Tim Hudak sets election agenda with explosive pledges – by Martin Regg Cohn (Toronto Star – May 10, 2014)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Give the Tory leader credit for laying his job on the line by promising to lay off 100,000 public servants.

Hello Tim Hudak! If Ontarians hadn’t noticed you yet, they’ll know you soon enough. Give the Tory leader credit for laying his job on the line: not many politicians go into an election campaign telling voters they’d ditch 100,000 jobs from the provincial government, schools and municipalities.

That’s a lot of public servants — and plenty of public services. Depending on the June 12 election results, all those people will lose their positions, or Hudak will. Beyond the explosive job cuts, he’d also cut corporate taxes by a stunning 30 per cent. The Tory leader announced Saturday he’d make Ontario the lowest-tax jurisdiction for business in North America.

Why keep cutting government and taxes?

Corporate rates in Ontario are already far lower than in neighbouring U.S. states that compete for the same investments. You may remember Republican Mitt Romney pointing enviously to Ontario’s low taxes in the last U.S. presidential election.

Ontario’s public service is already smaller and more efficient, per capita, than in any other Canadian province. You may remember former bank economist Don Drummond underscoring that fact in a landmark report two years ago.
Yet Hudak argues that both are closely tied to the major issue in this election — namely job creation, and more specifically his shiny new One Million Jobs plan.

He believes the biggest barrier to economic growth is Ontario’s chronic deficit and growing debt. Hudak makes a perfectly reasonable point about the deficit problem. Ontario is certainly living beyond its means, with a $12.5-billion deficit this year and a ballooning public debt approaching $300 billion.

But his double-barrelled remedy of job cuts and corporate tax cuts spells double jeopardy for Ontario. Let’s look at his game plan:

At all his photo-ops Hudak vows to root out corporate welfare — those job-creation grants from governments at all levels (including the federal Tories). Yet he’d simultaneously reduce their tax rates — which add up to corporate welfare for all, including wildly profitable banks and multinationals that outsource jobs. If Ontario’s already low rates haven’t unlocked corporate cash reserves — so-called “dead capital” — why would no-strings-attached tax cuts create jobs?

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/05/10/tim_hudak_sets_election_agenda_with_explosive_pledges_cohn.html



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