Busting Finally the Myth of Right-Wing Financial Acumen

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It took three short years for Stephen Harper to add back all the debt, after we spent years paying it down
I don’t get it John.  I remember the years that Canadians spent digging ourselves out of Government debt.
Fully a third  and more of our tax dollars were for nothing more than paying interest on debt. Just think of how much money that was, the tax dollars collected from the whole nation, take a third and hand it to the banks. I pay taxes to contribute to public programmes, not so the wealthy have access to a cash cow. 

Preston Manning blew the whistle: he took on Government debt on a single-issue basis. Thank goodness. It's hard to believe we've forgotten so quickly. We need a whistle-blower again.

Somehow the Conservatives manage to pass off the idea that they've managed the economy well. That's what I don't get. Harper has taken us to an ALL-TIME high debt and here you have this woman blessing him! He's been prime minister for only 5 years; the spending has been reckless, with no regard for ability to pay.



After 11 straight years of federal government surpluses and debt reduction, 2008-09 saw the Canadian government return to spending more than it earns - deficit financing.  In 2011 the government will have added back to the debt in just three years, more than the $105 billion it paid off during years of surpluses. Deficits are projected through the year 2014-15.

Deficit spending of the past led to a trillion dollars in interest payments since 1961. This won't help our economy or the families that have to pay for it.

In 1990, 38 cents out of every dollar sent to Ottawa was used to pay the annual interest on our federal debt.  Today, that is down to 14 cents.  Why would we want to go back?

RE:  At least Harper has a degree in economics - perhaps that is why our country survived this recession better than the entire G8.

The recession was caused by Wall Street – greed and corruption as never before known.   Reference the 2010 film narrated by Matt Damon, "Inside Job"  at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=825 .

One reason Canada fared better is because at the height of the merger and acquisitions era (buy-outs), the activists fought like hell to stop an attempt by Canadian banks to merge.   Thank goodness someone was smart enough to understand the perils of large, consolidated financial institutions.  We citizens prevented SOME of what happened in the U.S.  from happening in Canada, by refusing to let Canadian banks merge.

Another reason that we did better is because we are the “hinterland” in a colonial relationship.  Bluntly said:  we have the natural resources.   Specifically the tar sands.  The manufacturing sector in Ontario has suffered, same as in the US because corporations have gone “offshore” where labour and environmental regulation are not a factor.   The money moved into the tar sands, which largely saved our bacon as far as “economic growth” is concerned.   We are a third world country now, our environmental regulations are “de-regulated”.   The state of the Canadian economy has nothing to do with Harper's economics degree.   IN SPITE OF the money in the tar sands, he managed to sink us deep into the debt bucket. 

The other “economist” besides Stephen Harper that comes to mind is former Saskatchewan Conservative premier Grant Devine.  Another guy who racked up record debt for tax-payers to then pay off. 

What I don’t get is that Conservative Governments are applauded for their sound fiscal management - - when the record shows beyond doubt that they are the worst financial managers we’ve had.   Unless, of course, you like paying interest to the banks?   The proportion of our tax dollars that did nothing more than service debt was preposterous then, and it’s becoming the same again.  Premier Brad Wall is doing exactly the same thing as Devine did before him.  Harper is doing that same thing, too.  We could use the voice of Preston Manning again. 

A little background on Government accounting for debt.  It might have something to do with why the soaring debt falls below the radar screen:

In the era of business acquisitions and mergers (1980's-1990's), corporations took on large debt.    The traditional way of accounting for debt, "full disclosure", was bad for investor relations.  So they changed the accounting rules to downplay the debt.   Which I only learned about because one year (it was in the first half of the 1990's) I noticed on Budget Day that Government of Saskatchewan debt did not appear in the pie graph of Government expenditures, in the newspaper.  I went to the Deputy Minister of Finance to ask what was going on?  The Government not showing this significant expenditure?   Citizens are supposed to know where their money is going.  

What did the Deputy Minister say?  The accounting rules were changed for the Government, too.   The Government had debt that it would like to make less obvious because debt servicing charges were running at a third of government expenditures.   Looks pretty bad on a pie chart.    It's like waving a red flag in voters' faces.   They changed the definition of "Programme spending" to exclude the cost of servicing the debt.    Money we spend on servicing debt is not available for programme spending (water, healthcare, highways, etc.).    Removing it from programme spending is VERY misleading to citizens.   Would it not be nice if intergrity could be restored?    In a corporatocracy, it will not be.

Harper and sound financial management?   No.  And it makes me mad that we are going back into paying taxes for nothing more than servicing debt;  the wealthy are the beneficiaries.   And the debt is going to escalate because we are getting into war.  The price tag on the F-35 stealth bombers is somewhere between 24 and 30 BILLION dollars.   Spread the word.  Don't let it happen.  Government debt should be an election issue, along with the F-35's.

In the email, the sticker “assholes” is being placed on the wrong behinds.   WE ARE actually the silly ones - - we do it to ourselves.   Rally the troops - - we don't have to be repeatedly silly!   You do not re-elect people who mis-manage so badly.

Sandra Finley

Green Party Candidate, Saskatoon-Humboldt

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