Monday, February 01, 2010

The Left Once Again Mops up the Right's Red Ink

Just as Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien slashed Canada's budget after record deficits incurred by the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney, today Democrat President Barack Obama is slashing the US budget in first salvo to mop up the growing debt and over-$1 trillion deficits of former Republican President George Bush who had turned Democrat President Bill Clinton's surpluses into humongous deficits. In Canada today, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing a Bushie and has turned former Liberal governments' surpluses into record deficits. See a pattern?

At this point it should be obvious to all but the most-blinkered of voters that contrary to enduring political myth, Conservatives and Republicans are the worst money managers ever. Under them there is great talk of fiscal responsibility, of fiscal conservatism as equivalent to good budgeting, when in fact their routine action is to turn good fiscal status into a disaster of deficits and growing debts. In the US, Republican deficit spending has led to China pretty much owning them because of having bought up US debt. In Canada, Harper Conservatives have taken our hard-fought surplus budgets and shrinking debt and spilled them into red ink splattered like blood all over our federal budget.

But no matter how much it's obvious that the right can't manage our money, our taxes, the myth endures that they're better at it than the left or centre. In Canada, this big lie threatens our health care the most. We are at the point that we know enough to save lives, but not enough to cure chronic illnesses, and so that combined with aging boomers means our health care budget -- private and public -- will grow. Yet the only part of the budget it can grow into without harm to the rest of our society like foreign policy, environment, education, etc., is debt financing.

In the left age of surpluses, we had hope, hope that as our debt went down, the portion of our national budget going to interest payments on the debt would also drop, thus releasing money to spend on stuff that helps us, like health care. But now with Harper suddenly jumping into mega-deficit financing because of his slow-to-cotton-on-to-the-recession response last year (and he's an economist?!), we are once again facing more money going to interest payments, less money available for growing health care.

This is short-sighted stupidity to the nth degree. And as usual, it'll be the left's job to mop up the right's red ink.

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