"And all this only for the public good." -- John Locke
Unfortunately when the rhetoric from the Liberal coalition was that the government was not spending enough to stabilize the economy, the deficit spending is not a message that would benefit any party. Although fiscal conservatives may not like the deficit, all politicians seem to have lost the value of a dollar and are spending money frivalously. The parties should not be trying to spend money trying to save 20th century companies.
Liberals can of course rely on the longer-term argument that by increasing spending to record highs while cutting government revenues the Conservatives undid all the work by previous Liberal governments to get the government out of the red and into periods of record surplus. For all their ideological arguments about minimizing public spending (which I don't disagree with) the Tories said one thing and clearly did another.I'm in agreement with you that massive bailouts aren't the answer. You, me, and the millions of other taxpayers in this country did not mismanage those companies; it is not fair that we should have to shoulder their burden. Now, if everybody gets a free hybrid car out of the deal, maybe we're talking.
The problem is that the number one reason that the Liberals were successful is that they cut harshly and deeply into transfers to the provinces and Canadians can NEVER forget that pain. Sitting here now in a recessionary environment, it is interesting to compare the relatively compassionate approach of Mulroney who did not wish to cut back harshly versus the painful regime of Chretien and Martin who dealt harsh blows to health care in the provinces in order to make the federal balance sheet look good. In a cold hearted way, yes Martin balanced the books but was that approach good for Canadians as a whole. It's too bad but Harper, in trying to do the right thing, may be judged harshly for a big deficit."undid all the work by previous Liberal governments to get the government out of the red and into periods of record surplus. "...exactly, for the mindless Canadians, that will be the simpleton spin but "government" in this statement only equates to Ottawa and does not include the provincial deficits incurred by the cold-hearted transfer of the fiscal buck. The surplus was not due to the government but was instead due to the economy, not Libbys.There is no Liberal gain when Liberals are supporting even more spending than the Conservatives. There have been no Ignatieff speeches that the economy should be left to its own devices. C'mon Canadians are not fools!
Yes, of course the Liberals had to make severe cuts. When you spend more than you make, in order to get the sheet balanced you can either increase the amount you make or spend less. Canadians are forever complaining about how overtaxed we are, so raising taxes was not a legitimate option at the time. Thus, the cuts were necessary, painful as they were. It was vitally necessary for our country to avoid becoming a complete economic basketcase brought on by decades of deficit governments that saw the federal debt balloon into the hundreds of billions of dollars. It has been over a decade since the government last ran a deficit. In three years of Harper we have gone from a budgetary surplus of $13.8 billion to a forthcoming deficit of $40 billion. That's a swing of over $50 billion, a gross turnaround of events that is largely due to the continual ballooning of government spending while cutting taxes. It's the same horrid strategy that has helped put our good friends to the south in their current awful predicament, and now we are feeling those very same effects. Those are the facts.
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