Paying a high price for success, even after you die

There’s no hiding from the success tax, but several things can help legally reduce or even eliminate the amount your estate or your heirs pay

Paying a high price for success, even after you dieThere’s no official estate tax in Canada but we do have what I call the success tax. It's what we pay if we’ve been financially successful in a lifetime of investing and asset accumulation. The more successful you’ve been, the greater the tax could be. If you have assets that will be taxable when sold or when deemed to have been…

Does government debt really matter?

Let’s be very careful about electing a government that’s bribing us with our own money

Does government debt really matter?Before we select our next set of national leaders in the Oct. 21 federal election, we should be paying attention to matters that don’t usually concern us day to day, like the treasury. What the treasury does we call fiscal policy, but it’s essentially budgeting: determining levels of revenue (taxes) and expenditure (all the programs…

High net-worth Canadians focusing on preserving their wealth

The reasons for that include market uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil and home-grown tax changes

High net-worth Canadians focusing on preserving their wealthHigh net-worth Canadians are shifting their focus from generating wealth to preserving what they have, with 82 per cent saying it's more important than ever to 'future-proof' their wealth, says a new study released Wednesday by RBC Wealth Management. The reasons for that include market uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil and home-grown tax changes. "While investment and…

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both ends

When a dollar earned triggers higher taxes and simultaneously reduces benefits, what’s left to spend or save?

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both endsA look at effective tax rates across provinces shows that many low-income families in Canada take home 40 cents or less on the additional dollars they earn. The marginal effective tax rate – which accounts for how much you pay in additional income taxes and lose in federal and provincial transfer benefits when you earn…

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental sense

Over the course of a single year, the carbon tax cost each Albertan $286, couples $388 and couples with two children $508

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental senseUtopian legislators in the United States often look with rose-tinted glasses upon the Canadian approach to everything, from higher education and medical care to global warming and international affairs. Since Canadians are the ones who live with such policies, they’re more inclined to recognize their mistakes and reverse the course, as exhibited by Alberta’s carbon…

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spending

Modern monetary theory advocates argue the government should have a magic wand to conjure up money out of thin air.

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spendingLeft to their own devices, politicos every now and then come up with a theory that allows them to promise free lunches. Modern monetary theory (MMT) is all the rage in the United States and Canada among starry-eyed social engineers who see no limits to their intervention. Rather than arising from academic inquiry, debates concerning…

Federal government’s appetite for spending is a serious problem

To pay for this rapid rise in public debt, future generations will face higher taxes

Federal government’s appetite for spending is a serious problemBy Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute With seemingly little regard for the consequences, the current federal government has increased spending throughout its mandate with no sign of change any time soon. This spending trend has been a stark departure from promises made during the 2015 election campaign, when the Liberals pledged to…

We must get federal government spending in check

Despite higher-than-budgeted revenues, there’s been no reduction in the federal deficit in the last four years

We must get federal government spending in checkBy Jason Clemens, Tegan Hill and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute The period from the mid-1960s to 1995 was terrible for federal government finances in Canada. The government borrowed every year but one, interest costs consumed ever-greater shares of revenues, the country’s debt ballooned, and we came within a hair of a currency and debt…

Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groups

The Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla need to put the Ridley Terminal money to work on things that will lead to future returns for their people

Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groupsIf there are any special Canadian values, fairness is surely one of them. We want and expect our laws and courts to be fair. Our economy, too, should give everyone an opportunity to do well. The resulting income streams should not excessively reward the rich nor should our taxes penalize the poor. The United States,…

On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unions

Unions harm workers more than they help. And they seek a bigger slice of the economic pie, even while shrinking the pie through productivity loss

On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unionsLabour Day is a day, as its name suggests, to celebrate labour. This is entirely appropriate – labour is a necessary input for the production of goods and services on which our standards of living rely. We make a mistake, however, when the celebration is of labour unions instead of the workers who supply the…