Campaigning politicians and elected governments across Canada’s political spectrum strive to position themselves as defenders of the middle class. This is to be expected given the large proportion of the Canadian population that self-identifies as middle class. Since the term lacks precision, it is a claim that can accommodate a wide range of policy proposals. Tax policy serves as a prime vehicle for making this appeal to middle-class voters. Undoubtedly, any tax reform proposal can be examined critically to evaluate its likely distributional impacts and how well these map onto specific definitions of the middle class. This Article attempts, however, a different project. Drawing on the ideas of Judith Butler, it analyzes instead how tax policy produces middle-class identity through the very process of claiming to advance middle-class interests.

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