Jay Myers Shills for Corporate Tax Cuts
Jayson Myers from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is touting a report supposedly showing that corporate tax cuts will create 99,000 jobs. News stories indicate that it is â€œset for releaseâ€ or â€œbeing released Wednesday morning.â€
I could not find the report online, so I phoned the CME. I was initially told that it would be posted around 10am EST. When I phoned again around 11am, I was informed that it would be posted sometime after 2pm. As far as I can tell, the CMEâ€™s strategy is to get media coverage without letting anyone else to scrutinize the report.
In the meantime, it is worth remembering what Myers said about Budget 2008: â€œThis budget worries me because it sends the message that a reduction in corporate tax rates is the silver bullet for the economy.â€ Apparently, he now endorses that message.
Why did Myers suddenly become a passionate defender of corporate tax cuts? Statistics Canadaâ€™s latest edition of Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises, released just before Christmas, provides a possible clue. In the third quarter of 2010, pre-tax profits in manufacturing surged to over $15 billion after languishing below $10 billion per quarter since 2008.
It is no surprise that manufacturers, like other businesses, do not want their profits taxed. However, the CME also lobbies for policies that provide specific support for manufacturing.
For example, I found myself allied with Myers in defending the auto bailout and advocating targeted tax incentives for manufacturing investment. It will be much harder to make the case for public support of manufacturers during downturns if they clamour for tax breaks as soon as they start making money.
PEFLeaks UPDATE (January 12): Readers should note that Tobyâ€™s comment below was at 1:20pm MST (3:20pm EST). The members-only link he mentions did not appear on the CME website until after 2pm EST. Anyway, I have obtained the report and uploaded it here.
UPDATE (January 13): I have posted a critique of the report.