Conservative Economic Record Gets Slammed

Julian Wolfe
November 10th, 2011

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae criticized the government's fiscal management Wednesday during a speech, and talked about his party's vision for economic prosperity.
Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae slammed the Tory’s recent financial statement and offered up his own recipe to fixing Canada’s ailing economy.

With no surprise, the budget won’t be balanced on time and seeing how “prudent” the Conservatives are, they may even go into the next election with a deficit. Not only are the Conservatives wasting our money on its ominous crime bill and new prisons, its plan to buy 65 F-35s with an untendered contract, the previous G20 summit, their plane rides and hospitality, and all those Government of Canada ads on TV – not to mention the huge campaign for its failed “economic Action Plan,” it has significantly increased the size of government and has significantly reduced the amount of efficiency in our services. With all those new senate appointments and a plan to make the senate a costly new elected house, along with the addition of 30 new MPs and a slew of bureaucrats, the Conservatives have broken the traditional Conservative rhetoric of reducing Government size  – rhetoric that Canada really needs right about now…

“We have to come back and say to Mr. Flaherty, ‘If you want to be taken seriously as a manager of the economy, you’re going to have to deal with the waste in your government.’ We are certainly going to be focusing more and more of our attention on how wasteful some of their spending is and how it’s not productive,” Rae said.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives plan to tax job creators  by raising Employment Insurance Premiums for employees and employers which will make hiring more expensive and less attractive by January 1, 2012. The media are saying that Flaherty is saving Canadians $500 million in taxes for deciding to raise it by half of what he had initially announced. Essentially, Canadians are saving millions because instead of raising EI premiums to 10 cents per 100 for employees and 14 cents per 100 for employers, Flaherty is only raising the premiums by 5 cents per 100 for employees and 7 cents for employers? Some of these journalists need to learn the facts and end their love affair with the Tories.

The Liberals under Bob Rae are demanding an outright freeze on Employment Insurance Premiums.

“This is the wrong time to be raising direct taxes on jobs,” said Rae. “A premium is a tax and payroll taxes discourage hiring. The additional burden of $600 million on businesses is coming just as the economy is slowing down. We still think the Conservatives should change course even further.”

Rae stated that he would look to job growth, investment in infrastructure and a simpler tax code to fix the economy, stating that cuts and austerity alone won’t fix the economy as the economy isn’t growing which is the assumption that was made when Flaherty and the Conservatives decided to pay a private firm to help them figure out how to implement austerity. He also signaled that new approaches to education, healthcare, transit , poverty, innovation and greening would be necessary for economic renewal.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives attacked back and used Rae’s past as an NDP premier in Ontario to hold him to the wall. “Rae’s economic mismanagement was a complete disaster for workers and taxpayers,” Ted Menzies said, adding that Rae continues to pursue policies that would “kill jobs” and raise taxes.

The Parliamentary Budget Watchdog has also taken a swing at the Tory’s economic plan saying that it is “unrealistic” in the wake of the upcoming global downturn. Flaherty based his entire budget assumptions on 2.1% growth while Page projects growth to be as sluggish as 1.5%. If this is the case, government revenue will drop $50 billion than predicted annually. Based on this, in 2014-2015, Ottawa will be in an $18.7-billion hole.

A balanced approach is what is needed to fix the economy and neither the Conservatives or NDP can come up with something that will truly work. The Conservatives will fund their inner circle and bureaucracy while starving public services and regular individuals. Meanwhile, the NDP will embark on the biggest tax and spend avenue that this country has ever seen and when they realize that raising taxes will ultimately backfire, this country will be in a deeper hole than it was with the Conservatives.

Had the NDP come to power in May, Canada would be engaged with over $76 billion in new spending with taxes to every corporation and wealthy person in the country. While these new taxes would bring in a great new revenue from the top 1%, its sustainability would be shaky as these companies and persons will leave to more tax-friendly countries in the world. When this happens, the revenue will decrease and the NDP will be left with no other option than to tax us all directly. When that doesn’t bring in the desired revenue, and people overwhelmingly reject the tax burden, Canada will find itself in a very deep and unforgiving pit.

The best way to fix the economy is to make it more sustainable and more efficient. Efficiency doesn’t have to mean cuts, it just means that we should be getting more for the value of the money that we input, which currently, we don’t. It means that old Computer systems which run software as old and vulnerable to security threats as Windows 98 would have to be updated to the newest and most productive technologies. It means making sure that services in Canada have the tools they need to get the job done and it means cutting the unnecessary fat that has been added by the Conservatives and their friends.

This will also mean reforms in our education systems and healthcare systems to make them more accessible and more tailored to modernizing needs as without them, society and the economy will crumble in the wake of a drastically changing world that puts modernized countries like Canada at the bottom of the food chain if they continue to put greed and inefficiency ahead of innovation and value.

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   Categories: Bureaucracy, Conservative, Crime, Economy, Education, Environment, Government Mismanagement, Harper, Healthcare, Liberal, NDP, Rae, Senate, Taxes

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