I’m almost finished talking about the fiscal irresponsibility of the Justin Trudeau regime … I promise, but two things caught my eye:
- A column in the Globe and Mail by Jeffrey Simpson, who is not an opponent of the Liberals or the Laurentian Consensus, who says –
” … two decisions – reducing the age for receipt of Old Age Security to 65 from 67 and increasing the number of family reunification immigrants – will both cause future governments trouble. Both steps were promised by the Liberals in the campaign. They kept those promises. Future governments will regret that they did;” and
2. Another column, this one by Chantal Hébert in the Toronto Star, also someone who is on the record as supporting the Trudeau/Morneau budget, who says that –
“Tuesday’s Liberal budget does little to address a structural revenue shortfall.“
Mr Simpson is 100% right and Mlle Hébert has it exactly wrong.
First: Canada does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem that just got a lot more serious. Mme Hébert is wrong, but in her error she probably mirrors the economic ignorance of most Canadians.
Second: As I said, “to govern is to choose” and Prime Minister Trudeau promised change and we are getting it but I’ll wager that it is not the change that fully half of the 40% of voters who supported the Liberals expected. I think that many Canadians wanted change; they believed the Liberals’ dishonest campaign rhetoric that we were still in recession ~ something which most economist have explained was untrue, and they wanted “more” than they felt they were getting from the Conservatives’ (too) finely “sliced and diced” boutique tax cuts. But I suspect that many of the Canadians who either stayed home because they were simply tired of Stephen Harper or came out an voted for change did not want changes that, as Jeffrey Simpson explains, are going to bring “long term pain” for no “gain” at all.
As with pulling our CF-18s from a combat role against Da’esh/ISIL/ISIS we are, yet again, making a poor strategic decision in order to justify a silly bit of campaign rhetoric.
Budget 2016 says that the Liberals are, at last, trying to govern … as if it was 1970 and we were trying (unnecessarily) to solve the problems that were indicated by the short but painful recessions of the 1950s and ’60s. The (wrong) “answer” circa 1970 was a sharp lurch to the left which took successive government nearly 30 years to wring out of the public accounts. We are repeating 1970 in 2016 and the impact will be the same.
Prime Minister Trudeau has made a poor choice, a wrong choice. That’s understandable, he’s not well known for economic acumen or gravitas. But nearly 40% of the nearly 70% of the Canadians who bothered to vote (that makes 28% of eligible Canadian voters) made a poor choice too and they did so, in past, because the Conservative party of Canada did not offer a good enough platform. The CPC did not convince Canadians that a slow growth economy required different “answers” than a prolonged recession; they didn’t persuade Canadians that fiscal responsibility matters more than charm and charisma; they didn’t offer better choices. That needs to change before 2019.