Monday, February 18, 2008

When You Live In A Glass House

How can we take these attacks by the Conservatives seriously? Dion would lead us back to deficit, with his big spending, is akin to an alcoholic giving a lecture on liver health. Let's keep it real here, this government is no position to pontificate about reckless spending, their record is abysmal. So, you can almost laugh at comments such as these:
"St├ęphane 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.

Andrew Coyne


"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"

TD Economist


"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."

Fraser Institute

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.

12 comments:

Antonio said...

"The Liberals will take you into deficit" is officially the argument least likely to work in an election campaign.

If anything, the one thing Canadians might remember more about the Liberals than anything else, including "corruption", is the fact they took a tory 42 billion dollar deficit, and turned it into a 17 billion dollar surplus. Now the cupboard is bare after two years, because of the GST cut, and the Tories are whining the Liberals are irresponsible with the treasury?

Prime Minister Dion is becoming more likely by the day...

Steve V said...

antonio

The attacks just allow the Liberals to speak to the one part of their legacy that Canadians remember positively.

JimmE said...

Um, am I the only person in the country who remembers 16+ BILLION in un-tendered sole source defense contracts? The C-17 alone was almost DOUBLE what the US Airforce pays for it!

wilson said...

If the cupboard is bare, what programs will Liberals cut or roll back, so as to pay for their initiatives?

the increase in military spending?
the increase in enviro expenditures?
the increase to policing/border patrol/security?
the increase to infrastructure?
the increase to cancer research?
etc....

Every time Libs challenge Cons on the spending increases, Cons get to point out (selectively) what they did over the last 2 years.

Steve V said...

"Cons get to point out (selectively) what they did over the last 2 years."

You mean spend like drunken sailors?

wilson said...

"The Liberals who administered the country in the past are different than the Liberals under Mr. Dion," Mr. Prentice said, advising reporters to be wary if Liberals "try to take you back in a time machine and claim they are the party that slew the deficit."

Cons will point out that Martin made massive cuts to healthcare, infrastructure, military etc. (with Mulroney's GST that they were going to kill, until elected) and the increased spending is to fix what Martin tore down.

What will Dion cut? or will he raise the GST, impose carbon taxes?

Steve V said...

"Cons will point out that Martin made massive cuts to healthcare, infrastructure, military etc. (with Mulroney's GST that they were going to kill, until elected) and the increased spending is to fix what Martin tore down."

The Liberals will welcome any conversation that reminds people of their fiscal record. It's pretty much written in stone now, as far as Canadian opinion goes, that the Liberals fixed our fiscal house. Good luck trying to win that argument, you won't.

RuralSandi said...

What is it that CPC don't understand or choose not to understand that when the Liberals took over the country was on the verge of losing it's credit rating and the CCP was in crisis - ya, you have to cut things when times are dire.

You can't spend what you don't have - simple as that. We just didn't have it to spend and it was necessary to cut spending or we would have gone down the tubes.

Duh...to all you CPC supports.

RuralSandi said...

Whoops - meant to say "CPP" was in crisis, sorry.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve.... I saw the Conservative Ad and even as a New Democrat, I thought it was a low blow. You know i'm no fan of Dion, but even this is below the belt.

The Conservatives have cut taxes far too far, and they have eliminated any flexibility thanks to those damn GST and Corporate tax cuts. The Conservatives are going to try to paint anyone who tries to announce any new spending as an over spender and such.

Now the Liberals do deserve to be attacked for allowing those tax cuts to pass with their abstentions, but there's no way that the Conservatives will attack them for that. Dion is caught between a rock and a hard place here, but it's a place of his own making

Steve V said...

cam

Where can you see that ad?

burlivespipe said...

Wilson sed..."Cons will point out that Martin made massive cuts to healthcare, infrastructure, military etc. (with Mulroney's GST that they were going to kill, until elected) and the increased spending is to fix what Martin tore down. What will Dion cut? or will he raise the GST, impose carbon taxes?"

So recent history (those CONs sure love to live in the past) dictates that Harper promised to protect the seniors' income trusts, to bring accountability back to government, to give MPs a voice, to work with parliament, to do away with 'old-style politics' of shovelling money out the door. Obviously he can't keep his word, was lying, meant to say he'd 'out-do' old style politics and would use a bulldozer to spread the money.
And where is he going to cut? We've seen his feeble efforts at making Conserfative style cuts to women's and environmental programs, literacy, even policing. To win his precious majority he eventually backtracked, but kept spending like a drunken fleet stopped over in Amsterdam... So where is he going to cut, Wilson? Why don't you share that dark secret with us. Certainly isn't in polling...