Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Making Sense of the Trudeau Government Budget

Like most of us, I got the highlights of the federal government's 2018 budget from news reports. It's $50 million for this, $100 million of that, $5 billion for another deserving cause, that sort of thing. Money to address gender inequality. I can support that. In fact I can pretty much back every item of focus in this budget. But there's a snag.

It's sort of like figuring out human years versus dog years. $100 million over 10 years. That sounds like a lot of money, more than if you took it as $10 million for 10 consecutive years. And what, in terms of government spending, is $10 million? What does it buy and just how does that stack up against the stated objective? Is it enough, nearly enough, not remotely enough? Hells Bells, how would I know? It sounds like chump change compared to the nearly billion dollars wasted on the government's Phoenix pay system.

And we're going to keep running hefty deficits for the indefinite future. Chances are I won't be around to see another balanced budget. Don't smirk, you probably won't either.

Apparently there's no money for programmes to help decarbonize our economy which, given how loudly our political caste will herald climate change as the gravest threat facing the country, speaks volumes. A recent federal government report showed that the gap between our emissions cuts commitment and the projected result of the Trudeau government's policies has grown a whopping 50 per cent over just the past 18-months. Well, that's Justin for you, isn't it? Why throw tens of millions of treasury dollars at something you never really intended to do anyway?


Hugh said...

Running endless deficits and growing the massive debt doesn't matter, since they measure debt as debt to GDP ratio.

So all we need then is infinite GDP growth. But it will be clean, inclusive, gender-equality growth. So it's all good. I guess.

Toby said...

Elizabeth May had the best analyses of the budget but I can't find her quoted anywhere. It is almost as if there is a blackout on her comments.

The Mound of Sound said...

I found it, Toby:

Toby said...

Thanks. Hard to find, isn't it? This should be right out there with all the other critics.

What stuns me is that, as May said, " . . . Budget 2018 does not touch subsidies to fossil fuels in the oil patch and for fracked natural gas." This should be the easiest action and certainly the most popular with the Canadian public. I wonder how many Canadians understand that some of the richest companies in the country are subsidized.