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Trudeau’s Digital Services Tax threatens taxpayers and the economy

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6 minute read

From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Jay Goldberg

In other words, Trudeau is imposing a multi-billion-dollar tax on taxpayers – at a time when 50 per cent of Canadians say they’re $200 away from not being able to pay their bills.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau managed to do two terrible things in one fell swoop: raise costs for Canadians at a time they can least afford it and risk a trade war with the United States.

The Trudeau government pushed its new Digital Services Tax through Parliament before quitting for the summer.

The government’s DST targets large foreign companies operating online marketplaces and social media platforms earning revenue from online advertising, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Airbnb. It is a three per cent tax on all revenue these companies generate in Canada.

Two red flags should pop up immediately for taxpayers. First, these companies won’t just eat the tax without passing costs onto consumers. And second, the United States government is sure to retaliate.

On the first point, there were clear signs that prices for Canadian consumers would increase because of this tax long before it was passed into law.

When the DST was in its proposal stage, the Parliamentary Budget Officer did an estimate of how much the government’s new tax would cost Canadians.

The PBO estimated the government’s DST would lead to an additional $7.2 billion in federal tax revenue over the next five years.

Where is that money coming from?

While major foreign companies will be the ones paying the tax directly, Canadian consumers will be hit with the bill.

It is “expected that businesses in the targeted sectors will adjust their services and prices in response to the new law,” the PBO said.

In other words, Trudeau is imposing a multi-billion-dollar tax on taxpayers – at a time when 50 per cent of Canadians say they’re $200 away from not being able to pay their bills.

Not only is Trudeau’s new DST going to increase costs for consumers, Canada also risks a trade war with the United States over the tax, which would cost Canadians even more.

In the wake of Trudeau’s DST getting through Parliament, the United States Trade Representative warned the U.S. will “do what’s necessary” to respond to the Trudeau’s new tax. USTR Katharine Tai warns she will look at “all available tools” as part of the U.S. response.

Tai’s isn’t the only voice in the U.S. calling for retaliatory action.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Uber that will be targeted by Trudeau’s new tax, is calling on the Biden administration to fight back.

“With Canada’s DST now law, the time has come to announce [retaliatory] action,” said the association’s vice president, Jonathan McHale.

The president and CEO of the Tax Foundation is warning that U.S. retaliation would likely come through hiking tariffs on imports from Canada.

Given that the U.S. is by far Canada’s largest trading partner, making it more expensive to get Canadian goods into the American marketplace could have a detrimental impact on Canada’s economy, costing us both economic growth and jobs.

More than two years ago, the USTR warned against the Trudeau government taking measures that “single out American firms for taxation while effectively excluding national firms engaged in similar lines of business.”

But Trudeau chose to ignore those warnings and do exactly that.

To add insult to injury, the law authorizing the Trudeau government to bring the DST into effect (whenever it so chooses) allows it to do so retroactively, all the way back to 2022. Companies could be on the hook for huge sums for tax years in which the law didn’t even exist.

No wonder the Americans are threatening to fight back.

The bottom line is that Trudeau has put Canada in a terrible position. He is risking higher prices for Canadians and tariffs on our exports to the U.S. market, all in a lust for more cash. And the revenue the government is likely to bring in through the DST, an average of $1.4 billion a year, would be spent by this government in just one day.

It’s not too late for Trudeau to back down. Cabinet could choose not to bring the tax into force and avoid retaliation from the US.

For the good of taxpayers and the Canadian economy, Trudeau must abandon the DST.

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Brownstone Institute

Censorship and the Corruption of Advertising

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From the Brownstone Institute

The most powerful companies in the world have united against free speech, and they’ve deployed your tax dollars to fund their mission.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on the little-known Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and its pernicious promotion of censorship. GARM is a branch of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), a global association representing over 150 of the world’s biggest brands, including Adidas, British Petroleum, Nike, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Walmart, and Visa.

The WFA represents 90% of global advertising spending, accounting for almost $1 trillion per year. But instead of helping its clients reach the broadest market share possible, the WFA has appointed itself a supranational force for censorship.

Rob Rakowitz and the Mission to Supplant the First Amendment

Rob Rakowitz, the leader of the WFA, holds a particular disdain for free speech. He has derided the First Amendment and the “extreme global interpretation of the US Constitution,” which he dismissed as “literal law from 230 years ago (made by white men exclusively).”

Rakowitz led GARM’s effort to boycott advertising on Twitter in response to Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company. GARM bragged that it was “taking on Elon Musk” and driving the company’s advertising income “80% below revenue forecasts.”

Rakowitz also championed the unsuccessful effort to have Spotify deplatform Joe Rogan after he expressed skepticism for young, healthy men taking the Covid vaccine. Rakowitz attempted to intimidate Spotify executives by demanding to hold a meeting with them and a team that he said represented “P&G [Proctor and Gamble], Unilever, Mars,” and five advertising conglomerates. When a Spotify employee said he would meet with Rakowitz but not his censorsial consortium, Rakowitz forwarded the message to his partner, writing “this man needs a smack” for denying his demands.

The WFA extended its efforts to direct manipulation of the news market. Through a partnership with the taxpayer-funded Global Disinformation Index, GARM launched “exclusion lists,” which created de facto boycotts from advertising on “risky” sites, which it described as those that showed the “greatest level of disinformation risk.” These lists included the New York Post, RealClearPolitics, the Daily Wire, TheBlaze, Reason Magazine, and The Federalist. Left-wing outlets, such as the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed News, were placed on the list of “Least risky sites,” which facilitated increased advertising revenue.

GARM, the WFA, and Rakowitz is the latest scandal demonstrating the destruction of our liberties at the hands of consolidated power. Like the Trusted News Initiative or the Biden White House’s censorship efforts, the aim is to remove all sources of dissent to pave the way for the further corporatization of the oligarchy that increasingly replaces our republic.

The WFA’s Attack on Democracy

Just as Rakowitz could not hide his contempt for the First Amendment, WFA CEO Stephan Loerke demanded that his conglomerate overtake the democratic process.

In preparation for the Cannes Lions Festival (a gathering of billionaires and multinational corporations in the South of France every June), Loerke released a statement demanding companies “stay the course on DEI and sustainability.” According to Loerke, these policies must include responses to “climate change” and the promotion of “net zero” policies,” which have already wreaked havoc on Europeans’ quality of life.

Loerke wrote: “If we step back, who will push for progress on these vital areas?” Though he suggests the answer must be nobody, traditionally self-governing countries would charter their own courses in those “vital areas.” And in that paradigm, the corporation would be subordinate to the state.

But instead, the WFA has inverted that system. Through its clients, the trillion-dollar behemoth extracts money from governments and then deploys those funds to demand that we accept their reshaping of our culture. The parasite becomes the arbiter of “progress,” eroding the society responsible for its very existence.

As the WFA sought to punish any groups that criticized the Covid response, its client Abbott Laboratories received billions of dollars in federal funding to promote Covid tests in the US Army. As Loerke demands “net zero” policies that will unravel the Western way of life, WFA patrons like DellGEIBM, and Microsoft receive billions in revenue  from the US Security State.

The organization is fundamentally detached from traditional advertising, which aims to connect businesses with consumers to sell products or services; instead, it is a force for geopolitical and cultural manipulation.

Perhaps no WFA client better represents this phenomenon than AB InBev, the parent company to Bud Light, which destroyed billions of dollars in market value last year after selecting Dylan Mulvaney as the icon for its advertising campaign.

On its surface, the selection of Mulvaney as a spokesman appeared to be the result of an executive class detached from their clientele. But Rakowitz and the WFA reveal a deeper truth; they don’t misunderstand the public, they loathe them.

The organization is a force designed to punish them for their unfavorable, unapproved belief systems. It is an attack on the freedoms written into our Constitution as “literal law from 230 years ago,” as Rakowitz scoffed. The mission is to eviscerate “the right to receive information and ideas,” as our Supreme Court recognized in Stanley v. Georgia, and to make our republic subservient to its corporate oligarchy.

The stakes here are very high. The economic revolution of the 15th century and following was about a dramatic shift in decision-making, away from elites and toward the common people. With that came a wider distribution of property and rising wealth over many centuries, culminating in the late 19th century. Along with that came a shift in the focus of marketing, away from elites and toward everyone else.

The consolidation of advertising and its control by states strikes at the very heart of what free economies are supposed to be about. And yet, states that desire maximum control over the public mind must go there. They must gain full hegemony and that includes advertising. It should be stopped before it is too late to restore freedom over corporatism.

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Brownstone Institute is a nonprofit organization conceived of in May 2021 in support of a society that minimizes the role of violence in public life.

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Censorship Industrial Complex

Elon Musk said the EU offered X an ‘illegal deal’ if it would quietly censor speech

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From LifeSiteNews

By Andreas Wailzer

‘The European Commission offered 𝕏 an illegal secret deal: if we quietly censored speech without telling anyone, they would not fine us,’ Elon Musk wrote on July 12.

Elon Musk has said that the European Union (E.U.) offered his social media platform X an “illegal deal” to quietly censor speech so the company would not get fined.

“The European Commission offered 𝕏 an illegal secret deal: if we quietly censored speech without telling anyone, they would not fine us,” Musk wrote on X on July 12.

“The other platforms accepted that deal. 𝕏 did not,” he added.

The tech billionaire posted these comments in response to a post by Margrethe Vestager, the Vice-President of E.U.’s Digital Commission. She wrote that X “doesn’t comply with the DSA [Digital Service Act] in key transparency areas.”

Musk announced he will take the E.U. “to a very public battle in court, so that the people of Europe can know the truth.”

Thierry Breton, the E.U.’s Commissioner for Internal Market, responded to the tech billionaire, denying the existence of a “secret deal” offered to X and other social media platforms.

“There has never been — and will never be — any ‘secret deal.’ With anyone,” Breton insisted.

“The DSA provides X (and any large platform) with the possibility to offer commitments to settle a case.”

“We did it in line with established regulatory procedures,” he continued. “Up to you to decide whether to offer commitments or not. That is how rule of law procedures work.”

The E.U. introduced the Digital Service Act (DSA) in August 2023. It grants the E.U. Commission the power to impose heavy fines on large social media platforms operating in the E.U. if they do not comply with its rules on so-called “disinformation” and “hate speech.” Back in August last year, Breton even threatened to shut down social media platforms if they do not comply with the rules in the case of civil unrest, like the riots in France at the time.

As former Trump State Department official Michael Benz pointed out, the E.U. collaborated closely with the left-wing, globalist news rating organization NewsGuard, whose personnel is entangled with the U.S. intelligence agencies and other parts of the U.S. government.

In 2021, the Department of Defense awarded NewsGuard $750,000 for its project “Misinformation Fingerprints,” which aims to combat what it calls “a catalogue of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online.”

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