Roundup: Preferential tax treatment warranted?

The hits keep on coming when it comes to the rhetoric about the proposed small business tax changes. If you listened to doctors, you would think that the government was outlawing self-incorporation. They’re not. If you listen to the Conservatives, it’s a “massive tax hike” and “hugely complex changes” which also doesn’t quite scan – yes, there is some complexity in how they plan to enforce the changes, but that’s not the same thing.

People also keep insisting that these changes won’t allow them to use their incorporation for savings purposes (whether for a buffer or for a maternity leave), which again, is not the case as the new rules have been outlined.

Of course, when these facts meet their rhetoric, we have been assaulted with yet more wailing and gnashing of teeth that these preferential tax treatments are a “reward” for the risks that these entrepreneurs take. Which again, doesn’t actually fly with the research. (See Kevin Milligan’s thread starting here, which I won’t reproduce in its entirety).

In fact, you can make a number of arguments about whether the government should be subsidising the risk of entrepreneurs. Also, the it should be restated that preferential tax rates are not the reward for becoming an entrepreneur – there are other rewards inherent in the role.

Instead, we come back to the government’s argument about tax fairness, and why those who choose to self-incorporate and have families to split/sprinkle their income with should be the only ones to enjoys such privileges. Nobody seems to be able to answer that question. Funnily enough. Instead, it’s more disingenuous rhetoric and outright falsehoods about what’s being proposed here, that benefits only the very wealthy few for whom this kind of tax “planning” makes sense.

Meanwhile, Andrew Coyne takes on the notion that small businesses should get preferential tax rates for risk-taking, while taking down the critics of his arguments, who similarly are building cases on false premises.

Good reads:

  • Justin Trudeau says he has no plans to join missile defence or to send more troops to Afghanistan along with the Americans.
  • Canada and Mexico are shrugging off Donald Trump’s latest threat to “cancel NAFTA” because it was a threat they’ve long anticipated.
  • Here’s a deeper dive in to NAFTA’s Chapter 19, which the Americans want to get rid of, and what it does and why it’s important for Canada.
  • While the Conservatives are railing that the government needs to warn away border crossers, the NDP again demand the Safe Third Country Agreement be suspended.
  • Judy Foote is expected to resign from cabinet today, and resign her seat before the end of the year.
  • The Commons health committee is coming back a week early for marathon sessions on the marijuana legislation.
  • Senators on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee are warning that lowering blood alcohol limits will further clog the courts, creating more problems.
  • We got more details on why VADM Mark Norman has been suspended, which includes email exchanges threatening shipyard layoffs to blackmail the government.
  • The NEB has agreed to study both upstream and downstream emissions with the Energy East proposal.
  • The Rebel is one of the media sites on the government’s advertising blacklist. (So are Vogue and TMZ, to be clear).
  • While some Conservatives are putting distance between themselves and Rebel Media, others aren’t vowing that they won’t appear in the future.
  • Niki Ahston is expecting twins shortly after the conclusion of the NDP leadership race, and plans to take three months off at that time.
  • Éric Grenier checks the data and suggests that shorter campaigns, like the government is planning, may be more advantageous to incumbent governments.
  • Chantal Hébert worries that Trudeau’s warnings for would-be asylum seekers will fall on deaf ears given the situation with the Trumpocalypse.
  • Chris Selley thinks the government needs to be blunter with would-be asylum seekers about not trying to make it to Canada illegally.

Odds and ends:

Despite an invitation from kd lang to join her at Calgary Pride, Jason Kenney is “too busy” to attend. Of course.