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Stuck in the middle

A recent press release from the federal government entitled “Making a Strong Canadian Economy Even Stronger” contains a sentence that struck me as odd.

As a result of actions taken in Budget 2007, Canada’s marginal effective tax rate (METR) on new business investment improved from third-highest in the G7 to third-lowest by 2011.

Fair enough, tax rates are projected to decline. But notice how they phrase the context of this reduction. Moving from third highest to third lowest is, in a list of seven countries, a change from third to fifth. Not a dramatic change — we were near the middle and we still are.