Friday, September 5, 2008

Just what is Harper’s economic record......the number one upcoming campaign issue?



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.

2 comments:

Polyian said...

Harper has taken Canada from an economic surplus of over $10 billion to the brink of recession. The number one reason he wants to go to the polls now is he knows it will only get worse....and he has no plan to help deal with a downturn and no Finance Minister with a brain to come up with anything to help.

Where's My Canada? said...

Here's some chilling information, contained in an interview of Tom Flanagan, Harper's campaign manager, economic guru, and "soul-mate".

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/subscriber/westview/story/4161083p-4748030c.html

Many have suspected Harper of a hidden agenda. We can now read for ourselves what it is: namely the weakening of the federal government, its tax base, its ability to create any new programs, and the ultimately, the Balkanization of Canada.... and its eventual dissolution.

Now certain inexplicable things begin to make sense.
1. The rapid Tory intervention into the Quebec as sovereign nation issue that was threatening to split the Liberal party. Harper immediate moved to grant Quebec that status. At the time I thought it was a political blunder, but now I see how it plays into the larger plan.
2. The attempts to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board.
3. The Income Trust debacle. It has been proven over and over that there was no "tax leakage" caused by ITs. Rather there is real tax leakage caused by all the leveraged buyouts in the wake of the punitive new tax on ITs. Of course, if your aim is to starve the federal government of revenue sources, this makes perfect sense. And, I would go so far as to say, if you want a Finance Minister who is willing and able to turn a massive $13 Billion surplus into a deficit, then Flaherty is your man.

This is no longer a "conspiracy theory". It is the stated policy of Harper and Flanagan.

"They've gradually re-engineered the system. I'm quite impressed with it," Flanagan told The Canadian Press. "They're boxing in the ability of the federal government to come up with new program ideas... The federal government is now more constrained, the provinces have more revenue and conservatives should be happy."
Harper "really didn't have the option of the cataclysmic approach because you can't do that without a majority," Flanagan continued. "So he's made the incremental approach work -- all the time having the insecurity of a minority government. It's really quite a performance, I think... Over a period of a few years they've got all this in place and they never appeared to be making a radical shift. But the cumulative impact of all these together is creating a new profile."

Chilling.