No ‘free lunch’ with debt-financed government spending

Warning about running deficits

Proponents focus on the average fiscal cost of program spending when the interest rate on government debt is less than the economy’s growth rate. They ignore the potentially large marginal fiscal cost of deficit-financed increases in spending that arise when a higher public debt increases interest rates on government debt and lowers growth rates. Read this articleNo ‘free lunch’ with debt-financed government spending

Evaluation of federal transfers to the provinces

The federal equalization program and per-capita block grants such as the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer have their critics. But equalization helps to prevent outmigration from “have-not” provinces, and block grants in effect substitute federal taxes for less efficient provincial ones. Read this articleEvaluation of federal transfers to the provinces

A new tool to understand Canada’s fiscal sustainability

A new tool from Finances of the Nation helps make sense of the long-term fiscal future of Canada’s federal government. Under several reasonable scenarios, the government’s finances are sound. But under others, concerns around long-run sustainability may mount. Read this articleA new tool to understand Canada’s fiscal sustainability

Will federal finances improve this year?

The ongoing recovery from COVID has been stronger than many suspected and many emergency support programs have ended. Using the latest federal Fiscal Monitor data, we explore revenue and expense trends. We present a simple forecasting model to project revenue, expense and the federal deficit to the end of the fiscal year. Read this articleWill federal finances improve this year?

The Conservative Party’s innovation platform: a mixed bag of good, bad, and indifferent policies

Stock image innovation, idea

Canada’s innovation policy framework could be changed for the better. Unfortunately, not all the measures proposed in the Conservative platform offer clear-cut improvements. Read this articleThe Conservative Party’s innovation platform: a mixed bag of good, bad, and indifferent policies

Are the rich really getting poorer in Canada?

The rise of small-business incorporation is suppressing taxable incomes of rich Canadians. The growing gulf between top personal tax rates and the low rates paid by small CCPCs is driving the rise of incorporation. Read this articleAre the rich really getting poorer in Canada?

Debt Aversion in Canada Since the 1980s: Are things about to change?

For the past 35 years, debt aversion has been an organizing principle of Canada’s federal fiscal policy. This commentary demonstrates the fact of fiscal policy continuity focused on debt aversion since the 1980s and asks whether the current surge in debt is simply an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession or the beginning of a new era of fiscal policy that is markedly less focused on avoiding debt. Read this articleDebt Aversion in Canada Since the 1980s: Are things about to change?