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December 26, 2017 | The Resistance

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

So far the T2 gang has created a new tax bracket for big-money earners, gutted the TFSA contribution limit by half, ended income-splitting for entrepreneurs and will (in the coming budget) whack doctors and the self-employed who sit on retained earnings. Notice a pattern?

Accountants and others who have no life and worry about this stuff (me) fear the Libs will also raise the capital gains inclusion rate before the next election and diddle with dividends. Canadians making a little over $200,000 now pay half in tax, and the business tax rate could be 70% for those who do not take cover.

All this has happened while Americans cut the corporate levy by 40% and reduce middle-class taxes by up to half while retaining mortgage-interest deductibility and letting companies write off expenses over months, not decades. Meanwhile American families pay 50% less for a house, on average, than do we beavers.

So how can we be so out of step with the guys next door?

The differences between the two countries are legion – just look at health care, for example. But it really boils down to one thing: Canadians lack confidence. We elect guys who promise more support, more structure and bigger government. So, we need higher taxes – which voters want other people to pay.

The evidence is all around us. It’s in the support Bill Morneau enjoyed during his attack on entrepreneurs and the self-employed. It’s in the obsession with ‘safe’ residential real estate as opposed to ‘risky’ financial assets. It’s certainly there in an historic number of young adults refusing to leave the parental womb until all risk is wiped away. It’s in the Bank of Mom handing over down payments, helping to game the system. And this week, in news of parents buying investment real estate for their school-aged children. Yuck.

Voters want safe. As the Millennials become the dominant group and foist their risk-shunning shared-society values on everyone, expect more of the above. There’s a major anti-corporatism unleashed now, altering the face of commerce. Ride-sharing vs the taxi business. Room-sharing vs hotels. Cryptocurrencies vs central bankers. Social media vs corporate news. At the centre is the refusal to accept that an income disparity should exist, with the 1% and the 99% drifting ever-further apart upon an ocean of inequality.

Trudeau has bragged there are no traditional, core values in Canada, and this place will become the ‘first post-national state’. It’s the ultimate anti-Trump stance, a finger in the eye of America where rich and risk are both admired, and diversity’s a dirty word. So, Congress can pass an act that lowers taxes for the wealthy, their heirs, investors, self-employed and corporations, and get away with it. In Canada we spent the summer debating if a plumber can sprinkle income to his wife, while the prime minister’s family took an exotic vacation paid for a billionaire lobbyist. And the Mills love him. His signature act will be to legalize weed.

So, these are seminal times. 2018 promises to accelerate the war between the wealth-hoarding Boomers and the moister-barbarians at the gate. Anyone with money probably won’t like the next Morneau budget, which is setting the groundwork for October 21, 2019 when Justin faces Jagmeet. If you think T2 is a lefty now, just wait.

Of course, this is a pathetic yet non-judgmental blog. (Scotch is already legal, so it’s all good.) Social justice is cool, but being financially independent is a more achievable goal. There’s no shame in success, no apology to be made for earning big money and wanting to keep it. Capricious taxation is not the prerogative of any politician or government, and you have the legal right to avoid paying more than your legislated fair share.

So in the spirit of constructive rebellion, and a ringing defence of the downtrodden affluent, (some of whom may actually be old, white, hetero guys) tune in tomorrow for a Tax Trash Manifesto – 10 Things the Prime Minister does Not Want you to Know.

Bring a helmet.

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December 26th, 2017

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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