Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

...key election promise and it was a political no-brainer—most Canadians, other than the majority of economists, hated the GST. No, what made this surprising was that this massive tax cut—a $14-billion bite out of federal revenues—was implemented by a minority...

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Introduction Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Alex Himelfarb and Jordan Himelfarb

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pp. 1-14

...always had an uncomfortable relationship with their taxes that probably reflects an historical ambivalence about government. Taxes there have always been a hard sell. Over the last few years, however, the only saleable tax policy has, it seems, been the promise of ever-lower taxes. American ambivalence turned to anger in the aftermath of the financial meltdown...

Part I: The Conversation Today

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1 The Economic Consequences of Taxing (and Spending)

Jim Stanford

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pp. 17-38

...funded with taxes. I also note that both the scale and the direction of fiscal policy (spending and taxing) reflect an ongoing struggle between competing segments of society about government’s economic and social role. This struggle is not just over how big government should...

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2 Taxes and Transfers in Canada: The Federal Dimension

Robin Boadway

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pp. 39-54

...pursue national purpose and social citizenship. This chapter explores how we got here, what the implications may be for equity, solidarity, efficiency, and resiliency in changing times, and what steps are available to alter our course. Canada is unique among federations...

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3 Taxes and Public Services

Hugh Mackenzie

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pp. 55-68

...platforms of every political party in almost every election. Increasing any tax has been characterized as the third rail of Canadian politics: the issue that will kill any campaign that touches it. Remarkably, our running conversation about taxes has taken place without any serious reference...

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4 Benefits from Public Services

Hugh Mackenzie

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pp. 69-82

...services of an astonishing variety without giving it a second thought—indeed, usually without giving it any thought at all. That variety, along with the differences in our personal circumstances means that each of our interactions with public services is different, but dependence on public services...

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5 Canadian Public Opinion on Taxes

Frank Graves

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pp. 83-98

...Whether it is in the service of disingenuous manipulation, or a genuine attempt to understand and reveal more about society and political choice, this is an area where one can easily construct two completely and apparently irreconcilable pictures of what the public really thinks...

Part II: How We Got Here

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6 Taxation and the Neo-Liberal Counter-Revolution: The Canadian Case

Matt Fodor

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pp. 101-118

...described as a Keynesian or progressive frame to market fundamentalism, variously called neo-liberalism or neo-conservatism, and what the impact has been of this shift on public policy, and more specifically taxes, in Canada. The easiest way to capture the contrast...

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7 A Brief Potted History of Ottawa’s Tax Cut Mania

Eugene Lang and Philip DeMont

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pp. 119-136

...The ideology of tax cuts has become so entrenched in this country you’d think we’ve become America, where politicians who even hint at tax increases have no electoral chance whatsoever and compete against one another to see who can tell the biggest lies to Americans about the “affordability” of tax cuts; a society about to hit the fiscal wall because over...

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8 Tax Cuts and Other Cheap Parlour Tricks

Trish Hennessy

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pp. 137-148

...Sitting among the graduates, I felt accomplishment and gratitude. I imagined my paternal grandmother immigrating to Canada from Scotland as a wee lass, setting up a rough-and-tumble life with a handsome Irish lad who worked his way up the Montreal printing press scene to keep his growing brood fed. I imagined my mother, scraping...

Part III: A Different Take on Taxes

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9 Toward a Fair Canadian Tax System

Marc Lee and Iglika Ivanova

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pp. 151-170

...not new or controversial; they have been articulated by other major tax reviews in the past, though there is still an active debate in the economics and law literature on how to best operationalize them through public policy. A good tax system must be progressive for reasons...

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10 Carbon Taxes: Can a Good Policy Become Good Politics?

Stéphane Dion

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pp. 171-190

...After explaining why a carbon tax is good public policy, and highlighting the political obstacles to its adoption, I will consider the current propositions for making it more electorally acceptable. I will argue that these propositions would not necessarily improve the electoral attractiveness of a carbon tax, and that some of them would actually damage...

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11 How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference: The Case of Financial Transaction Taxes

Toby Sanger

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pp. 191-210

...and anti-poverty activists for a small tax on currency transactions to fight global poverty has spread and become much broader in scope. Protestors from the Occupy movement to the anti-austerity demonstrations across Europe, North America, and beyond have been demanding, among other things, that governments introduce financial transactions...

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12 We Need to Simplify and Re-focus the Tax System

C. Scott Clark

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pp. 211-224

...lowest federal revenue share in over 45 years. All major components of federal government revenues declined as a share of GDP over this period. The Liberal government’s 2000 budget proposed the largest income tax (personal and corporate) reductions...

Part IV: How to Get There

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13 Canada’s Conservative Ideological Infrastructure: Brewing a Cup of Cappuccino Conservatism

Paul Saurette and Shane Gunster

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pp. 227-266

...objects often go far beyond themselves because they are always embedded in a broader background that influences their reception. Policy debates take place within larger discursive and ideological contexts—contexts where philosophical principles, ideological norms...

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Conclusion

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pp. 267-270

...we don’t have this conversation: a say about what’s important for our country, where we’re going and how we are to get there. Any reasonable discussion of taxes must take into account the public goods and services they buy. The unnatural divorce in our public discourse of these inextricably linked concepts has produced a climate...

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Contributors

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pp. 271-276

...Robin Boadway received his Ph.D. in economics from Queen’s University and has taught there since 1973, with year-long interruptions to take up a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago (1976–77) and visiting scholar positions at the University of Oxford (1980–81) and Université...

Index

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pp. 277-295