Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Big Truth

Silver Donald Cameron nicely outlines the reason why progressive governments can be expected to manage public money far more effectively than those who think government is inherently wasteful to begin with:
Consider this whopper: conservatives handle money prudently, while "tax-and-spend liberals" are financially irresponsible. That’s the exact opposite of the truth — but this Big Lie has been so often repeated by the right that it’s rarely even questioned...

(W)hat about Manitoba’s NDP Premier Gary Doer, running 10 budget surpluses in a row while cutting taxes and improving social services? Anybody remember the balanced budgets of Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow in Saskatchewan? And the looting of the Saskatchewan treasury by the Tories under Grant Devine, which sent the deficit to $1.2 billion and landed a dozen Tories in jail for fraud?

Canada’s greatest socialist, Tommy Douglas, held off implementing medicare for 15 years, until he was sure that Saskatchewan could afford it. Why? You can’t build social democracy, Douglas argued, if the bankers can stop you by calling your loans. That’s not a problem for right-wing governments — but it gives left-wing governments a lively allergy to deficits.

And anyone who tells you otherwise is spreading a Big Lie.
Unfortunately, it looks like we're doomed to at least one more federal budget which represents the worst of all possible worlds. Now even more than during the first couple of years of the Cons' reign, we're stuck with a government which believes that it can't do anything in the public interest - but which feels entirely comfortable throwing billions of dollars around haphazardly with no concern about what that will do to the public purse down the road.

But there may be at least some chance for some good to come out of the current mess. And the more Canadians take up the call keep a close eye on what happens with the Cons' spending, the more likely the Harper example will be to discredit the big lie as to which end of the political spectrum is best equipped to handle Canada's finances responsibly.

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