Maxime Bernier’s article in yesterday’s National Post makes the case clearly as to why corporate taxes are in reality indirect taxes on people, which are passed on in different forms to investors, consumers and workers. It is worth noting that corporate taxes are one of the few areas of fiscal policy in which the current government deserves commendation.
In his peice, Mr. Bernier acknowledges the relative political (non)viability of abolishing corporate taxes at this time, but appears to understand well the importance of “moving the goalpost.” The concept of defining the political centre – as opposed to merely being defined by what is considered to be the political centre of the day – is one that is lacking with the current Conservative government with respect to fiscal policy.
By contrast, the Conservatives have managed to successfully define what the political centre is in several areas outside of fiscal arena. One need look no further than foreign policy or a more inclusive conception Canadian nationhood for definitive examples of this.
Just as important as the substance of Mr. Bernier’s call for the abolition of corporate taxes is his understanding that nothing moves unless it is pushed. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is pushing now, as it was nearly two-decades ago when it helped to swing public opinion against continued deficits in the early 1990s. A few more MPs pushing from inside Parliament would be welcome indeed.