Monday, March 19, 2007

Budget Blues

Somebody remind me again, who is running the federal government, Conservatives or Liberals?

I have to ask because today's budget sure looks like something the Liberals or maybe even the NDP could have concocted.

Yes, there were some targeted tax cuts for families and a few tax changes to help business, but overall this budget was all about one thing: SPENDING.

Conservatives were supposed to CUT spending; not increase it.

You can see the NCC news release on the budget here.

But what really gets me about today's budget speech is Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's comment about providing more funding to the Canada Revenue Agency to ensure "every company pays its fair share of tax."

Since when do Conservatives want to increase the government's efficiency when it comes to collecting taxes?

They have a $13 billion surplus for Pete's sake, isn't that enough?!

Talk about greedy.

Maybe it's time the Tories forgot about the politics and re-focused on the ideology.

They certainly need a refresher course in Conservatism 101.

Update:

Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran has more.

4 comments:

Hoodwinked said...

GREAT POSTING, Gerry - Bravo, Bravo!!

Miles Lunn said...

I think Harper would love to slash spending, but knows that it would cost him politically. If we faced a high deficit, he probably could do it and if he had a majority, there would be three years to show it works, but with a minority government, unless the Conservatives want to be back in opposition it would be politically stupid. You can argue all you want for a certain ideology, but if the public won't buy it, it is pretty much useless.

Ace said...

Oddly enough I agree with Miles. It's impossible for Harper to slash spending while we have a multi-billion dollar surplus in a minority govt. situation.

Considering half of the so-called 7% increase in spending is actually a "fiscal imbalance" transfer and also provides incentives for provinces to slash capital taxes(the worst of the lot)...in other words, some of it is actually a hidden tax cut which will also appease the Bloc.

So discretionary spending is up 3.5%, which is slightly higher than the growth in the overall economy - some of which is also badly needed military spending. Think about what Bucky Dithers would've done (12%+ spending increase in 2005).

I wish he'd got rid of all these little tax credits in favour of one big move like income splitting. That would've been much bolder and more Harper-esque(leader-like).

We can whine all we want about tax credits for fuel-efficient vehicles, but in reality all so-called "fiscal conservatives" like this idea (even John McCain or George Bush).

I give the budget a B-, I'm not impressed but there are limits to what Harper can do.

mostlyfree said...

I've gotten hardcore enough that I'm now completely opposed to targeted tax cuts, which leaves the positive offerings of the budget mighty slim...

Even the policies I agreed with on principle were enacted (or not countered) in such a way that I can't be happy with them. And just a small broad-based income tax would have made me feel better, but I am not comfortable with this budget.