There's been a reversal of fortunes between Canada and America, and I'm not happy about it.
According to The Economist, Canada is doing well as America continues to struggle.
Our wiser, more cautious friends to the north avoided the housing bubble and financial collapse of 2008. They returned to robust growth in 2009 and have been growing since.
Unlike America, Canada's debt and deficits are in good order. Canada expects to balance its budget by 2015 –– whereas America's budget comes up short every month.
Canada, like America, is blessed with natural resources, such as minerals, timber and oil. Unlike America, Canada isn't afraid to tap its resources and sell them to other countries for a bundle.
Heck, our president just told the Canadians he doesn't want a pipeline that would pump Canadian oil to U.S. refineries –– and a lot of dough into America.
Canada's credit rating remains at AAA –– high for economic health and stability –– whereas America's was cut for the first time in history.
More unemployed Americans are fleeing north, where good-paying work is available, thanks to unemployment nearly 2 percentage points lower than ours.
Though I am happy for Canada, this turn of events is most unsettling to me.
Didn't Canada used to suffer from big-government policies and out-of-control spending, whereas America was always the great high-growth capitalist success story?
Wasn't it Canadian doctors who used to skate in the dark of night across frozen lakes to accept fine-paying jobs in America's mostly private health-care system?
With the advent of ObamaCare, will American doctors be skating north?
Wasn't it Canadians avoiding their country's high value-added taxes who used to travel to U.S. shopping malls and discount stores, where they bought up all the good stuff before Americans could get at it?
Every winter, their plundering left Americans without adequate supplies of ChapStick, beef jerky and down jackets.
With U.S. spending, deficits and debt completely out of control, how long will it be before higher taxes are imposed here?
Before somebody proposes a national value-added sales tax on Americans' every transaction?
Will Americans be traveling north to do their shopping?
Here's what's even nuttier: Canada, with its proud history of big-government initiatives such as health care, is now led by a pro-capitalist conservative, whereas America is led by a fellow who's trying to turn his country into Western Europe.
As President Obama continues to "spread the wealth around," grow government and look for ways to raise taxes to pay for it all, Canada's prime minister believes a pro-growth approach is the best way to fund his country's social programs.
Here's what one of the prime minister's spokesmen told Postmedia News:
"I think Canada's record has always been one that we are firm believers in the markets and we know that prosperity, through capitalism in markets, is ultimately what pays for all the things that we enjoy here in Canada."
Sheesh! I remember when U.S. presidents believed such things.
In any event, a reversal of Canadian and American fortunes appears to have occurred.
So, I have a proposition for our friends up north: Hey, Canada, want to switch leaders for a while?
Isn't our president more suited to your traditions, whereas your prime minister is more suited to ours?
We'll give him back once he gets U.S. unemployment below 7 percent.
Tom Purcell, a freelance writer, is also a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. E-mail Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.