by IBD Editorials –
Success: Away from the low growth and high regulation of an America under Washington’s thumb, our northern neighbor is economically strong. As 2011 ends, Canada has announced yet another tax cut — and will soar even more.
The Obama administration and its economic czars have flailed about for years, baffled about how to get the U.S. economy growing.
In reality, the president need look no further than our neighbor, Canada, whose solid growth is the product of tax cuts, fiscal discipline, free trade, and energy development. That’s made Canada a roaring puma nation, while its supposedly more powerful southern neighbor stands on the outside looking in.
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he will slash corporate taxes again on Jan. 1 in the final stage of his Economic Action Plan, dropping the federal business tax burden to just 15%.
Along with fresh tax cuts in provinces such as Alberta, total taxes for businesses in Canada will drop to 25%, one of the lowest in the G7, and below the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development average.
“Creating jobs and growth is our top priority,” said Minister Jim Flaherty. “Through our government low-tax plan … we are continuing to send the message that Canada is open for business and the best place to invest.”
It’s not just that Canada’s conservative government favors makers over takers. Harper’s also wildly popular for shrinking government. “The Harper government has pursued a strategic objective to disembed the federal state from the lives of citizens,” wrote University of Calgary Professor Barry Cooper, in the Calgary Herald.
Harper also has made signing free trade treaties his priority. Canada now has 11 free trade pacts in force, and 14 under active negotiation — including pacts with the European Union and India, among others.
“We believe in free trade in Canada, we’re a free-trading nation. That’s the source of our strength, our quality of life, our economic strength,” Flaherty said last month.
Lastly, Canada has pursued its competitive advantage — oil. And it did so not through top-down “industrial policy,” but by getting government out of the way.
Harper has enacted market-friendly regulations to accomplish big things like the Keystone Pipeline — and urged President Obama to move forward on it or else Canada would sell its oil to China.
These policies have been well-known since the Reagan era. But in a country that’s been institutionally socialist since the 1950s, Harper’s moves represent a dramatic affirmation for free market economics.
For Canada, they’ve had big benefits.
Canada’s incomes are rising, its unemployment is two percentage points below the U.S. rate, its currency is strengthening and it boasts Triple-A or equivalent sovereign ratings across the board from the five top international ratings agencies, lowering its cost of credit.
Is it too much to ask Washington to start paying attention to the Canadian success story?
These sound principles work every time they are tried, and they have led to a transformation in Canada.
Imagine what they could do in the U.S.
HT: IBD.com (read full article)