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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kevin Libin: Cheer up, Canada — President Donald Trump just might be good for you

Take heart, Canada! Don’t let the dour faces on American television, journalist Twitter, and our own CBC get you down. They might all be miserably contemplating the next four years under the ethically challenged but transformational Donald Trump, instead of the ethically challenged establishment-entrenched Hillary Clinton they clearly hoped would win. Tuesday might have delivered a huge loss to the political class, intellectual class and left-leaning media. But, economically speaking anyway, Donald Trump’s victory is looking like a big win for Canada.

To be sure, we can’t be entirely certain — the NAFTA question looms large. But here’s one thing we can be sure of: A Clinton win virtually guaranteed that one big loser in the 2016 election would have been us.

It’s still impossible to tell which of Trump’s often-wild promises he will actually keep, given how unpredictable he has demonstrated himself to be. But the risk with Clinton was always the opposite. It was her political determination. Had she been allowed to govern as she was resolved to, Canada would have paid the price for as long as eight more difficult years — probably more than they will under even a loose-cannon amateur like Trump. A president Hillary Clinton would have implemented policies that would have been sure to drag down the economic growth of an economy upon which Canada overwhelmingly relies for its own.

She has been unapologetic about her plan to increase taxes, promising to raise the estate tax and capital gains taxes (where she planned to hike the top rate from 23.8 to 43.4 per cent) and she had proposed to tax high-frequency stock-market trades. She had said she was open even to new payroll taxes, which would have injured American competitiveness yet further. And her campaign said she would “take a look at” a carbon tax, if Congress had proposed one. Congress, still firmly in the hands of the Republicans, will now entertain no such thing...

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