"Stéphane Dion has a spending problem," Tory Industry Minister Jim Prentice told reporters...
"His disregard for the consequences of his own overspending is more evidence that he is not a leader and not worth the risk," he said.
One reason the Conservatives can even raise the spectre of a return to deficits today is they've tapped the treasury heavily for tax breaks and spending since taking power in 2006.
They've nearly emptied Ottawa's coffers of spare cash by taking about $30-billion worth of annual government revenue and doling it out in tax cuts and spending, including $12-billion in reductions to the goods and services tax.
Speaking of "overspending":
"Flaherty biggest of the big spenders":
Jim Flaherty officially becomes the biggest-spending finance minister in the history of Canada.
It’s true. The $200-billion Mr. Flaherty proposes to spend this year works out to about $5,800 for every citizen. Even after you adjust for increases in prices and population, that’s more than the Martin government spent at its frenetic worst, when it was almost shovelling the stuff out the door. It is more than the Mulroney government spent in its last days, when it was past caring. It is more than the Trudeau government spent in the depths of the early 1980s recession. All of these past benchmarks of over-the-top, out-of-control spending must now be retired. Jim Flaherty has outdone them all.
In two years of this “conservative” government, spending has climbed a historic $25-billion.
"We are certainly overspending," said Nancy Hughes Anthony, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "I'm concerned because the level is not sustainable.
Canadian Chamber of Commmerce
"The trend rate of program spending growth will no doubt raise some eyebrows"
"The size and recent growth of federal government spending is startling. All told, the federal government expects program spending to reach $199.6 billion this year (2007/08), an increase of $24.4 billion or nearly 14 per cent from just two years ago. The rate of growth in spending is well beyond what was needed to compensate for inflation and population growth – the spending goal of the Conservative Party proposed during the election. More worrying is that the size of the federal government as a share of the economy is expected to increase from 12.8 per cent of GDP two years ago to an estimated 13.3 per cent of GDP this year."
I thought Mercer summed it up nicely:
Maybe I'm being harsh, the Conservatives may well be right about Dion. If there is one thing this gang knows, its big spending, so their expertise shouldn't be discounted. As an aside, if Dion has trouble costing out all these programs, he might want to speak to Flaherty, who has shown in the past he has a great talent for hiding deficits, "cooking the books" if you will.
Hypocrisy knows no bounds, apparently.