- Duncan Cameron highlights the choice between austerity and prosperity facing the governments of both Canada and the U.S.:
The economic realities faced by working people in both Canada and the United States need to be addressed. Talk about putting the fiscal house in order is code for taking money away from working people. It does not preclude giving grossly indecent fiscal advantages to corporations.- But David Macdonald worries that the Cons have already made their choice - and that they'll use an economy that's weaker than (oh-so-loudly) advertised as an excuse to make matters all the worse for Canadians. And Thomas Walkom's hope that Jim Flaherty might be merely wrong rather than outright crazy doesn't seem particularly reassuring - particularly keeping in mind that his government's response to the 2008 crash was to push austerity from day one until political calculations intervened.
The debate about the fiscal cliff is important because it helps focus attention on how government policy can have negative or positive effects on quality of life, and living standards.
Getting agreement on the link between spending increases and prosperity would be an improvement over falsehoods put about in Canada and the U.S. about how austerity is necessary to reduce deficits. It is not, and will not. All austerity does is reduce the standard of living of citizens.
- Michael Geist explains how the Cons' copyright legislation will affect content creators and users.
- And Andrew Nikiforuk discusses the risks the Cons are pushing on Canada through an investment-protection racket with China.
- Finally, Paul Adams points out the significance of California voters simultaneously voting to raise their own taxes, and giving state Democrats the supermajority they need to have room to maneuver. But I'd think the even more telling sign that tax protest messages may have run their course is that even with an explicit tax increase on their ballot, California voters turned out in relatively low numbers - meaning that anti-taxers weren't able to motivate citizens to vote against it.