt

The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Olympics: Profit Sprint vs. Investment Crawl

Statistics Canada reported today that private and public investment intentions are up by 1.4% for 2014, even weaker than Canada’s investment growth of 1.5% in 2013.

Private-sector investment intentions are only 1.3% higher this year, a far cry from the growth of after-tax corporate profits. Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that net profits were 17.3% higher . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Olympics: Profit Sprint vs. Investment Crawl

The Progressive Economics Forum: PEF Session at the House of Commons Finance Committee

The Progressive Economics Forum (PEF) normally hosts sessions at the Canadian Economics Association’s annual conference. But the House of Commons finance committee threw most of the union economists testifying in its pre-budget hearings onto the same panel on November 21. I began my testimony as follows:

In addition to my work as an economist for . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: PEF Session at the House of Commons Finance Committee

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Nuclear Error: Uranium Royalty Cuts

On Thursday’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange (at 24:45 in this CBC video), I noted that while the Government of Canada just signed a deal with Kazakhstan allowing Cameco to invest more in that country’s uranium industry, the Government of Saskatchewan recently slashed its uranium royalties to encourage Cameco to invest in the province rather than . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: A Nuclear Error: Uranium Royalty Cuts

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s (not so incredible) shrinking federal government

Buried in the federal government’s recent Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections are figures showing the Harper government is set to squeeze federal government’s role to the smallest it has been in seventy years. (Bill Curry at the Globe also just wrote about this, but without figures further back than 1958).

Total federal government spending . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s (not so incredible) shrinking federal government

The Progressive Economics Forum: Good Time to Rethink Corporate Tax Cuts

Canada’s macroeconomy continues to be lethargic at best, and there is growing recognition that the continuing sluggishness of business capital spending since the 2008-09 crisis is a big part of the reason why. Governments are in austerity mode; consumers are maxxed out and cautious about new spending; our exports are restrained by an overvalued dollar . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Good Time to Rethink Corporate Tax Cuts

The Progressive Economics Forum: Do C. D. Howe’s Numbers Support its Policies?

The basic storyline of today’s C. D. Howe Institute “E-Brief”, “Canada Lagging Peers in 2013 Business Investment Growth,” is that corporate tax cuts helped boost investment per worker in Canada above the OECD average. Yet corporate Canada is slipping in 2013 and apparently needs more tax cuts.

However, the C. D. Howe Institute’s own graph . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Do C. D. Howe’s Numbers Support its Policies?

The Progressive Economics Forum: What’s a Point of Corporate Tax Worth?

Tom Mulcair’s recently reiterated unwillingness to raise personal tax rates puts the spotlight on corporate taxes. But how much revenue is at stake?

Three and a half years ago, I posted a fiscal breakdown of Harper’s corporate tax cuts and how much revenue could be retained by stopping or reversing them. These figures, based on . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What’s a Point of Corporate Tax Worth?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Why Is Tom Mulcair Opposed to Tax Increases?

A recent online article suggests that Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is opposed to increasing federal tax rates. I find this quite surprising.

According to the August 8 article:

Mulcair seemed surprised when he was asked if taxes would go up under an NDP government.

“You’re the first person who’s ever asked me that,” he . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Why Is Tom Mulcair Opposed to Tax Increases?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Don’t Privatize ISC

My op-ed in today’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix (page A11):

Privatizing ISC is a poor deal for Saskatchewan

The provincial government estimates that selling 60 per cent of the Information Services Corporation will raise up to $120 million for infrastructure investment. Is that a good deal for the people of Saskatchewan?

Last year, ISC generated $20 million . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Don’t Privatize ISC

The Progressive Economics Forum: Provincial Corporate Taxes: A 12% Floor?

In his 2007 “Economic Statement,” Jim Flaherty threw down the gauntlet for provincial governments to cut their corporate income tax rates to 10%. Initially, it seemed like he might succeed in stampeding the provinces down to that level.

Alberta and Quebec were already at 10% (although Quebec had announced an increase to 12% in exchange . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Provincial Corporate Taxes: A 12% Floor?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Provincial Corporate Taxes: A 12% Floor?

In his 2007 “Economic Statement,” Jim Flaherty threw down the gauntlet for provincial governments to cut their corporate income tax rates to 10%. Initially, it seemed like he might succeed in stampeding the provinces down to that level.

Alberta and Quebec were already at 10% (although Quebec had announced an increase to 12% in exchange . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Provincial Corporate Taxes: A 12% Floor?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fairness by design: a framework for tax reform in Canada

A new CCPA (National) report by Marc Lee and myself argues that Canada’s tax system needs a “fairness” overhaul and presents a framework for progressive tax reform. Those of you who have been following our tax work so far will find this study a great complement to the BC Tax Options Paper.

Tax policy is . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fairness by design: a framework for tax reform in Canada

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian Labour Congress says corporations hoarding cash, paying fat compensation to CEOs

CLC report: Corporate Tax Freedom Day is January 30 – Big businesses hoard cash from tax giveaways, not investing in jobs by Canadian Labour Congress | Jan. 29, 2013 OTTAWA – A research study by the Canadian Labour Congress shows that CEOs in Canada could be dancing in their suites to celebrate Corporate Tax Freedom . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canadian Labour Congress says corporations hoarding cash, paying fat compensation to CEOs

The Progressive Economics Forum: Effective Corporate Tax Rate Falling

Further to my earlier post critiquing the recent Mintz study – which argued that cuts in corporate tax rates are not significantly denting corporate tax revenues – I looked up the effective corporate tax rate (income tax paid as a percentage of taxable corporate income.) Here is what shows up on CANSIM 180-0003.

 

2006 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Effective Corporate Tax Rate Falling

The Progressive Economics Forum: Do Corporate Tax Cuts Really Pay For Themselves?

A new paper by Jack Mintz ( with Duanjie Chen) argues that “corporate tax reductions of more than 30% since 2000 have, contrary to the critics’ cries, failed to make an appreciable dent in tax revenues thanks to multinationals habit of shifting profits to Canada to take advantage of lower rates.”

This is the subject . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Do Corporate Tax Cuts Really Pay For Themselves?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dead Money

Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.)

It’s not the first time he’s raised this concern. . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dead Money

The Progressive Economics Forum: Agreeing with Hoback’s Headline

I have the following letter in today’s Prince Albert Daily Herald (page 4):

Reinvest Resource Wealth in Saskatchewan

To the editor: I strongly agree with the title of MP Randy Hoback’s letter: “Siphoning money out of the west is wrong” (June 9). My proposal is to keep more money in Saskatchewan by collecting more provincial . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Agreeing with Hoback’s Headline