Friday, 29 April 2011

No. 41: Harper Takes $12 Billion Surplus, Turns It Into $45 Billion Deficit

The most important fact leading up to the election date is this:

Stephen Harper's ridiculous claim that he and the conservatives are the only ones that can steward the Canadian economy safely, is absolutely false. 

In reality, he has added $57 million in new debt on the backs of Canadian taxpayers since his government has been in office.  This includes wasting $1 billion on frivolous G20 spending and handing out corporate tax cuts totalling $6 billion while in a recession.  When Paul Martin left office, he left Stephen Harper a surplus of $12 billion.  The projection this year is a deficit of $45.5 billion.

Worse, Harper's future plans include wasting $24 more billion on jets and $1 billion on jails.  In contrast, he only plans to spend $5 million on education.  For reducing the deficit, $11 billion in savings comes through yet unnamed cuts to services including $4 billion in reducing "inefficiencies", a suggestion that has been by discredited by leading economists.

From the author:

The truth is, Stephen Harper has not been a good steward of Canadian taxpayers' money, so for him to point the finger at everyone else shows he is either in a state of denial, delusion or just thinks he's way more awesome than he is.  Yes, some spending was necessary during the economic downturn, but that's certainly the WRONG time to be wasting wads of cash on fake lakes, gazebos, outrageous amounts of security and continuing to subsidize the tar sands, to name a few things.  Further, his solution to get out of the deficit he has created will have a huge impact on most Canadians who are not extremely wealthy.

If history is any indication (and it usually is), the next step after all massive spending by conservative governments is to then demand cuts to social services with the deficit they created as the excuse.  When Mike Harris was premier of Ontario, this was called "creating a crisis".  When Ronald Reagan was President of the U.S., it was called "starving the beast".  Harper has already pledged to cut $11 billion in unnamed services - if he is elected PM, it won't be long before the other shoe drops.