"He's not a taxman, he's the taxman"

The Saskatchewan government is planning to cut the Saskatchewan tax film credit to zero over the next two fiscal years. As is typical when this happens, the recipients of the government largesse go apeshit about it.

Look, you can almost -- almost -- look past the blatent lies (as Kate notices, Little Mosque on the Prairie isn't even filmed in Saskabush), you can almost look past the nonsense that this tax cut has "generated" economic spinoff (it has not, you may note, have even generated as much economic spinoff as the cost to the Treasury -- by ACTRA's own numbers -- let alone generated enough economic spinoff to generate more in taxes than the cost to the Treasury), you could probably accept all of this.

If they weren't such damn hypocrites.

Let's look at this story about the possibility of a Corner Gas reunion movie:

A Corner Gas reunion, if there is one, won't be filmed in Saskatchewan unless the provincial government reinstates the film employment tax credit, the show's executive producer says.

"Imagine if I wanted to do something with Corner Gas, some kind of reunion - I couldn't film it in Saskatchewan," said Verite Films' Virginia Thompson, whose 15-year history in the province includes producing the successful comedy plus InSecurity, renegadepress. com and Incredible Story Studio.

"I will be told by my investors to go to another province," Thompson said about trying to film a project in Saskatchewan without the tax credit available. "I'm hoping this will be looked at - it seems there's been an oversight. This is not an unsophisticated government, (but) this doesn't make sense."
So let's get this straight: investors who are looking at a big screen version of Canada's most popular sitcom in fifteen years - twenty-five years - forty years ever, a sitcom that was explicitly and primarily about a specific geographical location would think that it would be better -- to save a lousy million on production costs -- to abandon that geographical location? Does Virginia Thompson or her investors even know what "expected returns" means? Hey I know, let's save a whole lot of cash on that next Star Trek movie by, instead of spending production dollars on special effects shots and futuristic sets, instead film it on the unaltered streets of Boise, Idaho so we can take advantage of the local tax credit. We'll make a killing! If that sounds like a smart idea to you, you're probably Virginia Thompson's investor.

The real hypocrisy, of course, is when you remember who wrote Corner Gas: Mark Farrell, Paul Mather, Kevin White, Andrew Carr, and Brent Butt. With the exception of that last name, every one of those writers was previously best known for working for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a far left CBC show which year after year showed its contempt for conservative politics, policies, and politicians. This was the show that NDP faggot Rick Mercer became famous for too, remember. A bunch of extreme leftists who'd never met a tax hike they didn't like, thought that its only "fair" that people's hard earned dollars go to support Big Government, and that raising these taxes had absolutely no impact whatsoever on how people behaved and denied until the cows came home that raising taxes came with any loss of economic benefit.

Until their tax exemption was at risk, and they were in danger of paying the same taxes that you or I pay. Now suddenly look who's concerned about people leaving the province and losing their jobs if they suddenly see a tax increase. It brings to mind Alec Baldwin's rapid switch from 2006 to 2009:
These tax cuts are not only to make Bush’s wealthiest supporters richer, they are intended to hurt less powerful Americans by killing many of the social programs they depend on. That is the legacy of this Republican-controlled Congress. To hurt those who aren’t wealthy enough to write Bush-Cheney a big check. I urge all Americans to keep that in mind during this election cycle. A Republican-controlled Congress is killing important social programs that we all depend on, so that Bush’s friends can avoid paying a reasonable share of their taxes.
How quickly things change. Fast forward to 2009, and Baldwin discovers the power of tax dis-incentives when it comes to an industry he happens to care about:
We’re constantly told that taxes don’t matter to business and investors, but listen to that noted supply-side economist, Alec Baldwin. The actor recently rebuked New York Governor David Paterson for threatening to try to help close the state’s $7 billion budget deficit by canceling a 35% tax credit for films shot in the Big Apple.
If This Hour Has 22 Minutes has suddenly embraced the concept that a tax increase diminishes the labours people perform and chases people elsewhere, I'd love for somebody to send in a clip. Yet they haven't. They wonder why until Brad Wall Saskatchewan was broke and now it's booming (special help from Red Redford and Coward Stelmach in Alberta, let's be fair) and don't think it has anything to do with reducing such targeted "tax credits" in favour of actual tax cuts. After all, the movie companies aren't cut off the moment their tax credit actually exceeds the amount of tax money they give the Saskatchewan Government. Oh heavens no! That system would almost be fair -- assuming, of course, that all businesses (not just movie companies and TV programs) got to cash in on it. Instead, if you're tax credit is $2 million, you just get a cheque for $2 million. Whether or not you spent that in taxes is irrelevant. So in the end, its not even a targeted tax credit: it's a payout, like most of the tax credits end up becoming in the United States.

Yet if Corner Gas really is going to have to relocate from Saskatchewan for the reunion, what will they do with it? Well, borrowing a page from Fubar 2 perhaps Hank, tired of being unemployed, can move to Alberta and work in Fort McMurray. There, despite his lack of higher education, he can get a job making a killing driving one of those giant trucks that hauls the sand off to be processed.

These scenes practically write themselves.

The whole gang can be involved: Wanda, Karen, and Lacey would find that there are huge hordes of men to help them get over their singles hump, Oscar will be totally at home with rig piggers, and I'm sure there'll be something for Brent Butt to do. It would be a Corner Gas reunion all right, but like the (wildly successful) The Hangover 2 or Sex and the City 2 viewers will love the idea of their familiar friends having almost identical adventures in a wild new crazy setting! Just the reboot we were looking for.

Well, okay, I'm not sure Virginia Thompson's investors will warm to that idea either, and one thing to keep in mind is that (despite the excessive amount of money the Alberta Government gives to film a movie here) Alberta is a pretty expensive place to film a movie. Why? Our economy is booming. Why? Well, we're still reaping the benefits of almost two decades ago when we elected our own Brad Wall. On April 23rd we may manage to elect another one.

We won't feel bad that we didn't get to interact daily with the cast and writers from Little Mosque on the Prairie.

(here's Adam Carolla on the same topic):