American Elephants


Oh Canada, Brave Canada, You’re a Pretty Impressive Country Now! by The Elephant's Child

While the United States struggles under low growth and high regulation, our northern neighbor is economically strong.  The Obama administration and its economic advisers have flailed around, completely baffled as to how to get the economy growing again. They might profit by paying attention.

On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would slash corporate taxes again on January first, cutting the federal business tax burden to just 15%.  Along with tax cuts in the provinces, total taxes for businesses in Canada will drop to 25%, one of the lowest in the G7 and below the OECD average. Beside making it easier for Canadian business to do business, Canada is trying to get the government out of citizens’ lives.

Minister Jim Flaherty said that “Creating jobs and growth is our top priority.  Through our government low-tax plan…we are continuing to send the message that Canada is open for business and the best place to invest.”

“We believe in free trade in Canada, we’re a free-trading nation.  That’s the source of our strength, our quality of life, our economic strength,” Flaherty said last month.

Canada has pursued its competitive advantage — oil. And it did so not through top-down “industrial policy” but by getting government out of the way. Harper has enacted market-friendly regulations to accomplish big things like the Keystone pipeline — and urged President Obama to move forward with it, or Canada would sell its oil to China who is ready and anxious to buy.

These policies have been well-known since the Reagan administration, and practiced successfully in the Coolidge and Kennedy administrations as well. Republicans have urged America to adopt free market, small government policies — because they work.  Canada is proving it once again. But Canada had essentially been a socialist country since the 1950s. Stephen Harper’s moves are a dramatic affirmation of free market economics. A policy that works every time they are tried.

Incomes are rising in Canada, unemployment is two percentage points below the U.S. rate, it’s currency is stronger and it boasts Triple-A sovereign ratings across the board, lowering its cost of credit.

Obama, on the other hand, has expressed his support for the Occupy movement, their demands for an end to capitalism, and an end to free-market economics.  He has approved the Occupy attacks on corporations and banks because it fits with his class warfare campaign strategy. Pity that he is unable to learn from others.  Perhaps Obama will awaken before Canada inks contracts with China for the oil and the jobs they have offered to us, only to be put off — till after the election. That may well be too late.



President Obama Doesn’t Understand Consequences. by The Elephant's Child

Reactions in Canada to Obama’s decision to put off a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the American election in 2012 have been extremely negative, according to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  The Canadian leader is taking part in a summit in Hawaii hosted by the American president.  Mr. Harper has discussed oil exports with Chinese President Hu Jintao. If America is not interested, China assuredly is.

President Obama is a little weak in the consequences department.  He seems ill prepared to recognize that he is not president of the world and everyone else does not jump to follow what he deems convenient for his reelection campaign. Putting off the decision on the pipeline until 2013 involves a lot more than kill thousands of expected American  jobs, but TransCanada is supposed to sit around waiting for another year or two for a decision?

The pipeline has been completely vetted by all government departments involved, but then nothing is ever vetted enough for environmentalists who want to stop anything to do with oil.  Do remember that there are no qualifications whatsoever to be “an environmentalist.” No degree in science, no course of study, only feelings about the environment. There are more qualifications to be a meter maid.

The oil comes from tar sands, which environmentalists claim means that it produces high levels of carbon emissions which are falsely blamed for global warming.  If they put off the decision long enough, perhaps they can find an endangered species in the pipeline’s path.

The 1700 mile pipeline is good for America and for Canada, and would provide America with a stable source of energy from an ally and create thousands of jobs.  Mr. Harper said he “remains optimistic that the project will go ahead because it makes eminent sense.”

ADDENDUM: A spokesman for the president said that :”The president said he will not trade the health and safety of the American people for a few thousand jobs.” What offensive hooey. The pipeline project had been approved by the EPA, the Energy Dept, the Department of the Interior and whatever other regulating bodies had any smidgen of authority.




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