As a supposed trained economist, albeit one who never practiced his profession outside the halls of the University of Calgary, Stephen Harper has left behind a very sad legacy of economic mismanagement of Canada, by any objective measure of assessment.
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that Stephen Harper thought he could turn economic theory on its head. No where was this more the case than with his two point cut to the GST. Any credible economist ( I guess that excludes Stephen Harper) would have told you that the best way to stimulate the economy, provide the proper incentives and improve overall productivity is to lessen taxes on employment income rather than lessen consumption taxes.
Meanwhile, one even has to seriously question the political wisdom of reducing the GST, since there wasn’t exactly a hue and cry for that measure to occur. Perhaps like George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, Stephen Harper was still fighting the long ago failed battles of his predecessors. Makes you wonder a bit about his thought processes on both an economic and psychological basis.
Meanwhile the only other broad sweeping economic policy that Stephen Harper has brought into effect is the Tax Fairness Plan. On the basis of its name alone this policy was destined for greatness. Unfortunately the policy does not live up to its name and every aspect of this policy of gross tax inequity has been an unmitigated failure, leading to:
The loss of confidence in the Canadian capital markets
The loss of some $35 billion in Canadians’ retirement savings
The loss of essential choice for both investors and business
Material diminution to the lifestyles of Canadian seniors and increased exposure to financial risks, leading to increased reliance on Canada’s social services
Codification of a two tiered pension system in Canada that imposed taxes on those 75% of Canadians without pensions, but exempts those 25% with pensions
Loss of a unique Made in Canada form of low cost capital
Gutting out of Canada’s IPO marketplace
Gutting out of Alberta’s junior resource company marketplace and drill rig activity
Entrenchment of the status quo high cost of capital business model of common share corporations
Massive loss of tax revenue to Ottawa, presently amounting to $2 billion per year, soon expected to rise to $7.5 billion
Major influx of foreign private equity capital into Canada that exploits out tax laws and levers up the privat sector’s balance sheet leading too reduced competitiveness
Massive job losses, eg BCE’s 2500 layoffs, expected to rise to 4,000 in the near term
Bottom line. Now more than ever, as the global economy weakens and the challenges faced by Ottawa become even greater, we need experienced and knowledgeable people in office who have the capacity to do the right thing..... and the smart thing.
This precludes Stephen Harper from consideration in his own self imposed Vanity 2008 Election, cum full panic mode
Upon becoming Canada’s Prime Minister in 2006, Stephen Harper had nothing in his resume to indicate that he was up to such an assignment. Nor did anyone in his cabinet or caucus. Canada’s economic record of the last two and half years with Harper at the helm, by any objective measure, reveals that he is clearly most unsuited to the economic challenges task facing Canada in the days and years ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned or that the evidence for such a conclusion wasn’t abundantly obvious in September of 2008. As for Harper, maybe he could go back and finish that PhD of his? Everyone would be richer for the experience.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 10:03 AM