Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Harris to McGuinty: "Try looking in the mirror"

Former Premier Mike Harris (boy do I ever miss the guy...) has an opinion piece in today's National Post entitled, "How Ontario became a have-not"... where he appropriately lays much of the blame for Ontario's current economic instability and our recently aquired "have-not" status squarely on the shoulders of Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Over the next few days, expect to see them lash out and attack the messenger, rather than actually address the issues he raised.
"The main reason for Ontario's unprecedented "have-not" status is that economic growth in this province is weak, and is falling further and further behind the rest of the country. This decline did not have to happen. Going from first to worst in economic growth was preventable.

A major reason for our faltering economic growth is that Ontario's manufacturing sector is being hammered by high taxes. For far too long, Ontario has relied on a weak Canadian dollar to provide manufacturers with a "competitive" advantage. Now, energy and resource prices are driving up the value of our dollar and the U. S. economy is slowing. The so-called "dollar advantage" has been revealed as an illusion, and high taxes are now exposed as the millstone around the neck of our manufacturing sector.

The Ontario government's own Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress provides powerful evidence of Ontario's high taxes. Its 2007 report shows that Ontario has the highest taxation on new business investment in Canada. Even more compelling, it also reports that Ontario has the second-highest taxes on new business investment in the developed world.

To make matters worse, Ontario also has one of the highest personal income tax rates in the country, creating a major disincentive for talented people to settle, stay or remain here. This further weakens our economic and competitive position.

During a time of escalating international competition, a massive credit crunch and a probable recession, the Ontario government should be moving aggressively to reduce taxes and other barriers to growth. Failure to act will strangle the life out of Ontario's manufacturers, and drive them from this province, killing, maybe forever, the jobs they provide. The government must take action before it is too late.

To compound the high tax problem, since its election in 2003, the current Liberal government has gone on a spectacular spending spree that now threatens the future financial health of this province.

Following the failed paths of the David Peterson and Bob Rae regimes, over the last five years the provincial government has increased spending by an

average of 8% each year. During this same period, the Ontario economy grew in nominal terms by 4% annually. This means that the Ontario government is actually spending twice as much as it can afford. It has created a spending machine, and this machine can only be fuelled by red-hot economic times. This is simply not sustainable.

Had the government been living within its means for the past five years, Ontario would be in a much stronger position to respond to the wider global emergency than it is today. Instead, faced with a global liquidity crisis, a recession and plummeting revenues, the government is now looking at the very real prospect of returning to the massive, long-term structural deficits that we worked so hard to eliminate, and/or returning to massive cuts in government spending on public services. What a wasted opportunity."

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  • At Thu. Nov. 20, 01:40:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I NEVER, "...and the WIZ means NEVER!", thought I'd see the day where I would say what I'm about to say.

    I wholly agree with Mike Harris.

    Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?

    Mike Wisniewski

  • At Thu. Nov. 20, 04:59:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Best Premier we ever had.

  • At Fri. Nov. 21, 12:45:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No Mike I'd say that's a sign that you are 'getting it.'
    I survived the first Rae days(should get the t-shirt) and I sooo miss Harris and his Common Sense Revolution.

    Bring Back Harris!

  • At Fri. Nov. 21, 09:07:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was in school when he was premier, so I'll have to disagree with that last statement.

    His article makes very good points about the Liberals, though

    Mike Wisniewski

  • At Fri. Nov. 21, 10:31:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Too bad we didn't have a leader like Harris now. I'd be confident heading into the 2011 election. Not to mention, if he actually won he would do something - unlike Tory, who doesn't seem to want to do much different than McGuinty.

  • At Mon. Nov. 24, 12:31:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    now that I'm no longer in the education system I might be able to view Mike Harris less harshly now.

    But with him out of politics now, it's kind of tough to make an observation like that

    Mike Wisniewski

  • At Tue. Nov. 25, 09:52:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the teachers hated Harris. Just wondering how much of your opinion of him was fed by the teachers. My kids would tell me how much the teachers bashed Harris on class time.
    The working taxpayers had many reasons to appreciate that Harris expected accounatability from ALL government ministies, hence the downsizing. Problems erupted when front lines (nurses, doctors and teachers) were affected instead of top heavy administrations. That's where he failed. He should have stipulated where the cuts would be made.


  • At Tue. Nov. 25, 12:08:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't really argue that.

    I would be lying if I said I NEVER heard politically partisan comments from my teachers. I didn't mind though, 'cuz I'll talk politics at the drop of a hat with just about anyone.

    Problem with that though was, I was more impressionable at that age than I am now.

    At the end of the day, I think my dislike for Harris has been, and just might continue to be, declining the older I get, and the more removed I become from my school days.

    At least he doesn't look as monstrous when compared to ban-happy McGuinty

    Besides, I've had many new grudges come and go since then.

    Isn't that right, CC? :)

    Mike Wisniewski


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