by: Rob on Nov 22, 2005|
(Written October 22nd, 2005)
Do I think Alberta is well-governed? Well:
1. It has the lowest tax rate of any Canadian province.
2. It has no debt.
Q: "But Rob that's just oil money."
A: So what? Every province has resources (including oil in Newfoundland and Labrador), this just shows me Alberta is taking advantage of theirs efficiently.
I DON'T agree with giving every citizen a 400$ prosperity cheque. In fact, that's an obvious vote buy-off.
See that is 400$ of tax money. It was taxed. It was collected by the government from the people IN EXCESS of what was needed. If they want to return it, return it to whoever they collected it from. In this case, you have people that don't even pay taxes getting 400$ "back".
Of course, the alternative is for them to keep it, and spend it. Lord knows governments are good at finding ways to spend money. But given that our tax rate is the lowest in the country, I'm willing to live with it if they decided to invest it somewhere (education, health care, infrastructure).
Personally I'd give it to the cities.
In general I always think the most effective and efficient government is the most local possible. Give the money to the cities, based on population. Each community will know what to do with it.
I also agree with Premier Ralph Klein that the rest of the country isn't entitlex to our surpluses, for much the same reasons Klein mentioned:
1. Resources are clearly the domain of the provinces.
2. Alberta already gives billions of dollars a year to the rest of Canada.
3. NOBODY helped Alberta when oil prices were low and things were tough here.
4. None of the other provinces going through tough times are making the tough cuts Alberta made - they want to keep living the same high standard but have someone else pay the bill.
5. Keeping the money in Alberta will help keep building the economy here, which benefits all of Canada and allows us to keep doing #2 above.
As you can tell, I'm fond of Alberta. I'm very fond of Canada, but it always puzzled me how they can tax us to death, cut everything (no military, 2-tier health care, expensive post-secondary education), and yet STILL require massive borrowing and a massive debt. Seems to me that if Canada is so expensive to run, we're obviously living far beyond our means. Let's follow Alberta's example and correct that and maybe the whole nation will be as prosperous 10-15 years from now.