Having fun with numbers

The CFIB, it seems clear to me, is the organization that represents not entrepreneurs but self-employed people. For me there is a huge difference.

The CFIB comes out with a study showing the strong growth of incorporated self employed individuals in New Brunswick from 2001 to 2006. This ‘coincided’ with favourable tax policy, says the CFIB.

Funny they don’t mention the second highest drop in unincorporated self-employed people in New Brunswick during the same period.

In fact, according to their own report, there were 20,540 unincorporated self-employed people in New Brunswick in 2006 down 2,031 from 2001. There were 10,465 that were incorporated self-employed in 2006 up 1,035 since 2001. So, overal, the number of self-employed persons in New Brunswick dropped by 1,000 from 2001 to 2006.

Now, Jim Foster at the T&T is gushing about this with the headline “Self-employment soars in New Brunswick“.

You tell me. A drop of 1,000 people self-employed from 2001 to 2006 using the very study that Foster got his data from. That is the definition of ‘soars’?

No, unfortunately, all we saw was over 1,000 people running out to get incorporated to take advantage of Bernard Lord’s small business tax cut.

We move people from the higher individual tax rates to the lower small biz rate.

Fine. To what end? Less taxes for the government.

We have debated this ad nauseum and will likely debate it some more but if your goal with a deep small business tax cut is to shift a bunch of professional and trades self-employed people over to a lower tax rate you, then you succeed with Lord’s tax cut.

If, however, your objective with a tax cut is to be stimulative, you have not had the desired result.

And I don’t care how many economists at the CFIB spend their days bloviating about this. They know it and I know it. Bernard Lord made it more lucrative to shift over from paying individual taxes to paying corporate taxes and 1,000 people took him up on his offer.

Why not join up? If this is what the CFIB calls ‘entrepreneurship’, we should all join in. All you do is go to your employer and tell him/her you want to be paid on a contract. Go out, incorporate a small biz (there are fees and forms) and instead of a salary take a monthy fee from your employer. If you are making $75k or more this will likely save you a lot of dough.

The CFIB would love it. We would have thousands of more ‘entrepreneurs’ paying less tax to government.

Better yet, I just had a light bulb moment. Let’s give the CFIB what they really want? Forget all this tax reform – let’s just make everyone a small business.

The absurdity of it all. But maybe I am just cranky because it is late.