Throne Speech and Budget Definite Let-downs

With the expectations caused by the unnecessary prorogation of Parliament, this week’s throne speech and budget were definite let-downs. Opportunities were once again thrown to the wind in favour of tired old policy directions that got us into the mire of a full-blown economic meltdown in the first place.

Additional corporate tax breaks and opening even more Canadian resources to foreign ownership are akin to rewarding the child who stole the last cookie from the jar by baking him a fresh batch.

Clinging to failed economic practices that do not match the needs of a country in the throes of recession shows that this government is overly concerned with Bay Street's bottom line while ignoring Main Street's dire need.

The much-ballyhooed economic recovery is missing a critical component. Jobs.
There has been the creation of lower-paying service jobs, but these do not replace the manufacturing and resource-based jobs the country has shed for more than a year. Billions more in corporate tax cuts won't bring these kinds of jobs back. Instead, they will further limit our ability to respond to the needs of citizens who have been cast aside in favour of an unfettered market designed only for the investor class.

Hard-line adherence to dogma usually ends up in a circle-the-wagons defensive posture. We should have learned from the collapse of the iron curtain that no economic system is able to perform up to its theoretical ability or is worth defending over the interests of the larger population.

There are simply too many variables. Still, Stephen Harper and his gang of Mike Harris cast-offs are clinging to the belief that business can only operate within a vacuum, free of the constraints imposed by actually having to participate in society - that is pay taxes.

The ultimate point is that every time we cut taxes - and it's almost always for those who can actually afford to pay it and rarely for the low to medium income set who are now paying all the freight - we lessen our ability to respond to our needs.

Canadians will have to ask themselves some hard questions soon. This is just the set-up to a later phase of privatization that will stem from the structural cash-crunch Harper and his friends have all-but-ensured will continue.