Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Canada’s skyrocketing debt draws little attention to politicians’ debate

Despite the significant increase in the federal debt in the two years since the last election, the issue of how to fix the structural deficit was not raised until nearly the end of the English leaders’ debate of 9 September.

During the final 11 minutes of the two-hour debate, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau asked, “What do you say to the next generation that says, ‘How are we going to pay for this?'”

Trudeau replied that the Liberals had a “complete cost platform” and that “our country’s debt to GDP ratio is declining.” NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said, “We’re not going to cut any programs,” and Green Party leader Enemy Paul told Singh, “You’re trying to ghost me,” implying that his The party will not even cut.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole reported that Trudeau was “spending $424 million a day more than Canada was bringing in.” Still, when asked “Which programs will remain?” O’Toole simply said, “We need to appropriately shut down support programs and get the country working again.”

Tom Flanagan, professor emeritus of political science at the Calgary School of Public Policy, marvels at the soft responses and low priority given to such questions.

“This is in line with current public opinion in Canada. People don’t seem to be concerned about the size of the debt. … If you look at the three major parties regarding financial responsibility with their platforms, it is really bad, worse and worse. There is a question of worse,” Flanagan told The Epoch Times.

In July, the parliamentary budget official estimated that without a reduction in spending, the federal government is projected to borrow another $2.7 trillion before balancing the budget in 2070. public services.

Flanagan said O’Toole’s approach is reminiscent of the partial but inadequate management by Brian Mulroney’s progressive Conservative government in the post-Pierre Trudeau era.

“It reminds me of the 1970s and ’80s. Anyone with any insight could see that we were on a shaky track, but it didn’t cause much popular concern until the fall of 1994 when the Canadian dollar devalued. Maybe,” he said.

“Some people never really live with the negative consequences of a deficit because they were born later, so they have no experience of what can happen. And other people have, [but] I think his memory has dimmed. So now spending the long run seems to be the way to go. The lesson of 2015 is that a party that sticks to fiscal responsibility does not get any reward from the voters.

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In 2015, voters chose Trudeau’s Liberals, who had promised losses, over the NDP and the Conservatives, who promised a balanced budget. Steven Ambler, an associate professor of economics at the Université du Québec Montréal, said balanced budgets have become less important because it is now cheaper to service debt.

“It is different now than it was in the 90s, simply because we are living in an environment of low real interest rates, not only in Canada, but around the world. I think that has led to this complacency.”

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The English debate began with the topic of foreign relations, then climate change and green energy, reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and a more affordable and higher quality of life for Canadians. Tax cuts were never mentioned in this context, only more government spending.

Ambler said that a universal basic income, which was briefly discussed during the debate, has limited merit. He noted that economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman supported the concept of a negative income tax system, but only if other welfare systems were abolished.

“It is the private sector and small business that generate the most jobs. And the best thing is to have a low tax environment and stay out of the way and let the private sector create jobs,” he said.

“By expanding the role of the government, even by subsidizing things like public daycare, you’re hindering growth and you’re going to have the problem really explode at a certain point. Will grow that things are getting serious, but it’s not too serious, and then it can really turn around overnight.”

Lee Harding is a journalist and think tank researcher based in Saskatchewan, and a contributor to The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Canada's skyrocketing debt draws little attention to politicians' debate
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