2005-04-27

True North, Strong and Debt Free

I found an interesting statistic recently: of all the G8 nations, Canada has the strongest fiscal balance. Canada had the largest surplus as a proportion of GDP in 2004, and is projected to do so again in 2005 and 2006:

Fiscal Balance in 2004 for G8 Nations
Balance
Nation(%GDP)
Canada+1.1
France-3.7
Germany-3.9
Italy-2.9
Japan-6.5
Russian/a
United Kingdom-3.2
United States-4.4

In fact, of all the nations that the OECD publishes this statistic for, only Finland (+2.3) and Norway (+8.2!) surpass Canada's fiscal vigor.

I am concerned that an election to test Canada's current minority Liberal Party government will result in a jaded electorate ousting the scandal-marred Liberals in favor of the Conservatives. Conservative leader Stephen Harper is trading on a dubious moral authority platform; even more dubious is his fiscal platform which promises more military, less taxation, and a laxity in the Canada Health Act. Compare this with Bush's conservative fiscal platform which plunged his nation further into debt than it's ever been, and converted long-running surpluses under Clinton into record budget shortfalls (see Update: New Canafornida).

Be very afraid.

1 comment:

s said...

Well, not really debt-free. Not even close (though I know you know that, and were just aiming for a catchy title). Part of the reason the surplus is so large is because of a huge tax haul--income tax (including an unfair--in my mind--progressive tax which targets high income earners), GST, tax on government fees, sometimes tax on tax! The most obvious example of the latter is the tax collected on a liter of fuel: The government takes the base price of the fuel, adds the excise tax, and then requires GST+PST to be charged on the price including excise tax (not on the base price alone). Yes, because of high taxes, we are chipping away at the vast glacier of our national debt, and we are barely keeping our "free" health-care system afloat. But our standard of living suffers accordingly.