Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Agree with Erin Weir?

I think I do!
And more deeply than you might imagine.
Now I don't buy the tone here (I think it was very wise of Harper to avoid the day of the blowhards at the UN) but I think we mesh on content.

Nevertheless, far too many journalists followed Harper’s trail of stale doughnuts to Oakville. Canadian Press wrote a print story. Both Global National and CBC’s The National accorded it prime-time television coverage.
The Toronto Star and Global TV criticized Harper for blowing off the opening of the United Nations General Assembly to do the tacky photo-op. However, some critical assessment is also needed of the Tim Hortons “story” itself.

Weir hits directly my main question.
As a registered Canadian corporation, will it be paying any additional tax to the Canadian government? Will it be relocating any facilities or jobs north of the border? Neither the Prime Minister nor Tim Hortons have even suggested any such benefits for Canada.

I imagine MAYBE they have moved some administrative jobs back to Canada, but it won't be many. The company is publicly traded and, so far as I know, its shareholders could live anywhere. So why should Canadians much care?

As far as I can tell, the only consequence of Tim Hortons’ reorganization is that it will pay less American tax. The US government taxes the global profits of US corporations, which had no effect on Tim Hortons when Canadian corporate taxes were a little higher than American corporate taxes. Now that Canadian corporate taxes are lower, it is better off as a Canadian corporation because it will pay the higher American tax rate only on its American profits.

Now I personally think corporate tax is highly regressive, and am surprised at these Progressive Economics people, but I thoroughly agree that the re-registration of Tim Horton's as a Canadian corporation is a piffle story at best. Still, I am pleased Harper did not go waste time on the blowhards in New York.
UPDATE: You might get the feeling I don't think it much matters to Canada whether the company is owned by Canadians or Mauritanians. You'd be right.


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