Just a kindly note for all the revisionists (and not-so-journalistic journalists) out there...
From the latest Goodale Weekly Update:
For the week beginning October 18th, 2010
MR. HARPER’S DEFICIT BEGAN BEFORE HIS RECESSION!
Last week, while Parliament was adjourned for Thanksgiving, the Harper government dribbled out its Financial Statements for the 2009-2010 fiscal year (which ended last March), and its mid-term Update for this current year.
Years of precedent dictate that these key fiscal documents are presented in Parliament, with a full explanation from the Finance Minister and immediate scrutiny by M.P.’s.
But such honest transparency is non-existent in this government.
The nasty fact the Conservatives are trying to downplay is the size of their deficit. It’s two billion dollars higher than they predicted. At $55.6 billion, this is the worst federal deficit in Canadian history.
That has to be embarrassing for a so-called “conservative” government. They are the biggest-borrowing, most-indebted, highest-spending regime ever.
Mr. Harper blames it all on the recession. But the truth is, this Harper/Conservative deficit began BEFORE the recession, not because of it!
As soon as he seized office in 2006, Mr. Harper began slopping money around like there was no tomorrow. His federal spending ballooned by 18% (three times the rate of inflation) BEFORE there was any hint of a global downturn.
Mr. Harper also eliminated all the contingency reserves and prudence factors that Liberals had built into federal budgeting as fiscal “shock absorbers” against sudden nasty surprises – like maybe a collapsing housing market in the US or the failure of some big American banks.
When those things actually happened in 2008, there was no cushion to fall back on, because Mr. Harper had squandered it in his previous two years. So Conservative red ink just gets deeper.
And hard-pressed middle-class families are left to fend for themselves on such necessities as family care-giving to tend to a disabled child or an aging parent, the high cost of higher education and adequate pensions for a decent retirement.