Tag: tax policy

Fair Tax


Taxes cannot be judged as fair in isolation.  Taxes are a byproduct of government spending.  They never exist by themselves. The result of the normal “fair tax” discussion is one of who should pay and how much.  The conventional wisdom is that those with… Continue Reading “Fair Tax”

Address Taxation


All tools are designed to get a task completed in an efficient way. A power saw will cut wood into desired shapes much more quickly than a hand saw will do. However, if you try to do it without plugging it in, you will… Continue Reading “Address Taxation”

The Bait In The Trap


I had coffee recently with my friend, Brian MacKenzie.  He was kind enough to comment on an earlier blog to point out that I may be being naive to believe that government can change their ways or even have the ability to cause change. … Continue Reading “The Bait In The Trap”

Good Accounting Makes For Easier Decisions


When you do not account for all the costs of doing things, you misunderstand the cues. When you misunderstand the cues, you think there are incentives to do things that in practice will not work or maybe miss things that will work. For example,… Continue Reading “Good Accounting Makes For Easier Decisions”

What Am I Missing?


For the past 18 months or so I have been fascinated by the pundits, by news items like Occupy Wall Street, by the debate about the spread between rich and poor, by the decline of the middle class, by outsourcing and by the 1%… Continue Reading “What Am I Missing?”

Tax Alpha


In investment parlance alpha is the risk-adjusted excess return, after fees, of a fund compared to a benchmark index.  It is very difficult to achieve a positive investment alpha over a long period.  Wise investors look to more than the fund manager for alpha. … Continue Reading “Tax Alpha”

The Idea of “Tax Expenditures” Makes Me Crazy


There are not many things that make me completely crazy, but one of them is the idea of “tax expenditures.”  The National Post published an opinion piece March 28th that is an example of my point.  Getting a Handle On Canada’s Tax Gap is… Continue Reading “The Idea of “Tax Expenditures” Makes Me Crazy”

Applying Sutton’s Law


Sutton’s Law requires that simple plans be implemented before complex ones. The model form is, you rob banks because that is where the money is. The problem is that many stop there and do not pay attention to what happens next. Eventually banks grow… Continue Reading “Applying Sutton’s Law”

Tax Rates Have Increased


You will recall, from 3 weeks ago, the fiscal cliff and the discussion of income tax rates increasing and those higher rates having an adverse affect on the economy. People are concerned that either the rich people need to pay more, or they need… Continue Reading “Tax Rates Have Increased”

Fair Taxation Is Impossible Without Responsible Government Spending


Some taxes are better than others, but there is no such thing as a fair tax. We have reached the point where people think others are not paying their fair share, whatever that means.  Fair share of what?  What is your fair share of… Continue Reading “Fair Taxation Is Impossible Without Responsible Government Spending”

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