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article imageOp-Ed: Harper Eats The Liberal’s Deficit

By James Raider     May 27, 2009 in Politics
As Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper puts a positive face on the $50 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, he should take a moment to thank the coalition, and the Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff in particular.
That would show that he caved in and succumbed to blackmail so it won’t happen, but it would be an appropriate demonstration of gratitude.
Canada’s national debt now represents almost $15,000 per Canadian, however, Harper justified further borrowing claiming in Parliament that, “The deficits are affordable. What we are doing is, we are borrowing money at historically low interest rates to help unemployed people, to build infrastructure. That is what we should be doing and what we will continue to do.”
Harper had no plan to slide the country into such deep deficit spending until the opposition threatened him with an election. For some reason Canadians have rewarded the Liberals with improved numbers in recent poles. Perhaps that is because Canadians believed Ignatieff when he recently said the ballooning deficit hurts the government’s credibility. Are Canadians really buying Ignatieff’s incomprehensible rants? Is there no calling him on the carpet for such comments as “On track to where? The largest deficit in Canadian history. Canadians just cannot trust this government with their money. Will the Prime Minister fire this minister of finance?" Who demanded this spending insanity in the first place?
Harper calls the deficit affordable, probably because he also studies the U.S. and Britain’s deficits, and believes that compared to the hole they are digging, Canada’s problems pale in comparison. No so fast.
Canada is very dependent on the U.S. for the ongoing growth of its Gross Domestic Product. Debt will be repaid through increased taxation, economic growth and printing more money. If the U.S. continues to hemorrhage, the American consumer will continue to tighten spending. That will have impact on Canadian exports and stunt growth. Any way you look at it, the hole is significant, and no one, particularly no one from the opposition, is presenting any viable plan for repayment of the debt, or even a strategy for reducing the deficit.
Government has a nasty history of growing, and never receding. The mandarins won’t help, and the people, such as Liberal Leader Ignatieff, appear particularly pleased with the predicament Harper’s government has been blackmailed into.
Harper might do well to take a book from the Obama handbook on governing. Ignatieff certainly has. He should read the chapter that instructs, “implement whatever policy suits your ideology, and then repeatedly lie about it through the teleprompter, … but lie with confidence.” So far the strategy is working for the White House. Can Harper use a teleprompter with conviction?
James Raider writes The Pacific Gate Post
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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