China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 7, 2015
Executive Summary: Economic prosperity, fiscal responsibility, and abundant energy are the core requirements of long-term national survival. As presidential candidate for the Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen must tell voters how she intends to achieve these goals. The DPP has long been anti-business and anti-growth. If Tsai is elected president, what will happen to Taiwan's economic prosperity? How will she reconcile big government and the welfare state with revenues and expenditures? What sort of energy policy will she adopt? Will it meet the needs of individuals and businesses?
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Economic prosperity, fiscal responsibility, and abundant energy are the core requirements of long-term national survival. As presidential candidate for the Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen must tell voters how she intends to achieve these goals. The DPP has long been anti-business and anti-growth. If Tsai is elected president, what will happen to Taiwan's economic prosperity? How will she reconcile big government and the welfare state with revenues and expenditures? What sort of energy policy will she adopt? Will it meet the needs of individuals and businesses?
Consider Tsai Ing-wen's past proposals for Taiwan's economic development. As we have repeatedly seen, they have been to halt cross-Strait economic interaction and oppose economic development. For example, Tsai Ing-wen played a key role in the Sunflower Student Movement, which obstructed passage of the STA and Cross-Strait Trade Agreement Oversight Regulations. Her bottom line? Stop all economic interaction between the two sides of the Strait. Tsai Ing-wen was MAC chairperson under Chen Shui-bian. She told the leaders of Taiwan's wafer industry, including TSMC and UMC, that if they set up factories on the Mainland, "the tiger would gobble up the rabbit". What she meant was that if she allowed them to build plants on the Mainland, she would put two tigers on the Mainland. They might not gobble up Mainland rabbits. But they might well return to Taiwan and gobble up Taiwan rabbits instead.
Taiwan foundries were denied the opportunity to construct fabs on the Mainland. Mainland foundries used the opportunity to establish a foothold. Taiwan foundries lost the opportunity to introduce advanced technology in the Mainland market. Suppose this happened today? Suppose Taiwan companies with advanced technology wanted to build fabs on the Mainland? Would Miss Tsai deny them that right? Would she not invoke the same "tiger gobbles up rabbit" argument to forbid any such business arrangements?
This is Miss Tsai's view of the Mainland market in Taiwan's economic development. This newspaper has commented on the economic relationship between the Mainland and Taiwan in the past. The relationship is not merely a cross-Strait relationship. It is also a relationship betwen two links in the East Asian division of labor chain. Suppose we hinder economic relations between Taiwan and the Mainland? Suppose we compell Taiwan companies to withdraw from the East Asian supply chain? What will the consequences be? The Mainland and South Korea have just signed an FTA. What will Taiwan do now?
If Tsai is elected president, will she promote the MTA? Will she sign the STA? If not, she must answer the following question. Taiwan's role in the East Asian supply chain is threatened by South Korea. What will become of Taiwan's economy? Miss Tsai says she champions innovation. She says she champions science parks that stress quality, not quantity. But these are mere slogans. Once European and American manufacturers have placed their orders, the mobilization of the East Asian supply chain remains a hard reality. With what will Miss Tsai replace this mobilization of investment and employment?
Consider fiscal responsibility. Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly mentioned the seriousness of Taiwan's fiscal problems. These include a low tax to GDP ratio, and huge potential liabilities. Yet Tsai Ing-wen proposes even more generous social welfare policies. They include annuities and long-term health care. Does Miss Tsai care to tell us where the money will come from?
Tsai Ing-wen proposes an increase in inheritance taxes. But surely her aides have told her about Taiwan's extremely high "sudden death tax"? Unless a person dies suddenly, without warning, the government has a hard time collecting these taxes. Many people skillfully transfer their wealth overseas. In 2009, the government cut inheritance taxes. The next year taxes not only did not diminish, they increased. Suppose we want to improve the inheritance tax? How will we prevent the rich from transferring their wealth abroad? Will government revenue increase or decrease?
The third requirement is abundant energy. Tsai Ing-wen's position on this matter is very clear. It is to scrap nuclear power generation. If she scraps nuclear power generation, what does she intend to replace it with? Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by DPP city mayors and county chiefs, told reporters she would conserve enough electricity to avoid the need for another nuclear power plant. But how will cities and counties reduce their electricity usage? Holding press conferences and making empty promises is easy. Governing a nation is hard. If one cannot cut electricity consumption sufficiently, how will the electricity shortfall be made up?
Tsai Ing-wen opposes the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. She opposes bituminous coal power generation. She champions the aggressive development of renewable energy sources, mainly solar and wind. But are these energy sources really suitable for Taiwan? Take wind power, for example, Does Tsai know that wind power has serious environmental drawbacks? Does she know that almost every new wind farm faces protests by nearby residents?
Furthermore, renewable energy is very expensive. It is several times the cost of current electricity. How does Miss Tsai intend to combat electricity rate hikes? Is Miss Tsai willing to pledge that in order to achieve her non-nuclear homeland, she will increase electricty rates several hundred percent in the event she is elected? In 2013 Spain suffered a debt crisis. One reason the government nearly went bankrupt was excessive subsidies to solar power. The government eventually collapsed anyway. If electricity rates are not hiked, how can Taiwan avoid following in Spain's footsteps?
When Tsai Ing-wen visited business groups, the business community raised these very concerns. But Tsai Ing-wen has yet to respond. Economic prosperity, fiscal responsibility, and abundant energy are the pillars of Taiwan's future. People's lives depend upon them. A presidential candidate has no room for equivocation on these matter. Tsai Ing-wen may not evade them. She must tell voters clearly and explicitly what she intends to do.
蔡英文必須說清楚的事 －拒兩岸、反核、要社福 生活如何更好
作為民進黨的總統候選人，蔡英文必須提出完整的構想， 讓選民瞭解您準備如何做。我們想請教，如果您當選總統， 在民進黨長期反商、反發展理念指導下，台灣經濟成長主軸在哪裡？ 如何平衡社福取向大政府的財政收支？您準備採取怎樣的能源政策， 以滿足民眾和企業需求？
就是阻擋兩岸經濟互動、反開發。例如， 蔡英文在阻擋服貿的學運以及兩岸協議監督條例當中， 都扮演關鍵的角色，基本立場是阻隔兩岸的經濟互動。 在扁政府時代，蔡英文曾經出任陸委會主委， 對於當時台灣晶圓產業龍頭，包括台積電、聯電等， 是否應當到大陸申請設廠，曾經提出所謂的「老虎噬兔」說， 意思是：開放赴陸就像放兩隻老虎到大陸去， 可能非但吃不到大陸兔子、還會回過頭來吃掉台灣兔子。
台灣晶圓廠錯失了以先進技術搶先占有大陸市場的機會。 今天如果類似的事情發生， 也就是有台灣企業以先進技術要到大陸布局，請問蔡女士贊不贊成？ 請問您還會不會用同樣「老虎噬兔」的思維， 來阻擋所有準備做這種布局的企業？
法。本報先前社論已經指出， 大陸和台灣的經濟關係不只是兩岸關係， 其實是東亞分工鏈上的兩個點。 如果今天阻絕台灣和大陸的經濟關係， 等於是強迫台灣廠商從東亞供應鏈撤退，請問後果會是什麼？ 陸韓已經簽訂FTA，台灣該怎麼辦？
要不要簽訂服務業貿易協議？如果不要，蔡英文必須回答一個問題， 台灣在東亞供應鏈上地位受韓國威脅時，今後的經濟要往哪裡去？ 目前蔡女士所提出的創新、科學園區求精不求多…等， 都是老生常談的口號。但歐美大廠下訂單之後， 東亞供應鏈全體動員則是事實，在此動員的過程中有投資、有就業， 請問您要用什麼來替代？
例如稅收占GDP比例偏低，以及龐大潛在負債等。 但是同樣的蔡英文，又提出比現在更優惠的社會福利政策， 包含年金和長照制度等。請問蔡女士，財源從哪裡來？
台灣當年遺贈稅很高的時候曾被戲稱「暴斃稅」， 也就是除非一個人無預警死亡，不然政府課不到稅， 原因在於許多人早就做好規畫，把財富移到海外了。 2009年政府調降遺贈稅，第2年稅收不但沒有減少，反而增加， 現在如果真的提高遺贈稅率，請問要如何阻止有錢人把錢移往國外？ 政府收入會增加還是減少？
就是要廢核。請問廢核以後，用什麼取代核能？ 蔡英文曾經帶領民進黨執政的縣市長開記者會，說要節約用電， 省下一座核電廠，請問從那天開始到今天為止， 這些縣市用電減少了嗎？開記者會可以用口號，治國不能。 如果沒有辦法節約用電， 請問要用什麼方法填補全面廢核所產生的電力供給缺口？
以太陽能和風力為主，請問您，這些電源是否真正適合台灣？ 以風力為例，您知道風力發電會產生非常嚴重的環境問題嗎？ 您知道台灣現在幾乎每一個新的風力發電廠都面臨附近居民的抗議嗎 ？
蔡女士願意承諾，為了達到非核家園的理想，在未來當選總統後， 會立刻將電價調高好幾倍嗎？ 西班牙是2012年歐債危機中的一員， 該國之所以走到幾乎破產的地步，有一個非常重要的因素， 就是過度以財政補貼太陽能發電，最後拖垮國家。 請問如果不漲電價，要如何做才不會讓台灣步上西班牙後塵？
蔡英文卻始終未正面回應。經濟、財政和能源政策， 是台灣未來人民生活和經濟發展依靠的重要支柱， 做為一個總統候選人，不能在這三個政策上有任何模糊空間， 蔡英文不能迴避問題，必須要明確地告訴選民，您準備怎麼做？