Sunday, October 04, 2009

Playing the Piano While the Economy Burns

As I've mentioned in other blog posts, Ignatieff is often confronted with the question, 'where is your policy'. Whether you believe he should be revealing one is not what I want to look at. What is confounding to me is that I rarely hear that being asked of the government, specifically as it relates to the economy and reducing the deficit created by the Conservatives.

Yes, I said created by the Conservatives. All this nonsense language about a global economic crisis, being bantered about by the government then dutifully transcribed by the media, fails to take into account the dire place we were in fiscally, before the recession. Of course what has happened to world markets has played a part in our fiscal situation, but it didn't have to be as bad as it is.

This government is not being held to account and it's about time someone started pushing the issue.

On that note, it was an interesting read to learn that Paul Martin has begun to do just that.

The Harper government has created a structural deficit and now needs to outline a clear exit strategy, says former prime minister and deficit-slayer Paul Martin.

Martin, speaking to reporters after a speech to a global economic conference in Waterloo, Ont., on Sunday, said his government left behind a $13 billion surplus and the Conservatives whittled that down to nothing before the recession even hit.

"That surplus was wiped out and more before a penny was spent on stimulus spending," Martin said.

If the surplus had been left untouched, there would have been enough money in Ottawa's coffers to cover billions of dollars of stimulus spending without going into deficit, he added.

Indeed. Odd how that is rarely mentioned in the press. It's not old news. It's directly related to where we find ourselves today. Furthermore, Flaherty and Harper are simply relying on market forces to get us out of this. That's not a plan...that is wishful thinking.

But Martin, who balanced the books as finance minister in the Jean Chretien Liberal government from 1993 to 2002, said Canadians deserve a clearer picture of what their government is going to do to eliminate the structural deficit it has created.

"It's not enough to say we will have a plan," Martin said. "The government should have a plan now and it should lay it out in front of the Canadian people."

So maybe, instead of focusing on what the Leader of the Opposition plans to do, perhaps we could get an idea of what the people who actually hold power have in store for us?

Seems reasonable to me.


Lizt. said...

I personally think the GST should go back to 7 percent, and they wouldn't have to rely on snip snip, of public programs.
i wonder also, where did the 3billion,+13 billion go? They did cut a great many programs.
They spend money like water, to get votes.

austin said...

I get real sick of hearing about a "surplus", there is no such thing when it comes to government money, it's called OVER TAXATION. And I would like to point out that Martin cut the deficit by cutting programs and gutting the military. But your right, Harper needs to tell us what his plan is instead of trying to wait for an election, he was already elected it's his job right now.

Lizt. said...

It is too simplified to call the surplus, "over taxation". Does anyone ever stop to think, that it is tax money that gives this country all it's social programs, and many other things.

uranowski said...

Harper actually lost votes from 2006-2008 (-167,494 to be exact.) He also didn't have a platform until 7 days before voting and the platform he put out was a joke so Harper wasn't "elected" to do any job.

kitt said...

Oh pleze! That surplus was not over taxation but rather taxes from user spending on goods and services, ie gst on consumer spending. Something that is within an individuals control - to buy less or more and pay less or more gst. Whereas under Harper our payroll taxes are going up and I have no choice but to have that money stolen from my pay cheque by the government.

Paul Martin reduced payroll taxes by millions, reduced business taxes, increased program spending, increased military spending and purchase of military equipment and all this after eliminating the Mulroney Conservative deficit of $40 billion, plus have a surplus around $13 billion to pay off Mulroney's debt.

Ignatiff will have to do what Liberals in the past were forced to do, only this time the deficit is a record $54 billion or more.

Tomm said...

Wow. So now we are going back to the future?

Great. At least it's a policy statement. So now, all Paul Martin has to do is convince Ignatieff to tell the Canadian people that Harper has created a "structural deficit" as if this has some sort of deep meaning. Then Ignatieff has to either force Harper into presenting a plan (or presumably he will vote him down), or even better, Ignatieff can present his own plan on how to rid our nation of this "structural deficit".

I guess it makes sense, kind of.

Terry 1 said...

Harper will download more costs to lower levels of government, he will increase hidden taxes like EI,etc. and he will try and sluff of the structural by having flaherty continue to lie and bluster about how it will be repaid, which will only happen when a responsible Liberal government takes over.

I hope Layton pays the price for his irresponsible actions as well as harper.

RuralSandi said...

Terry 1 - you are right and we in Ontario have been there before - under the Harris government.

The stupid people that get all bent out of shape over taxes - do they not save a nest egg for rainy days for their own families?

I have no problem with taxes as long as they are being used properly - not for Con ads, ten percenters, etc.

I wonder how much Harper has spent on polling (taxpayer money) and other things. It was taxpayer money that paid for his little jaunt to Timmies during the UN Conference - unnecessary spending. How about Harper spending OUR money to have Con MP's having fun at Harrington Lake?

I don't want to hear folks bellyaching about taxes unless they are prepared to deal with Harper's unnecessary and wasteful spending. Enough.

marie said...

Your right on Ritz.I have come to the conclusion that Canadians are being brain washed at a steady pace. It is easy to see on a daily bases and for people who think they are smart, it is quite the opposite. All one has to do is read the blog remarks in the papers to see that they have no idea what is really going on and repeating the lies their dictator leader and his parrots are spreading.It also points out that these people are probably to young to vote or know much about the governments of past. They still believe that the Reforms are true progressive conservatives which is bull.
Austin, people know that in order to make ends meet, you have to have some savings for emergencies and that is why a surplus is vital. We Canadians expect a lot more from our government and that happens through taxes. We do not need hugh military equipment. Mulroney seen that and was the one who started to downsize. We don't and cannot afford or need 20 billions a year to fight a war that can not ever be won. We learned that from the Viet Nam war.If we did,Canadians should have been joining the armies in thousands which they are not. I have a granddaughter who trained in the army reserves. Had she stayed, she would now be in Afghan fighting a war she doesnt believe in.

It also points out that these people are probably to young to vote or know much about the governments of past. They still believe that the Reforms are true progressive conservatives which is bull.

A good Prime Minister unites Canadians and aims to build a strong Canada but the one we are stuck with is doing the complete opposite.His goal is to divide Canada and your thinking is exactly what he is trying to do.

Austin needs to grow up and do a little research for facts instead of relying on wishful thinking and bold faced lies.The young people have no idea what taxation means and obviously do do realize that taxes are what keeps Canada growing and pays for Medical, Education and with the Harper government, his steady 4 years of campaigning. His 10% ers that I get weekly which are from other provinces and Mp's from other riding's. Austin, if your old enough to vote and do work, that's your tax money at work too.

And BTW Austin, I like a little surplus in my bank account. Not only doses it pay the bills, and puts food on my table ,it helps me pay the taxes so your dictator can spend it as fast as he receives it.

Thats my rant for the day. Have a good week all.

David said...

Competent people on Parliment Hill are usually used as scapegoats, Martin is obviously one of them.

Chrétien has broken the law of the land and Martin just happened to be there at that time even if he had no voice to counter it. So much for uplifting Canada out of deficit, Martin just had to be sacrificed on the altar of media frenzy.

So much for Canadians being such an understanding, learned, compassionate and grateful electorate.

austin said...

marie you really need to take a long hard look in the mirror when you talk about someone else's intelligence. Just because someone has different views does not make you smarter. Actually it is the exact opposite since you seem to be so partisan you can't think for yourself. This is the second time with me, all you can do is insult in your debates. As for lies? I said none but you said one. Mulroney did not start the gutting of our military (although he did make cuts) but it was Trudeu. And by all means keep your bank account anyway you want but a $13 billion surplus is way to much for a goverment.