Thursday, March 22, 2007

Budget Bladerdash

The last two weeks have been a never ending stream of government noise. Here it started with the provincial budget. I always try and watch the budget coverage – professional penance. I actually had to turn it off it was making me so mad. Let me be clear. I do not support any particular political party - I think they’re all pretty stupid. But this time the provincial Liberals win the prize for all time dumbness. First and foremost, they present what they claim is a balanced budget, but in almost the next breath they admit that the provincial debt is increasing due to the budget. This is not balanced by definition. Oh well, chalk it up to creative accounting.

The non-deficit deficit doesn’t really bother me that much. What really pisses me off is the rhetoric about self-sufficiency. The idea seems to be that New Brunswick should work to become less dependent on federal transfers and equalization payments. Commendable. This means we need to make investments and attempt to improve the economy. The key planks of the budget do something entirely different. The standard “investments” in health care and the public education system are maintained (more on this later). But the real changes in the budget are increases in the personal income tax rate and the small business tax rate. Back the truck up Shawn! Increasing personal income tax tends to slow the economy down, not cause it to grow.

Across the country, small and medium enterprises are responsible for most of the economic growth. The logic seems to be we want to grow, so were going to make it harder for the key elements of economic growth to succeed. Granted NB still has one of the lowest small business tax rates in the country, but it is offset by a lot of red tape and government. It also sends a really scary signal. The Liberal government seems to be stuck in a model of government that we thankfully got rid of in the 90’s.

The truly scary thing comes from the census data. Between the two census measurement only two regions in New Brunswick grew. Moncton (ok – that’s an easy one to guess) and the other… No not Saint John. Fredericton. This one has be blamed on the PC party. Government continued to grow under the PC party’s leadership. While the province over all is shrinking, the government continues to grow – this sounds a lot like cancer. The Liberal government is continuing the trend. The only positive I can see is that the NDP isn’t running the provincial government here. We’re not talking the reasonably competent NDP of the prairies here. So I guess it could be a lot worse.But the people of New Brunswick are in extreme danger of being governed to death.


Anonymous said...

I don't know about the NB budget, but I am "ahem" looking forward to the Ontario provincial budget, or maybe I shouldn't.

You know I just noticed something in all this terminology and it is the word budget - which means equality, balanced, and we have not seen one of those in an eternity. When governments say that we have balanced the budget but in fact have massive surpluses - that is not balanced, it means we are getting (for a lack of a better term, maybe you have one Dr.J) screwed.

The federal budget "okay" but it didn't go far enough. And there was a specific tax treatment on foreign loans that no one picked up but only a few of the financial experts that unless admended puts our businesses at a large disadvantage. I liked the bit on the cars though but as I said it didn't go far enough. The way I see it is that people cannot change their behaviour voluntarily, then government will, unfortunately this budget didn't provide enough carrots or sticks, so the same old will continue, but it's a start. any tackles yet?

I (and I bet you too) can't even know where to begin with the American situation.

Anonymous said...

The only positive I can see is that the NDP isn’t running the provincial government here.

hahaha....don't tell that dr.m but bleh, his politics were always shaky anyway :)

say hi to him.