It seems Kathleen Wynne figures if Justin Trudeau can get away with something then she can as well.
The federal Liberal leader became PM after promising “modest” deficits of under $10 billion. Canadians saw Stephen Harper as old news and figured they’d take Trudeau up on his offer.
Initially polling numbers suggested Canadians, who didn’t vote for Trudeau explicitly because of his deficit pledge, at least weren’t overly put off by the red ink.
It was quite a feat — getting the public to sign on to the idea of deficits outside of a recession, not earmarked to any particular infrastructure project. He’s now long since blown past his self-imposed $10 billion limit and it’s not clear what the money specifically is being spent on.
These are called structural deficits, which any economist worth his or her salt warns against. The conventional wisdom — once backed by Liberals as well — was that deficits are only acceptable in economic downturns. We call these cyclical deficits.
Trudeau changed the calculus and in turn is adding over $100 billion to the federal net debt throughout his tenure.
Wynne is now doing the same in Ontario, and Notley is heading down the same path in Alberta. Wynne just announced plans to run deficits for the next six years and Notley has vague plans to stop running deficits until 2023-24.
The odds are both will booted out of office but the mindset is alarming.
No political leader should rely on indiscriminate debt as a solution for public policy or ideological goals. Saddling future generations with billions of dollars in debt — particularly by governments more intent on staying in power than making tough but necessary decisions – is selfish, cowardly and shameful.
It’s all a dangerous gamble. It assumes the public doesn’t care about such a nitty-gritty numbers issues.
That increasingly appears false. A year-end poll conducted in December by Angus Reid Institute found that “the deficit / government spending” was tied for first place as Canadians’ top concern federally. No doubt this also translates to Ontario.
Trudeau, Wynne and Notley have started a trend. It’s one Canadians will ultimately reject.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies