Skip to comments.Fiberal 'Fiscal Discipline'
Posted on 05/13/2005 8:11:14 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy
It's no wonder some Canadians confuse federal and provincial political parties -- especially Liberal ones.
Consider: In Ottawa, we have federal Liberals who are desperately making spending promises they can't keep in a bid to cling to power.
They keep changing their budget, touting it as the answer to everything ordinary Canadians want, if only we re-elect them when the inevitable election comes -- likely after the budget vote now set for a week from today.
Meanwhile, yesterday at Queen's Park, we saw provincial Liberals desperately make spending promises they can't keep, but vowing to do so someday, if only we re-elect them in 2007.
Their latest budget breaks even the promises they made last year, when they broke their key promises not to raise taxes or run deficits.
Yet Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara suggests this budget is the answer to everything ordinary Ontarians want -- an investment in "priorities" like education and health care. What's more, he says it's all about "fiscal discipline."
Discipline? How much discipline does it take to move your budget goalposts three times in less than two years?
Remember, Dalton McGuinty's Ontario Liberals first promised they would balance the books upon being elected. Then they moved the target to 2007. Now it's a year later -- all this while revenues, i.e., the cash they've been raking in from all of us in taxes, are up, up, up. (For all the scary numbers, see Lorrie Goldstein's column, opposite.)
As PC Leader John Tory noted, Sorbara and McGuinty could have taken advantage of that windfall by giving us back some of what he called the "illegal health tax" from last year, or by cutting the deficit faster. Instead, they managed to increase the deficit and ramp up debt and spending -- while still forcing us to pay more for less health care.
Meanwhile, they're also opening the door to more private investment in public projects -- something the Tories used to call "P3s" and the Grits used to be against.
NDP leader Howard Hampton predictably trashed this as "privatization by stealth," but in fact that's just the problem: The Grit plan for more private investment in hospitals, infrastructure, etc., might be laudable, except that like most of their promises, it's too vague to be believed.
Even the centrepiece of this stand-pat budget -- the $6.2-billion post-secondary education plan dubbed "Reaching Higher" -- falls short of what former premier Bob Rae called for in the review the Grits commissioned.
In fact, the only thing in this budget guaranteed to be "reaching higher" are the interest payments incurred by these deficits -- $4 billion, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculated yesterday. That's $4 billion that could have gone to things like, well, health and education.
Then again, these are Liberal budget promises. If you don't like them, wait. They'll soon be changed, or broken.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
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