A Campaign Platform or a Budget?
Today’s Federal Budget is not simply about dollars, in fact it is much more about the politics of re-election than economics. This is the last “budget” before the next election, and as such, it is the government’s last opportunity to make promises about spending — big spending — on projects and programs of many kinds (but, of course . . . they will need to be re-elected to implement them.)
This is the ‘juicy steak’ budget, full of wonderful promises that will hopefully divert attention from the ongoing SNC-Lavalin scandal, as this cartoon illustrates! The SNC-Lavalin scandal began with bribes. Now the Liberals will try to gain another mandate by bribing Canadian voters with our own money.
We don’t want to be distracted from Liberal scandals by this budget, but we do want to look at what the Liberals are prioritizing and point out that their promises will have to be paid for with money they (and we) don’t have.
Trudeau’s much-repeated and mocked line about “budgets balancing themselves” is once again being proven untrue as this government seems to have forgotten that balancing a budget is itself a worthy goal!
Warnings about Canada’s debt and deficit are becoming more dire: “…increasingly the federal deficit is “structural” … there is a fundamental gap between government revenues and expenditures in “normal” economic circumstances.” Additionally, individual household debt is on the rise: “This week, Statistics Canada released numbers for the final quarter of 2018. Credit market debt (that is, credit, mortgage and non-mortgage loans) as a proportion of household income rose to 178.5 per cent, or, rounded, $1.79 for every dollar of income earned.” Dire information indeed! Canadians are mired in debt in every way, but will this budget address the looming crisis?
No, instead the talk is about things like a national pharmacare plan, a program that we cannot afford. The Liberals know that, and so they will effectively make this program conditional — first on being re-elected — and second, well, maybe on being re-elected again…
There will also be talk of increased rural high-speed internet, support for seniors, skills-training, and help for first-time home buyers. It is not as though there are no needs in these areas, but we must remember that the promises that they will make are targeted towards vote-getting most of all.
Today’s budget will also be about the Liberals turning the page from the negative (Lavscam) to the positive, from the past to the future, from reality to fantasy! Don’t be fooled.
CHP believes that harsh economic realities must be faced; our budget should be balanced every year (except during a national emergency such as a war). Not only should the budget be balanced, but we should be paying down our $761 Billion debt, which we are currently leaving to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Taking money from future generations is theft. We must oppose it. Let’s have a frank discussion about living within our means and paying down the debt instead of all the fantasy-based promises of the Liberal budget/re-election plan.
Other Commentary by Peter Vogel:
- Imagine There’s No Uncles…
- Borrowing Prosperity, Postponing Austerity
- CBC, Ethics, and Redeemer University
- So-Cons and Faux-Cons Part Two
- Defund the Police? Why Not?
- Time to Sell Your Stocks in Lego?
- Political Discussion or Racism?
- Cognitive Dissonance on Life-Saving Measures
- Temporary Crisis, Permanent Power-Grab
- So-Cons and Faux-Cons
- A Licence For Your Thoughts?
- Oops, a Senior’s Moment… for Canada