I recited some statistics which showed that the tax bite imposed on ordinary Canadians has doubled in the past ten years. As the tax bite on the individual wage-earner and investors in our society increases, what happens to efficiency? Efficiency decreases because governments become irresponsible in the manner in which they dispose of the assets of the hard-working people who earn them.
What happens to waste as the tax bite increases? It is easy to get money if you take it out of the pockets of the Canadian wage earner or borrow it from West Germany, or wherever. The government has become wasteful. When governments become inefficient and wasteful, they become secretive. The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Baldwin) has had much to say about the question of government secrecy and restriction from this parliament of the decisions on which government spending is based.
November 24, 1978
The Budget-Mr. Marchand
As the percentage bite of taxation on individual earners in this nation increases, it destroys incentive, then the only way to even come close to balancing the budget is to incur more debt.
Getting back to the question of foreign investment for a moment, there are certain political philosophies in this country which regard profit as a dirty word, whether it is earned in Canada or anywhere else, because somebody is getting that profit. I would rather have Canadians attaining a profit so that we can have productive industries in this country than have foreign lenders charging us enormous, staggering levels of debt interest. They help us maintain a false sense of security and a false sense of well-being based entirely on debt dollars. That attitude which allows an increasing imposition on the ordinary wage-earners of this country is tied in essentially to the whole concept of Keynesian economics-that we can continue to borrow more and more and continue to print paper dollars. But sooner or later someone else is going to keep the profit. We will become so far in debt that we will have to put up walls, ever-increasing levels of tariff protection, to pay the high wages and accept the low productivity which comes from an inefficient society, a society where it does not matter if you work or not. What do we then become? Look at the example of the countries which belong to the Soviet bloc. I submit that if we value our freedom we cannot afford to build these walls around Canada. We have to trade competitively in an international world. Our labour has to work for competitive rates of compensation and our tax system has to be competitive with that of our immediate neighbour, the United States.
I have not talked much about specifics, but I should like to-
Subtopic: THE BUDGET