One of the most obvious habits of the Conservative Party of Canada is that if they wish something were true and they want you to think so, is that they will just say it is true. Over, and over, and over again. And hope you forget what you knew last week. Unfortunately, this works all too often.
Conservatives cast themselves as superb financial managers. Because they are conservatives, of course they look after the books, and everyone else is irresponsible.
Can we please dispose of this Harper narrative drivel? The only way Harper can make this claim is the same way he can make claims about our capability to defend our interests in the arctic, or our environmental record, or how devastating our actions against ISIS are. He just lies about it.
When Harper became Prime Minister in 2006 he took over a government with a $14 billion surplus.
By two years later, and before the 2008 meltdown hit, Canada was in a deficit situation largely because Harper had deliberately eliminated federal revenue streams he knew would create a deficit.
Since then operationally, he has neutered the ability of many federal agencies and departments to do their work.
But at the same time Mr. Harper has increased the actual size of the federal civil service. (Mostly what you get for your tax dollars now are spin-doctors and slick TV ad producers, certainly not scientists, who aren’t allowed to talk to you anyway.)
Over the course of Mr. Harper’s time as PM, the gross national debt has increased by about $248 billion. Admittedly, in this regard Mr. Harper hasn’t done quite as badly as Brian Mulroney, (who vomited the same narrative of Conservative fiscal prudence) but you’ve got to admit, as a fiscal manager, Harper is no Paul Martin.
So can we please dispense with this “Conservatives are good money managers” line of BS? Okay?
Another alarming issue concerning the country’s finances is this completely unnecessary obsession with a “balanced budget” this year.
It is actually hilarious, that Mr. Harper wanted a surplus but also wanted a highly political highly targeted tax cut that he could crow about more. It’s the equivalent of spending the Christmas bonus before getting it.
How is that good management? It’s not.
Lastly, this government does not seem to understand the sound application of debt financing. There are entirely legitimate and appropriate uses for debt financing in government planning.
Borrowing to fund the annual operations of the government is definitely a problem.
However borrowing to finance major infrastructure projects, or capital acquisitions, like ice breakers, is a perfectly legitimate use of debt financing.
If Mr. Harper wanted to pay for the new infrastructure works this country badly needs out of government revenues instead of issuing bonds, which his Minister of Finance has called irresponsible, ( Duh…) he will need to run substantially larger surpluses that he is currently projecting. Not flush them down the toilet trying to buy votes.
We have an election this year.
My main issue is democracy. I’m voting ABC (Anybody but Conservative).