It would be nice if Canadians had the luxury of looking south and feeling smug in the superiority of our political institutions. Alas, idiotic and elitist economic policy is contagious, and like capital itself flows freely across borders…

George W. Bush’s aggressive package of tax cuts will create new pressure on Ottawa to respond in kind, perhaps as soon as the next federal budget, economists and government officials said yesterday.

The White House said yesterday that it plans to cut personal and corporate taxes by $600-billion (U.S.) over the next 10 years, a blueprint that critics quickly denounced as a windfall for corporations and the rich, but that stock markets hailed with a powerful rally.

. . . Canada has been aggressively cutting personal and corporate taxes in a bid to catch up to the U.S., but the new Bush plan once again puts the ball in Ottawa’s court, economists and government officials said.

“I don’t think they can ignore it,” said Don Drummond, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “The debate on tax cuts in Canada has been pretty quiet over the last year, almost two years; this will rev it up.”

Oh well, we don’t really need that public health care system anyway.

Some other examples of cross-border policy infections: we ratify the Kyoto accord in a neutered, Canadian-only version that bears little resemblance to the treaty itself, lest we undermine our competitiveness; a bill to decriminalise marijuana is stalled by overt American threats; gun nuts wave their weapons at public rallies to protest registration, egged on by Ted Nugent and Charleton Heston; and let’s not forget our participation in a continental missile defense boondoggle, in which sanctimonious criticisms of the system are trumped by juicy weapons contracts …

::Simon Tuck, Globe and Mail: U.S. tax cut puts heat on Ottawa

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