First off, this is a red herring. Of course Canada has among the highest rates of taxation in the world. The Canadian government does a lot of things, and the biggest-ticket items - health insurance, national defense, regional development - are things that the Canadian people overwhelmingly want the government to do. Indeed, Canadians regularly say they want more spending on defense and health care, as well as a bunch of other stuff besides. So the fact that Canadians pay higher taxes than Botswana doesn't tell us much, except possibly that Botswanans are poorly-served by their government.
Secondly, the CD Howe Institute doesn't even get the conclusions to it's own data right. Canadians have one of the highest standards of living in the world, and our taxes are already lower than Germany or the United States according to the CDHI's own data. In fact, if you look at the G8 nations, Canada's taxes on investment are decidedly moderate - not as high as some, lower than others. A fair description would be that Canada's investment taxes are on the high end of the range for the most developed countries, though by no means the highest.
What headline do you think the CDHI picked for it's news release?
The 2006 Tax Competitiveness Report scores 81 developed and developing countries according to their tax treatment of business investment, and finds that highly taxed Canada ranks a disappointing 8th...but of course, to make this press release truly absurd, you need to read the rest of the sentence:
- the investment-hostile Republic of Congo ranks first.Well, thank God for the Howe. How else would Canadians know how lucky they are not to live in the Congo?
Republic of Congo Per Capita GDP: $1,300Maybe something like that?
Canada Per Capita GDP: $34,000
It would be nice if the people who think tax cuts solve everything (this category does not include Prairie Wrangler, btw) would ever think about how silly they look before they say silly things.