A couple of great bits from this week’s Mercer Report dealing quite funnily with the Conservative
Elect A Stephen Harper Majority Government Fund, err, I mean “Economic Action Plan”…
It’s terrific that the Conservatives are doling out buckets of taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow… I guess — certainly one supposes if that happens to be your favoured political team and/or you’re on the receiving end of all the stimulus funds going out the door (quite often the same thing, it seems). Like in say Peter MacKay’s riding that received almost $90 million; fully 13 times as as much as that being spent in a nearby Dartmouth (quite coincidentally currently held by a Liberal MP).
Oh well, that’s politics as usual and buying people’s votes with their own money (not to mention that of their kids and generations of future descendants) is as old as the hills and as Canadian as maple syrup or agricultural supply management systems, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a always tomorrow and surely we all know this can only end badly at some point in time. Eventually, the days of reckoning will come when all that money will have to be paid back to creditors from whence it came… and then what?
We’ve talked here a number of times about what the possible end-game is… sometimes even veering into territory that might be described as a bit conspiratorial; e.g., a nefarious kind of reverse “hidden agenda” where reckless government spending is allowed to get so madly out of control that subsequently there has to be a shocking economic swing in the opposite direction to correct things and somehow balance the books — which, in the process, involves selling off public assets and effectively gutting government to the point where, as Grover Norquist famously said, it could be strangled like a baby in a bathtub (Gotta love the way these folks think, don’t you? Such lovely metaphors.).
At the risk of sounding a bit cynical, maybe Michael Ignatieff and his new team of veteran Liberal advisors should exercise a little selective amnesia and conveniently forget they were egging on Harper and the Conservatives to spend ever more money back when it looked like the sky was in imminent peril of collapse, and instead roughly switch gears and now return to being fiscal hawks demanding to know exactly how the massive amount of debt being accumulated is going to be accounted for. As noted by Tim Woolstencroft of The Strategic Counsel, there are early warning signs “the landscape is starting to shift” when it comes to concerns about the cost of the stimulus.
Or he could simply offer to double funding for the Arts Council…