The CVP has no issues giving credit where credit is due. That is the kind of Gov’t we plan to forge.
So as it turns out, Stephen Harper nailed it.
During last year’s federal election he predicted Justin Trudeau’s financial promises were a work of fiction that would prove to be a fantasy if Trudeau won power.
Subsequent events have proven the former Conservative prime minister correct.
During that election, Trudeau told Canadians that in order to fulfill his election promises, a Liberal administration would record projected deficits of $9.9 billion in 2016-17, $9.5 billion in 2017-18, $5.7 billion in 2018-2019, and a surplus of $1 billion in 2019-2020.
When Trudeau released those numbers, Harper mocked them as nonsense.
He told a rally in Hamilton, while pinching his figures together: “(Trudeau) says a modest deficit, a tiny deficit, so small you can barely see the deficit. Three modest little deficits … We’ve gone through this before — look at the mess in Ontario with the modest deficits of the Liberal government. I guess it turns out the budget doesn’t balance itself after all.”
No, it does not.
Following the election, when the Liberals presented their first budget in March, 2016, Trudeau almost tripled his projected 2016-17 deficit to $29.4 billion, followed by $29 billion in 2017-18, $22.8 billion in 2018-19, $17.7 billion in 2019-20 and $14.3 billion in 2020-21.
Contrary to Trudeau’s pre-election prediction the budget would record a surplus of $1 billion in 2019-20, his post-election budget projected a deficit of $17.7 billion in that year and added an additional projected deficit of $14.3 billion in 2020-21.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau in his economic update added, once you crunch all the numbers, $31.7 billion more to the deficits Trudeau unveiled in the first Liberal budget less than eight months ago.
He also added yet another projected deficit of $14.6 billion in 2021-22, two years after Trudeau promised during the election his government would have a $1 billion surplus in 2019-20.
Morneau did not predict when the federal budget will be balanced.
As Harper noted, we’ve seen this dance before, in Ontario.
There, the Liberal government in power since 2003, first under Dalton McGuinty and now under Kathleen Wynne, also tried to spend itself rich.
As the Trudeau government is now doing, it also promised its deficit spending would improve the economy by investing in public infrastructure.
All that’s done is to make Ontario’s Liberal government the largest sub-sovereign (non-national) borrower in the world.
As former Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter noted in his 2011 annual report, Liberal government spending on infrastructure projects such as wind and solar power, ended up creating mostly temporary jobs.
In addition, McCarter said, the Ontario Liberals failed to take into account the experience of other jurisdictions that such spending typically causes two to four job losses for every job created, because of the increase in electricity prices that results.
Since deficit spending — whether by the federal Liberals or the Ontario Liberals — is really just deferred tax increases or program cuts, we all know what will happen eventually.
Some future government will have to come in and clean up the financial mess the federal and Ontario Liberals have made.
At which point the federal and Ontario Liberals, who will then be in opposition, will pronounce that government “heartless and cruel”.
Again, as Harper noted, we’ve seen it all before.