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Alberta to get $700 million in infrastructure cash within 'weeks to months'

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
    The only consideration that matters in that is covering operational expenses completely with operational income, and saving 100% of our asset sales (royalties).
    So, you must completey hate the current government then, which is spending much more operationally than what it is earning, even with the royalties factored in. I agree with you, we have a serious spending problem, but like it or not, when the economy is hot, everyone wants more of the pie, including government employees. Now that the economy is cold, it seems, we still want to see government having more of the pie. Its like magic beans, unlimited money to spend or save that we supposedly should have, yet while still paying the highest salaries in both private and public sectors in Canada. The answer isn't, like that article pretends, to get bail outs from the Liberals - rather, its to get access to allow us to sell our products at fair market value.
    Last edited by moahunter; 05-02-2016, 08:54 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by moahunter View Post
      So, you must completey hate the current government then, which is spending much more operationally than what it is earning, even with the royalties factored in.
      Short answer: yes. It drives me crazy.

      Long answer: We have more in common on this than you would think, I just disagree with your excuse for why we didn't save. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Jim Prentice's "look in the mirror" comment was one of the most honest things I've ever heard from an Alberta politician.

      We are addicted to the "magic beans". We want high levels of service and low taxes. That means we have to use royalties to pay for things. This plan is clearly unsustainable. My solution would be to establish a provincial sales tax with a progressive increase on luxury goods, increase excise taxes to cover the costs associated with "sin" goods (probably means doubling taxes on gas, cigarettes, alcohol etc), and establishing user fees at cost recovery on everything we can.

      The other side is cutting spending, but we need to be very intelligent about it. We could easily save a lot of money by making bold moves in Health and Education. Both have a lot of duplication and misallocation of resources. The solution in my mind is to completely overhaul our primary care system to a regional team-based care system in health, and eliminate all duplication and regional disparity in education by centralizing planning authority at the province and eliminating separate school boards completely (added benefit of no longer being a global laughingstock for having backwards Catholic school boards).

      Tough decisions, but they have to be done. If we do it right in terms of taxing users and eliminating bad spending, I think we could even get away with hugely cutting income and business taxes at the same time. My ideal situation would actually be a 0% income and business tax, with everything covered by excise, user fees, and sales taxes on luxury goods.

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      • #18
        Alberta to get $700 million in infrastructure cash

        Originally posted by moahunter View Post
        ^why, because we would have a fund the size of Norway to tap into, if much of that Federal tax we paid, had come back to Alberta instead of being invested in Quebec? If we were part of the US, we would have another pipeline to export market, Keystone XL, as well, I'm sure. Silly article, we choose to be part of Canada, which is fine, but reasonable to understand the economic sacrifice/price that has cost Alberta. A tiny bit of stimulus spending back, minuscule in comparison to what has been contributed to Canada, and not even as much as just one oil and gas company has cut its capital spend (Husky), hardly pays back that price.
        It is an interesting "what if" statement. However, I would argue if we didn't have to pay equalization the Alberta government would have cut corporate tax rates more and maybe spent a bit more on infrastructure during the boom. Sadly, I suspect we would have ended up in much the same position as now - with little or no savings. We don't seem to be inclined to save, "we just hope for the next boom and promise not to p*** it away next time", which we conveniently start to forget once times improve. It seems to be the Alberta way.

        Norway has much higher tax rates than Alberta and did not use royalties to subsidize low taxes for corporations and high income earners. That was a big reason why they were able to save much more.

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        • #19
          And in the end, we were ruled by one party for 44 years. Let's just think about that for a minute, folks.
          Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Kitlope View Post
            And in the end, we were ruled by one party for 44 years. Let's just think about that for a minute, folks.
            I would agree but...

            Look at the variations on the party. The differences in philosophy from leadership to leader ship and the wildly ranging difference in actions from leadership to leadership.

            44 years under the "same party", in name only.

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            • #21
              Ok, I can agree. Now take Lougheed out of the equation and...
              Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life

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