Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Budget 2006

The skinny on Budget 2006


A balanced budget.

Increased assistance to farmers. An additional $1 billion for those who work the land. This money is more, but not enough. No money will ever be enough. The BILLION will make up for last years shortfall. There are gripping that it should not be all farmers, but restricted to just grain and oil seed sector. Canada is trapped in any international subsidy war AND it one we shouldn't wage.

More money for the military. New equipment for the troops. New monies to recruit soldiers.

New monies for the RCMP. More police and the illusion of increased security to follow.

$3 billion for debt reduction. The payments, expanding economy and strong dollar mean that the debt to GDP ratio is dropping faster than expected.

Money for the Cancer Control Strategy.

New immigration measures and landing fee reductions. Maybe, just maybe Solberg can clean that mess up.

Full tax exemption for scholarships and bursaries.

Lower corporate taxes

New infrastructure dollars for post-secondary education, housing and other C-48 measures.

BC and Newfoundland get protection from the new equalization rate and receive a smoothing amount.

Border security. If this is what it takes to make nice(er) with the United States.


The GST reduction. A bad political idea just became a terrible policy choice.

The more you spend the more you save. The federal government, regardless of party, continues to throw tax credits after tax credit to anything and everything. Kids in sports - check. Textbooks for students - check. Tools for the trades - check. Ride the bus - check. Work in Canada - check. The tax code just gets more difficult to understand.

A Harry T Stone slight of hand on personal income tax - up on the one hand and down on the other.

The Trade and Apprenticeship dollars. When will governments realize that it is demand issue and not a supply or financial barrier that stops most Canadians from enrolling in these programs. The grant and tax credits will make it easier for those already in the system.

The *Child Care Plan* - Why beat a dead horse? The plan is not sound policy and how many Canadians will actually see the $100 a month? Very few.

The environment is a big loser. The bus pass credit is hailed as the lone measure. A few more Tory MPs from smoggy Toronto and maybe the government will see the pressing matter at hand.

Quebec gets another $200 million from the new equalization program. It pays to be a social and economic basket case.

Not enough money for research and development. The $100 million is peanuts for a nation awash in cash and will do nothing to give Canada a productivity edge.

The Kelowna Accord is DEAD.

What you call "surplus" is what I call "excess taxation" since it is our tax dollars after all.

Why are we assisting farmers again? Wouldn't it make more sense to change our practises so we're not engaged in subsidy wars? I would rather pay higher food prices than have taxes passed through government hands to eventually end up back at the farmer. Funding for emergencies is one thing but farming is a chronic festering wound which needs to be treated properly instead of expensive bandaid solutions.

The military were chronically underfunded by the Liberals who preferred to depend on the USA for our defence yet spit in the America's eye every chance they could... yet Liberals blathered about our proud military tradition and peace keeping at every opportunity. This is called "hypocrisy" and I'm glad we're finally dedicating funds to our Armed Forces.

The RCMP is also chronically underfunded. Compare the officer per population ratio for the RCMP versus any other police force. The Mounties take this "One riot, one Mountie" schtick too literally... and not by choice. If every Mountie qualified for retirement left tomorrow, our national police force would grind to an instant halt. The training academy in Regina cannot presently train enough Mounties to replace current attrition. How safe does that make you feel?

Debt reduction is a wonderful thing. Let's get rid of Trudeau's legacy as soon as possible!!

Immigration mess? Don't get me started! Setting fire to the Liberal "Immigration and Refugee Protection Act" would be a good start.

Border Security... At this point, if an armed fugitive approaches our border from the United States, we depend on the armed Americans to protect our unarmed CCRA personnel since there is no longer an RCMP presence at border crossings. I bet that makes CCRA personnel feel like valued employees.

GST? The Liberals screamed when Mulroney created the GST and the Liberals won two majority elections, promising to remove it completely. Dippers, of course, never met a tax they didn't like. 1% reduction wasn't apparently that bad an idea since Canadians did choose to endorse the Conservatives in the last election and support for them continues to build.

Average Canadians are buying all of those things now... sports, textbooks, etc etc. If the government refunds us for making healthy choices, it works for me!! What's so complicated about providing receipts?

Childcare Allowance? The Liberals promised for 13+ years and delivered zilch. Idiomatically, I'm opposed since governments have no business in the childcare business. I would rather not have my children indoctrinated in socialism at pre-school age, thank you very much. A $1200 allowance is slightly less obnoxious than the Liberal's blatant last minute attempt to buy votes with tax dollars.

The environment doesn't need Liberal gravy-train "feel good" programs like the Challenge. Instead of "sponsoring" Liberal friendly groups to jump to foregone conclusions based on junk science, let's see what the Conservative environmental program produces. I'll bet we get results instead of spin.

The 'written on the back of a napkin' Kelowna Accord was another Liberal vote purchase scheme to the tune of $5 billion over 5 years. The Conservative budget says $1 billion per year... and I'll bet there's accountability mechanisms in place instead of blind shovelling of cash.

Overall, a decent budget.
I don't think running up the white flag and letting other countries posses our land is a good idea. Farmers need our help, by shifting profits to the producer so they can make a living again like everyone else does off of their products.
I'm not saying run up a white flag and why would we ever let other countries possess our land? I'm talking about broadening our horizons.

If we can't sell or export a product profitably, why are we still growing that product? Are there no other products which will grow on the land which are more profitable?

If we must grow that product, can't we find alternative local uses which are value-added so we don't have to export at a loss?

For example, a buddy of mine has a furnace which burns corn. According to him, corn produces cleaner heat, less ash and higher BTU value than wood. Alternative product, alternative market, easy transition from previous product.

How about some innovation instead of more government bailouts?
I didn't like a lot of this budget, but I will give the Conservatives credit for two things.

1) I like the Employment tax credit, because it is trying to create a greater incentive for people at lower income levels to work. If you are only earning about $15,000 a year and have kids, the marginal effective tax rate on an additional $10,000 in earnings is about 80 per cent. Not much incentive to work. This does credit does not solve the problem, but it is a step in the right direction.

2) I like that they removed the excise tax on somethings like Canadian wine production. It should help some of these small and mid-size businesses be a bit more competitive.
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