Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bragging about spending

In what seems an awful lot like a pre-election blitz, Conservative Cabinet Ministers and MPs are fanning out across the country to brag about all the government spending entailed in the "Economic Action Plan".

That's the plan remember that burdened Canada with a massively huge deficit.

And while they are at it, Tory MPs will also announce about $261 million in new spending initiatives.

Nothing new about this, of course.

Politicians have been bribing voters with their own money since the days of Ancient Rome. (Vote for Quintus and get a new Colosseum.)

However, let's be clear exactly what the Tories are crowing about.

All their spending will mean:

* Bigger deficits, more national debt.

* Future taxes on our children

* More public investment at the expense of private investment

* Less money for Canadians to spend as they see fit

*  Bigger government

* A resurrection of Keynesian mythology

When you look at it that way, maybe instead of bragging, the Conservatives should be apologizing.


wilson said...

Hard for you to imagine Gerry,
but 68% of Canadians disagree with you.

Describing Canada as a “superstar,” an Ipsos online survey of citizens in 24 countries finds 68 per cent of Canadians are feeling good about the economy. Those January numbers are up six points from a month earlier.

Gerry Nicholls said...

So Wilson, you're saying an historic deficit is actually a good thing! Who knew? Guess we owe the Liberals and NDP an apology, they were actually right all these years.

Calgary Junkie said...

Gerry, maybe this will make you feel a bit better:

Urging government departments to limit spending is usually as successful as asking an alcoholic to blow up a distillery. As a result, the Conservatives have told the public service they are going to have their departmental operating budgets frozen, and it will be up to them to contain their own spending.

The government hopes to save nearly $7-billion over the next five years through these measures. Those departments will now have to absorb any cost increases such as those that result from collective bargaining agreements. That's not quite the "pink slips and running shoes" promised by Brian Mulroney, but it likely means fewer public servants and service cuts in the long run.

My view is that the public service has to be handled with kid gloves.
I seem to recall that PSAC backed the Lib/Dip/Sep coaltion govenment in Dec 2008. They are enough of a powerful force, that we don't want to stir them to action during an election campaign. The last thing we need is the kind of "culture cuts" gang up we saw in Quebec last time.

One of the points of our negative ads is to discourage and demoralize Liberal voters. We want them to stay at home again on election day. Your preferred policies will very likely stir them into action. Let Iggy figure out how to do that on his own.

wilson said...

Gerry, I don't think of military spending, healthcare transfers, EI benefits, infrastructure spending... as waste and mismanagement of taxpayers money.
They are all areas of federal jurisdictional responsibilites.

Arenas, flying Ruby Dhalla's momma around with her, refugees handed better access to social services than the rest of us, KAIROS funding....yes

But if you would break down that historic deficit, rather than just go with the 'all spending is bad and Harper is bad', it would encourage debate.

How about that bill C-606?
The coalition wants to shut down transport of oil sands oil to the West coast,
but ok with 800,000 barrels per day of petroleum products being shipped down the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Wilson, all spending may not be bad, but deficits are definitely to be avoided. That's why if the Tories want to spend more on military, health care etc, they should cut spending elsewhere. Govts, like people, should live within their means and not burden future generations with higher taxes. The Conservatives used to believe that. Maybe they will again one day.

wilson said...

Agree whole heartedly Gerry.

It's frustrating, but it's a work in progress.

Paul Martin 2005,
pre-election spending spree
$24.5 BILLION in less than 30 days,
145 events.

Stephen Harper 2011
pre-election 70 events spending spree
261.4 MILLION (1/4 of $1.0 Billion)
and the media and Opps are screaming, heads are popping!

That's progress!

bertie said...

Listen to Wilson Gerry,you will learn something for your new book.I have a good title for it,,PM Harper was right and I was wrong..Catchy I think.And a few of your buddies at the citizens tax shelter or whatever they call it could repeat that a few times also.Or the short version..HARPER RIGHT and I am NOT.

Anonymous said...

Wilson--you are quite well informed, which is good. But I don't CARE what a spendthrift hack puff martin was. I voted for steve because I wanted something BETTER.
Why is that so hard to understand?
It isn't all a partisan game. Saying something against Steve's party doesn't mean the slibs are favoured. They definitely are not.
But a lot of us voted Conservative because we wanted, well conservatives and adults to be in charge.

Gordie Canuk said...

You know why I like this blog? Because Gerry isn't the typical blogging sycophant who blandly echos whatever sounds are eminating from the PMO.

Of course he knows this is electioneering, anyone with half a brain sees that...but if you believed it was wrong under previous liberal and PC governments, then you SHOULD believe it is still wrong.

I don't have a problem with tax cuts if the books are balanced...but cutting revenue while increasing expenses is irresponsible.

Harper likes to talk about how the other parties are 'tax and spend'...but taxing and spending beats all hell out of:

Borrowing and spending now and sticking future generations with the bill.

Tell Harper if he wants his envoys to brag about all the spending he's doing, that he should have the stones to collect sufficient taxes to pay for it.