Liberal Leader Paul Martin says he is not making new promises to help small business because the economy is soaring and he likes the status quo.
Mr. Martin took his campaign tour to an auto-parts manufacturer in this Hamilton suburb yesterday and spoke glowingly about Canada's low inflation and employment rates. It was the second day in a row that the Liberal message has been about small business - and the second day in a row that no new policies were unveiled.
When asked if that meant the Liberals had no new ideas for the business sector, Mr. Martin and the five Liberal candidates that flanked him -- including three incumbent MPs -- laughed out loud.
"We're not making promises, we're saying we've done it and we're going to continue to do it," Mr. Martin told reporters.
But if Mr. Martin believes the status quo is good enough, that opinion is not shared by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a non-partisan organization representing more than 100,000 of the nation's smaller companies.
It released a policy paper yesterday asking the government to cut red tape and "the paper burden" -- moves that the organization says will save Canadian businesses $33-billion a year.
The Conservatives have said that, if elected, they would raise the threshold of the small-business tax rate to $400,000 from $300,000 and reduce the small-business tax rate to 11 per cent from 12 per cent over five years.
Liberal smugness knows no bounds.
"You've never had it so good" sounds appealling when unemployment is relatively low and corporate profits reasonably high, but economic policy has to look forward to when things are not so good--and what could make a good situation even better.
Paul Martin seems to have confused laissez-faire government and do-nothing government. The former creates the conditions to allow the free market to function properly. The second lets it break down under the weight of inertia, bureaucracy and favouritism by using relative prosperity as an excuse not to look at its own deficiencies.
Source: Globe and Mail