Archive for Taxation
Dave Killion — February 5, 2013
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy brings to our attention a recent Wall Street Journal article concerning state income taxes in the U.S., and the governors who are looking to eliminate them –
“Washington may be a tax reform wasteland, but out in the states the action is hot and heavy. Nine states—including such fast-growing places as Florida, Tennessee and Texas—currently have no income tax, and the race is on to see which will be the tenth, and perhaps the 11th and 12th.”….”Income taxes generally do more economic harm (than sales taxes) because they are a direct penalty on saving, investment and labor that create new wealth. Sales taxes, by contrast, hit consumption, which is the result of that wealth creation. Governors Jindal, McCrory and Heineman cite the growing evidence that states with low or no income taxes have done better economically in recent decades compared to states with income-tax rates of 10% or more.”
Replacing lost income tax revenue with sales tax revenue is frowned on in some circles as regressive, since families who don’t currently pay income taxes will become subject to sales taxes. There are ways to correct this, such as declining to tax certain items such as food and clothing, or issuing tax rebates. But the optimal solution? Cut spending. Government is too big, does too much, and does it all poorly. Roll it back, and enjoy your increased prosperity.
The benefits of eliminating the income tax are well-established. The only questions are these: why is there NO Canadian province or territory without an income tax, and why is there no one in Canada campaigning for repeal? I wish I knew. But if the Free Province Project gets some legs, don’t be surprised if this is one of the first issues they take on.
Dave Killion — November 17, 2012
I’ve met vegetarians who say that people who want to eat meat should kill and process the animal themselves. The idea is that we are so removed from the violence and ugliness of the process that most would simply give up meat. Those vegetarians should be prime candidates for conversion to libertarianism!
Say to them, “If you want Peter to pay for Paul’s health care/education/retirement, even if Peter doesn’t want to,then you should personally go Peter’s house and use whatever level of violence you think is necessary to force Peter to hand over the money.” Being so far removed from the savagery inherent in the welfare state, I imagine said vegetarians (indeed, all people) would, in the face of such a daunting prospect, quickly lay aside their appetites for other peoples’ possessions, and embrace more peaceful pursuits.
Dave Killion — May 29, 2012
Quebec students have been protesting for over 100 days , and I have repeatedly heard pundits debating whether or not increased tuition would lower university enrollment. I would think it’s more important to determine whether or not it lowers university graduations.
And if you weren’t being forced to subsidize university students, why would you even care about that?
Dave Killion — April 28, 2012
A metaphor for the manner and degree to which the Honduran government intervenes in the national economy.
Writer Jody Paterson, formerly of Victoria, recently packed up her life and moved to Honduras, where she is doing volunteer work for Cuso International. She continues to blog, and a recent post contains enough errors that it will take a few posts to address them all. Let’s begin at the beginning –
“We were commiserating over breakfast yesterday with the owner of the little hotel in Tegucigalpa where we stay when on Cuso International business. He described Honduras as a capitalist country without the balance of a social structure, which struck me as a near-perfect description of the place.
Honduras is the real-life embodiment of the kind of governance that conservative political forces in Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain think they want for their own countries. It has a free-market economy with very little government interference, a political structure built around the needs of business and the upper-class, and a distinct absence of social supports.”
This particular hotel owner appears to be a poor source of high-quality economic analysis. According to the 2012 edition of the “Index of Economic Freedom“, Honduras is ranked 98th in the world. In case you are wondering, this is not good. Not only is the Honduran economy labeled Mostly Unfree, but it is also below both the world AND regional averages for economic freedom –
“… completing licensing requirements remains costly. Labor regulations are burdensome and outmoded. A large part of the labor force relies on the informal sector for employment. The government continues to regulate the prices of key products and services.”
Expensive licensing requirements, burdensome labour regulation, and price controls are hallmarks of economic policies designed to manipulate economies so as to maintain or increase state power by favouring special interests. Although it is all too common for critics of free enterprise and limited government to blame troubles on those institutions, we can see quite clearly that that is not the situation in this case. Hondurans may have many things, but of free markets and limited governments they have none.
Dave Killion — March 15, 2012
Via The Province –
“The B.C. government announced a pilot project Wednesday that will fly, house and clothe B.C.’s welfare recipients and unemployed should they want “very high-paying” jobs in the province’s employee-starved rural communities.”
See what they’re doing? The government is going to provide social welfare in such a fashion as to dish out corporate welfare! Northern companies are already hard at work seeking out quality employees, and providing incentives to entice them to take on these high-paying jobs. If they think someone is worth flying up, housing, training, and paying, then you can bet your boots they’ll do so. But now they won’t have to. The government will pick up the tab, and these companies will get the people they would have hired in any case, but at reduced cost. And if the government sends up people that wouldn’t have been hired without this subsidy, you can also bet the bulk of them will wash out. End result? Money shifted from the pockets of provincial taxpayers into the bank accounts of wealthy business owners. How this is supposed to help the poor is a mystery to me.
Dave Killion — March 3, 2012
I think this has been hung upside down.
I’ve only blogged about state funding for the arts once before, but anyone who knows anything about libertarians would know we are opposed to it. My opposition is morality-based, in that I don’t think you should be forced to pay for even ‘great’ art like Voice of Fire (above), but it’s also good to point out how needless state support is. Exhibit A; Kickstarter –
“Kickstarter is having an amazing year, even by the standards of other white hot Web startup companies, and more is yet to come.
One of the company’s three co-founders, Yancey Strickler, said that Kickstarter is on track to distribute over $150 million dollars to its users’ projects in 2012, or more than entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was $146 million.”
I’m not surprised at this in the least,because I, too, have pledged to a project in Kickstarter. Thanks to me, and over 1400 people like me, you will soon be able to watch “Fracknation”. And if you don’t like the look of it, you won’t have to pay a nickel to not see it. Which is more than you can say for Voice of Fire.
Dave Killion — February 29, 2012
Over at Reason.com, Shikha Dalmia writes about a recently-leaked memo revealing that the British government’s aid establishment has responded to a request from India to stop sending aid by pleading that India reconsider on the grounds that the British government has expended significant political capital selling aid to the voters, and that cancellation would cause grave political embarrassment. Dalmia points out that India currently accepts development assistance from only five countries. Is Canada one of those countries? Apparently –
“After 55 years of bilateral programming in India totalling C$2.39 billion, Canada’s bilateral development assistance program came to an end in 2006 following a change in Indian government policy regarding aid. However, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) continues to provide assistance to India through partnerships between Indian and Canadian NGOs and multilateral programs. In addition, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, to support local projects in India focusing on gender equality, human rights, and good governance. “
I think it is noxious that Canadian tax dollars are being shipped off to a country wealthy enough to have an arsenal of atomic weapons. But it gets worse. From Dalmia’s article –
“Buoyed by its post-liberalization economic growth, (India) has decided to emulate its Western benefactors and dole out money to other poor countries…”
In essence, the Canadian establishment is using your hard-earned money to look good by giving it to the Indian establishment to use to make themselves look good. This is no surprise to libertarians, of course, because we know this sort of thing is a perfectly predictable consequence of putting charity in the hands of the state.
Dave Killion — February 14, 2012
"There once was a man from Nantucket... "
After I finished high school, I served three years in the US Marines, shortly after which I moved to Canada. I took a carpentry apprenticeship and worked my way first to become a journeyman, then a lead hand, and then a foreman. After that, I started my own construction business, and while I was running that I got my certification to become a building inspector. While working as a building inspector, I attended university at nights, and completed a degree a couple years ago. I have done all of this in order to earn more money to provide good things for me and my family, and to spend on the things I care about, not so that a great deal of it could be taken away from me and spent on things I don’t care about. Things like a Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate –
“The Poet’s role is to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society. Federal legislators created the position in 2001 to draw Canadians’ attention to poetry, both spoken and written, and its role in our lives.”
Nice work, if you can get it –
“The position comes with an annual stipend of $20,000, up to $13,000 in travel expenses annually, a budget for administrative expenses and translation/adaptation into Canada’s second official language.”
Not the jackpot that would result from getting Oprah’s nod, but still, not too shabby. And although it’s not as fiscally devastating as most government projects, it’s still $40,000 +/- that won’t be donated to cancer research, protection of endangered species, education of girls in developing countries, or any other of the causes Canadians might have otherwise supported voluntarily. There’s no justice in that, poetic or otherwise.
Stu — December 6, 2011
Watch the whole thing, but look for Ron Paul @ 7:39
Still Report 32
Quoted from Nathan’s Economic Edge (http://economicedge.blogspot.com): Bill produced an excellent video where he hits directly on target, right on the root issue of WHO it is that produces our money! Way to go, Bill!
He does an excellent job of calling out the illegal “Fed,” along with the IMF, and to that I would add World Bank – all sham and highly undemocratic money from nothing, self-anointed central banking criminals who have never received proper authorization from the people of the planet and in fact are operating against our rule of law as spelled out in our own Constitution! Absolutely, they are literally taking over countries and Bill correctly points out what they have done to both Italy and Greece – their game is to enslave with debt (which they did nothing to create), and then to take over direct control. Money creation is all about power and control.
Donald Trump running a debate? Are you kidding me? Until our nation is conscious enough to start voting for people like Bill Still, we are going nowhere fast. Go Bill, way to get the proper word out!
Dave Killion — December 6, 2011
Antony, your recent post about the wheat board reminded me that the federal government has been doing some other good things recently. For one example, the effort to eliminate the despicable long-gun registry continues despite hysteria from some parties. Another example? Many US citizens living in Canada (some for decades) were recently horrified to learn that they were required to file US income tax statements even when they had no US income. Worse still, those who had failed to do so are subject to potentially massive penalties even if they owed no taxes! Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has complained to the US government about this matter on several occasions, and the US government has announced that it is going to go easy on US citizens living in Canada. I must give credit where it’s due – the feds did good.
But wait, there’s more –
“Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Sunday the government would eliminate tariffs on dozens more products used by Canadian manufacturers, aiming to lower their costs and encourage more hiring…
We believe in free trade in Canada,” Flaherty said on CTV’s “Question Period” program. “Some of these old-fashioned tariffs get in the way. So we’re getting rid of them.”
I have previously expressed my skepticism at this government’s commitment to free trade, so I am pleased to see that Minister Flaherty has obviously been reading this blog and finds our arguments convincing. However, before anyone starts going soft on the state, remember that it’s a tried-and-true technique of cult leaders (and others wishing to control behaviour) to introduce a negative stimulus, then remove it as a “reward”. These are merely the first of many such positive steps that must be taken.