I always thought fiscal conservatism meant cutting back on the size, scope and cost of big government.
But not so argues Professor Tom Flanagan.
Flanagan, who happens to be Prime Minister Harper's former chief of staff, tells the Canadian Press that conservatism actually means spending tax dollars with reckless abandon.
In fact, he suggests the federal government's spending spree of the past three years was part of a cunning Harper plan to gradually tighten "the screws on the federal government," making it harder for Ottawa to spend.
"They're boxing in the ability of the federal government to come up with new program ideas . . . The federal government is now more constrained, the provinces have more revenue, and conservatives should be happy," says Flanagan.
Why should conservatives be happy with a government which- apparently for political reasons-- spent away the surplus?
Yes the Tories have put the Liberals in a box, but what about the Canadian economy? Doesn't Canada need a government committed to cutting taxes and making government smaller and more efficient?
Anyway, apparently I was part of Harper's scheme. Check this Flanagan quote:
"Part of the execution of the plan was that there would be conservatives attacking him - like John Williamson (of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation), Gerry Nicholls," Flanagan said.
"That's extremely useful, to have that kind of pressure there, berating the prime minister for not doing enough."
Monday, March 03, 2008
Tories Think I am Useful
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"Why should conservatives be happy with a government which- apparently for political reasons-- spent away the surplus?"
Um Gerry - if the government HAS a surplus then it means that you and I are being overtaxed.
If they spent the surplus on paying the debt, giving us some money back after all the years of liberal overtaxing and put money into important programs rather than beauracracies, then it makes me happy.
Besides - they haven't "spent" the surplus, they put huge amounts to the debt - if the surplus were less, they would put less.
Its called good budgeting.
Little dis-ingenuious calling the return of tax dollars to taxpayers spending.
Rather than buy votes or create new sink hole programs the Cons put the money on the debt(as it is lawfully supposed to do).
The GST was created to pay down the Liberal created debt not to create new programs that add to our finacial burden.
Only a fool or a Big Government socialist would find fault with this.
Bitter Boy...Mr. Harper matters and you don't.
As Mr. Flanagan noted, incremental change works much better than the approach of Mr. Harris.
Political realities do have to be recognised.
I think it is more a matter of the liberal media finding you to be their useful idiot.
Gerry, I think it speaks volumes that some people are unable to reconcile the fact that this government has outspent the Martin Liberals.
It's okay to be a conservative and to criticize spending. Stephen Harper will not get mad at you and send you a terse email if you point that out. He's busy enough sidestepping that fact every single day in the House.
I am still reeling at the revelation that Gilligan purposely sabotaged attempts by the castaways to get off the island...
Flanagan never seems to miss an opportunity for a good political spin.
When he realized that Harper would probably get a consecutive minority government a few weeks back, he began comparing Harper to Lester Pearson in the 1960s. That's almost like comparing the Leafs to a real hockey team.
This "Conservative" government has set records on spending and government is getting bigger instead of smaller.
What "Conservative" government are we talking about by the way?
Conservative financial views - interesting.
Reagan, Mulroney, Thatcher, soon Harper all ran deficits and just look at the mess the US is in today.
Conservative fiscal failures historically can't be hidden - it's a fact.
God help us.
People like the Blogging Tories complaining about how non-conservative the party is may help the party look more centrist and less 'scary.'
Paying down the debt, cutting the GST and business taxes are good (more or less, the GST cut is not preferable to an income tax cut, of course). Cutting the income tax that they raised was a requirement. Other than that, everything that could have been returned to taxpayers has been spent away. Andrew Coyne is helpful here with a quote from the latest Macleans:
"Try this one on for size: had the Tories merely kept spending to where it was when they took office, plus three per cent per year — that is, had they taken all of the vast extravagance for which they rightly criticized the Liberals, and merely added enough each year to cover inflation and population growth — program spending today would be, not $208 billion, but $191 billion. The government would not be in peril of falling into deficit, but would be sitting on a comfortable $20-billion cushion — even after the GST cuts. If times are tight now, it's because they were so loose before."
If you are a power-for-power's-sake Conservative (also known as a "Well it's better than the Liberals would be! Conservative), that's fine, but don't try to berate those of us who see the writing on the wall.
Buffet has spilled the beans about the US already being in a recession.
The picture will only get worse for the Cons from here on...
At least, Albertans can be counted on to continue to vote "Conservative" no matter how bad that things get under these "Conservatives" of theirs...
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