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A number is never just a number: Tax cuts 101

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t

70 years

The last time Canadian federal tax revenues have been this low (as a share of the economy). (Source)

29%

Top federal personal income tax rate for anyone earning from $136,270 to you name it. In 1981, the rate for anyone earning $119,000 or more (1981 dollars) was 43 per cent. (Source)

$2.5 billion

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Book: Tax is Not a Four Letter Word
| February 27, 2014
Columnists

We need a federal politics of Big Ideas

Photo: CByam/flickr

Budget days should be days when Canadians are encouraged to imagine the possibilities for one of the richest countries in the world. Not the possibilities of the shopping mall or the offerings of Netflix, but the possibilities of building -- or rebuilding -- community.

At its best, that is what government is supposed to be about.

But the last eight budgets have been about smothering the national dream of prosperity and equality by systematically starving the federal government.

The outrageous tax cuts of the Harper government (and the Liberals' before that) have had one purpose: to dramatically reduce the role of government while redefining Canadian citizens increasingly as consumers.

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Photo: Ontario Chamber of Commerce/flickr
| January 22, 2014
Photo: Shazz Mack/flickr
| November 26, 2013
Photo: photoswebpm/flickr
| November 14, 2013
Columnists

Theatre of the Fiscally Absurd: Auditions now open to run government finances

Photo: photoswebpm/flickr

Have you ever considered a career on stage? Do you like to manipulate peoples' emotions to make them fear catastrophe and then worship you when you save the day? Perhaps you should consider a career running the country's finances. 

As an aspiring actor, you no doubt admire the pomp and circumstance of the throne speech. But the political theatrics go far beyond that. These days the politics of the federal budget book are worthy of a Broadway spectacle.

Federal fiscal theatre has it all. There is anxiety-provoking drama, a valiant superhero and a (not so surprising) happy ending. This week's throne speech is just one more glamorous soliloquy to remind us who to credit when the hero triumphs just in time to enhance the Conservatives' fortunes in the next election.

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Columnists

The crisis of extreme capitalism

Photo: EnvironmentBlog/flickr

Our current incarnation of capitalism -- variously referred to as savage capitalism, extreme capitalism or euphemistically as the "free market" (free of any constraints) -- is in one of its periodic crises. For years many assumed that the smart people who ran the system and benefitted from it would find a practical way to fix it. The problem is that the solutions are all framed within an ideology that makes that extremely unlikely. Neo-liberalism is like a religion and once you are a true believer you see other solutions as heresy.

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Columnists

The growing support for higher taxes

Photo: kardboard604/flickr

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For years, most pundits have concluded that any politician proposing higher taxes must be either brave or suicidal. These days, however, a growing number of leaders, across the spectrum, are willing to do precisely that. And instead of self-destruction, they may just be showing canny foresight.

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radio book lounge

The Great Revenue Robbery: The story of the tax cut scam with Dennis Howlett

April 18, 2013
| An interview with Dennis Howlett of Canadians for Tax Fairness and contributor to "The Great Revenue Robbery: How to Stop the Tax Cut Scam and Save Canada," edited by Richard Swift.
Length: 21:04 minutes (29 MB)
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