I was walking down the street in downtown Ottawa yesterday, and this ad passed me on the side of a bus:
My first reaction was, “they’ve got to be kidding”. My second was to look them up online.
People for Corporate Tax Cuts is a huge campaign by the union representing the Province of Ontario’s public servants (OPSEU). They also posted a manifesto. Here is part of it:
“Corporate tax cuts boost profits automatically. These profits, corporations tell us, pay for new investment, which creates jobs for working people. Therefore, workers should support lower corporate taxes, right?
That’s what we’re told. It’s certainly what Premier McGuinty thinks. Their plan gives corporations tax cuts worth more than $8 billion a year. Over half of this tax cut comes from the Harmonized Sales Tax, which the Ontario Chamber of Commerce lobbied for and got. More than $2.4 billion of it is a cut in the Corporate Income Tax rate.
‘People for Corporate Tax Cuts’ is all about this $2.4 billion cut. All of the $2.4 billion goes to profitable corporations; most of it goes to corporations who quite clearly do not need it. The Big Six banks, for example, made $14 billion in profits in 2009, and that was after they paid out $8 billion in bonuses. There is no reason to think that giving more money to Rogers Communications (2009 profits of $1.5 billion) or Great West Life ($1.7 billion) will create any jobs. These tax cuts are strictly no strings attached!
Of all the ways the government could spend $2.4 billion, corporate income tax cuts are just about the poorest choice. For every dollar a government spends on corporate tax cuts, we get 30 cents back in economic growth. In contrast, every dollar we spend supporting unemployed and low-income people brings $1.70 in economic growth.
It’s easy to see why. People who are broke spend every penny they have. People and companies who are well-off do something else. They might go on trips to Paris. They might invest in other countries. They might pay down debt. They might save their cash until a better idea comes along. None of that creates jobs here at home.”
They also noted, “there has never been an OPSEU campaign like this one.” And they weren’t exaggerating. The broad and complex satire has three bus boards (like the one I saw), four bus shelter posters, a series of fake classified ads.
There is also a seemingly endless collection of videos by “People for Corporate Tax Cuts” as well as various people finding bizarre ways to save the extra $500 they’ll have to pay in provincial income tax to compensate for lost revenue.
The production is deliberately cheap and cheesy, but it’s appropriate when you’re making fun of an issue. Plus, perhaps that’s what give OPSEU the opportunity to do so much creative. I think it’s a lot of fun, while delivering a pretty solid message.
UPDATED: They have also released this hilarious song, stating “It’s been called the greatest song since ‘We are the world’” :
See more after the break.
See the rest of the print here.
More videos on the People for Corporate Tax Cuts YouTube Channel.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union