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The Progressive Economics Forum

Banking on Corporate Tax Breaks

Michael Lewis has a great article in today’s Toronto Star about the windfall that banks are reaping from corporate tax cuts. He quotes three of our favourite bloggers: Toby Sanger, Armine Yalnizyan and Jim Stanford.

He also cites a BMO Capital Markets report that I shared with him. Since BMO appears to have removed this document from its website, I have uploaded it here for your reading pleasure.

Over the past week, progressive economists have been relentlessly opposing corporate tax cuts, in both official languages. Armine appeared in David Olive’s Toronto Star column, while Jim and I appeared in Le Devoir.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Armine Yalnizyan
Time: March 5, 2011, 2:20 pm

Game on, eh?!

In the spirit of shameless self promotion that Erin has established, tune in to CBC’s Radio One next Saturday at 9 am (8;30 in NL) Mike Hornbrook, the CBC’s economic commentator, will be treating the topic of corporate tax cuts in a short radio documentary for The House, Canada’s flagship radio show about federal politics.

Plus this week Public Sector Digest,, will also run an essay on the topic, which expands the five-reasons-to-say-no argument to address what cutting corporate taxes means to municipalities. The digest reaches nearly 140,000 administrators at all levels of government across Canada, the majority from the municipal sector.

Comment from rcp
Time: March 6, 2011, 5:31 am

Convincing government employees that taxes should not be cut is kind of “taking coals to Newcastle”, isn’t it? As net tax consumers they’ve already got a predisposition to think that way.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 6, 2011, 12:22 pm

its too bad the NDP would not take on this issue with some vigour- instead lets focus on the HST- wow I hate bashing the one party I think holds some potential, but I just don’t get them or the campaign strategy. HST?????? What did somebody do a poll that was like 5 months old and forget to ask about corporate taxes??? Come on people get on with a winning strategy for once.

With all the issues to attack HArper, they pick ona topic that I see adn I will say a majority of federal voters see as mainly a provincial matter.

Its no wonder I refuse to donate any more cash.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 6, 2011, 12:37 pm

Oh and by the way, if you read today’s take from the Globe and Mail that Corporate taxes are not the “white hot issue” that some, like myself and a few others think, I do believe Mr Anderson, the author of said article is trying to pacify.

Sure polling may reveal a less than “white hot” response, however that is after Harper and his bunch have just spent millions and millions of tax payer money convincing us all that corporate tax cuts are needed for job creation. THat is without a consistent critical shout out from any of the opposition. The tories have been spending massive dollars of both private and public monies in full campaign mode convincing the public, so it is not wonder after all that poll trolling, the issue is given such a response, (if you can believe the polling mentioned in this article.)

Of course there are plenty of other issues, like secrecy and misuse of government power that seems to be polling high against Harper as well.

Comment from Darwin O’Connor
Time: March 6, 2011, 6:28 pm

I suspect the HST is a winning strategy for the NDP. The HST effects people directly so changes are more noticeable. Most Canadian who don’t read this blog don’t know how bad the corporate tax cut is.

Attacking the HST has the advantages that it can be used against the Liberals and Conservatives and both the Provincial and Federal level.

Comment from Travis Fast
Time: March 6, 2011, 6:41 pm

@ Darwin,

Yah until they crunch the numbers and see what both corporate and personal income taxes will have to go up by in order to pay for the broader based HST cut. What is the NDP going to do when it wins in BC sometime in the future? They are walking themselves into a fiscal straight-jacket.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 6, 2011, 11:52 pm


Yes I will agree on one thing, it is a cost effective way to campaigning. Take a swipe atbthe libs provincially. I have yet to see much of that hst egg stick on Harper, so my question – is this a federal or provincial campaign the NDP is running?
I am confused and so too are voters.

Comment from Darwin O’Connor
Time: March 7, 2011, 7:47 am

The NDP is running a federal and provincial campaign against a tax that is federal and provincial to votes who frequently have little idea what is the difference between the two.

Comment from Travis Fast
Time: March 7, 2011, 8:00 am

Was a time when the NDP played a role in educating people. What you are saying is now they are just playing to citizens ignorances. Sad really.

Comment from Erin Weir
Time: March 7, 2011, 1:00 pm

I admit that I have been abroad for a few months and no longer have my finger on the pulse of Canadian politics. But as far as I know, the federal NDP has not deviated from its consistent opposition to corporate tax cuts.

It has also put forward some proposals on issues other than corporate taxes, which seems legitimate. One proposal is to remove the HST from home-heating bills. I am not convinced that doing so would be especially expensive.

As far as I can tell, confusion about the NDP’s position arose from this press release, which failed to explicitly mention corporate tax cuts. I am faulting the party for a poorly-worded press release, rather than for any change in policy.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 7, 2011, 3:16 pm

Yes that is the press release.

When I mention that, I am referring to new ads that the NDP put out recently and are airing right now in bc and ont. They are focused on the hst.

I guess I should give them more time, but I am a bit confused at that strategy, and altough some may think I am being a pai. In the ass, we my response, it is a skill that I accelerate at, which is why I am striving to be a progressive Economist. So all those party faithful, just buckle up and don’t get your back up.

I just want to see more pressure on the tax cut issue.

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: March 20, 2011, 4:53 pm

National Post– March 1, 2011

Re: “Ignatieff just doesn’t get it,” Charles Lammam and Niels Veldhuis, Feb. 12

Across-the-board general tax cuts for big corporations will likely put money in the pockets of chief executive officers, shareholders and foreign taxing jurisdictions. Workers will benefit in the same way as pigeons do when horses are fed oats and some of the grains make it through the intestines undigested.

Larry Kazdan, CGA, Vancouver

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