Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New column day

Here, pointing out that Brad Wall's deficit can be traced primarily (if not entirely) to his unproductive tax slashing - and that even an austerity-laden budget is being designed to make matters worse.

For further reading...
- Jason Warick's series of reports on obvious ways to improve Saskatchewan's fiscal situation can again be found here, here, here and here. And his off-hand reference to the lost tax revenue is from the last of the reports on the lack of a sovereign wealth fund (emphasis added):
Instead of creating a fund, spending ramped up.

Government floated $180 million in loans and grants to build a new football stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, gave nurses a 36 per cent raise, and bought $21 million worth of land for Regina's Global Transportation Hub "not in a financially responsible manner," according to the provincial auditor.

Billions in tax breaks were given to resource, construction, agriculture and other industries.
Construction began on controversial projects, including the $235-million children's hospital in Saskatoon, the $1.5-billion carbon capture plant near Estevan, and the $2-billion bypass around Regina.
...More than 100,000 low-income residents have been removed from the tax roll. Overall taxes have been cut by $6.6 billion.
- CBC reported here on Wall's attempt to pitch still more income tax cuts as one of the selective "sacrifices" in the new budget. And Sophia Tesfaye offers a recent perspective on Kansas' experience with a combination of tax slashing and austerity.
- Finally, and to what I'm sure will be the disappointment of many, there is not in fact an Maybe next time a band of Harper-style vandals takes power federally.

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