The comparison between a Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition government led by Michael Ignatieff versus and a Conservative majority government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, couldn’t have been more stark with yesterday’s announcements.
On May 2nd, 2011, Canadians will have to choose between a social spending government modelled on the Trudeau 1970s or the former Conservative government’s steady-as-you-go approach that has made Canada the envy of G7 nations.
As I wrote on March 27th, 2011, that by raising the corporate tax rate from its current 16.5% to 18%, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would bite the very hand that feeds the economy.
Ignatieff laid out the Liberal Party of Canada’s Red Book # 2 yesterday, which included a promise to give small businesses a break for hiring young people between the ages of 18 and 25. A good idea in principle, it would, unfortunately, require raising the corporate tax rate to pay for it and all their other social program promises — which would completely cancel out the youth incentive benefits.
Moreover, there is some disagreement as to whether the corporate tax increases would even pay for all the social spending the Liberals are promising. Of course, we only need to remember Red Book # 1 — the Jean Chretien Liberals were going to “axe the tax” (the GST) and implement a national day care program — neither of which ever happened. As John Ivison writes today, none of their ideas are original and few of the original ideas are sound.
However, it’s the increased corporate taxes that would cripple the Canadian economy. They not only reduce competitiveness and job creation in large corporations, but in small and medium-sized businesses as well — the very backbone of our wealth generation.
I mean, why attack large corporations when they are the largest employers? Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that the government, with the opposition’s agreement, bailed out the auto manufacturing sector. Do those thousands upon thousands of well paid union jobs not count?
Liberals just want to spend, spend, spend. They say it is just a question of priorities. Well, at a time when the country can least afford it, in the midst of a global recession, you don’t pretend you will have money when you won’t. As Jack Mintz says, in terms of the $6 billion the Liberals say they will make from increasing corporate taxes, the emperor (Ignatieff) has no clothes!
As such, I agree with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, when he said on the CBC’s The National last evening that what the country needs is a steady-as-you-go fiscal approach and to implement social promises only when the deficit is gone.
Hopefully, Canadians will choose stability and good money management on May 2nd and vote for their Conservative candidate.
Endnotes: (1) See also Blue Like You’s “Corporate Tax Cut Canard,” Hunter’s “Instant Gratification, and” N.B. Tory Gal‘s timely reflections. (2) I originally had a link to a Toronto Star column by Josh Ruben. However, I removed it after publishing because of the extremely offensive pro-Liberal, anti-Conservative government ad above the column. However, quotes by Catherine Swift, the President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, on the negative affects of increasing corporate taxes, can be found on this post as well.