Government Is Too Expensive – June 6, 2013
Is it really sustainable for your paycheque to go up by 2 per cent a year, but your hydro bill to go up by 4 per cent, your school taxes by 6 per cent, your property taxes by 3.5 per cent and the provincial sales tax to go up to 8 per cent? Obviously it isn’t sustainable, but that’s what’s going on; government is simply becoming way too expensive for many people.
Alberta’s Provincial Debt Funding … Replacing Cash Funding – May 27, 2013
The data on provincial debt indicates that Alberta has plenty of room to borrow more money. Alberta’s March 2011 net debt is in a negative position, indicating that its low level of debt is outweighed by its financial assets. But without better policies and practices, Alberta’s public debt can become an unruly beast.
Manitoba Government Spending Rising Rapidly – May 13, 2013
With provincial government expenditures rising far in excess of inflation since 1999, Manitoba does not have a case for raising any of its taxes, which are among the highest in Canada. The province clearly has a spending problem, not a lack of revenue problem, and simply needs to manage spending in more innovative and smarter ways.
The Crocus Story - An Insider's Perspective (Dalgliesh) – May 6, 2013
PowerPoint slides which accompanied Jack Dalgliesh's speech The Crocus Story – An Insider’s Perspective that he gave in Winnipeg on April 30, 2013.
Selinger's Broken Tax Promise is the Least of it – April 22, 2013
The Selinger government is amending provincial balanced budget legislation to enable its surprise PST increase. More troublingly, it is taking clear measures to exempt itself from the legislation in the event of foreseeable financial challenges the government refuses to prepare for.
Manitoba’s Bad News Budget Ignores Grim Fiscal Realities – April 17, 2013
Manitoba is in a worrisome fiscal position. Unfortunately, the latest budget does nothing to fix the provinces long term challenges.
Carbon Tax...Are Republicans Really That Stupid? – April 17, 2013
As much as I admire former Secretary of State George Shultz, and because I do, I was totally flummoxed by a recent Wall Street Journal article he co-authored with economist Nobel laureate Gary Becker. Incredulously, the two senior fellows at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution expressed support for a “revenue neutral” tax on carbon.
Cuba Without the Sunshine – April 15, 2013
Dawn is breaking in Puerto Argentino, the town its former inhabitants once knew as Port Stanley. At the tiny airport, a gigantic mural commemorates the soldiers from the mainland who lost their lives in the battle for the Malvinas, or the Falklands, as they used to be called.
EI for Seasonal Workers is a Corrosive Economic Policy – April 8, 2013
There is no justification, in logic or in economics, for seasonal EI, and the dogged pursuit of this policy flies in the face of the interests of Canada and people who become trapped in the cycle of working seasonally and then receiving EI benefits while unemployed. Some day a politician will have the guts to say so, but apparently not today.
Someone Will Eventually Have to Clean Up the Conservatives’ Tax Code – March 25, 2013
Some day, likely many years from now, a federal government will clean up the mess the Harper Conservatives have made of the tax code. For entirely political reasons, the Conservatives have offended two core principles of good tax policy, and they did nothing about either offence in this week’s budget.
GITaR, Gradual Income Tax Reduction – March 20, 2013
People falsely believe that cutting taxes prevents governments from having healthy revenue growth to do the things it alone can do. There is a way to lower the tax burden without reducing government services. This means is GITaR, Gradual Income Tax Reduction.
A Simple and Effective GST – March 14, 2013
In 1984, a reforming Labour Government came to power in New Zealand. One of their first acts was to announce their intention to introduce a goods and services tax. I was invited to chair the three person committee to seek submissions from the public on the proposed tax, and make recommendations to the government on its optimal design.
With Budget Crunch Coming, Should Province Spin Off ATB? – March 5, 2013
A recent study published by the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a right-leaning think-tank, asserts that potential proceeds from a sale of ATB could be as high as $3 billion. The 16-page study, prepared by Surrey, British Columbia-based financial analyst Ian Madsen, assesses ATB's value by using two different methodologies.
ATB Branches May Privatize to Cover Alberta's Growing Deficit – February 27, 2013
The Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB Financial) may be sold to private ownership to subsidize Alberta's growing deficit, netting an approximate $4 billion dollars in fiscal influx to cover government expenditure.
How to Waste Tax Money: Buy Canadian – February 25, 2013
The way we buy equipment for our military is badly broken. Ottawa’s latest report on how to fix it proposes making it even worse.
Obama’s Reactionary Jobs Plan – February 21, 2013
Does it bother anyone else that the president of the United States seems to believe that our collective future entails assembling battery parts in a government-subsidized factory for $9 an hour? Is that really what Americans envision for their kids -- an assembly line? Because when you look past Barack Obama's mesmerizingly hollow rhetoric, what he's proposing is a return of jobs that progress and prosperity have left behind.
The State Tax Reformers – February 1, 2013
Washington may be a tax reform wasteland, but out in the states the action is hot and heavy. Nine states—including such fast-growing places as Florida, Tennessee and Texas—currently have no income tax, and the race is on to see which will be the tenth, and perhaps the 11th and 12th.
Sell Yosemite, Hold a Smithsonian Yard Sale – January 11, 2013
Facing the "fiscal cliff," perhaps the president and Congress should start thinking in terms of the "foreclosure crisis." All lenders, whether a local home-loan bank or the Chinese government, expect to be repaid either from the borrower's income or, if that is insufficient, from the sale of assets. Where does that leave the U.S. government?
Average Federal Worker Costs $114,000: Budget watchdog – December 12, 2012
As the Conservative government lops thousands of jobs off the payroll, the cost of the average federal employee will continue to climb and could hit nearly $130,000 by 2015, says a report by Canada’s budget watchdog.
Why is the Government Cancelling Winter? – November 30, 2012
The federal government appears dead set on cancelling winter. Parks Canada’s decision to cut funding for the grooming of cross-country ski trails in Prince Albert, Riding Mountain and Elk Island national parks garnered little national attention. It is too easy to dismiss this as an inevitable consequence of government budget reductions. If each budget decision speaks clearly about national priorities the message is that winter does not matter much to the government and, perhaps, to Canadians.