By Henry McRandall
The sudden soaring of Canada’s federal budget deficit to a record $50 billion reflects not only the rank incompetence of Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty but also the reckless irresponsibility and dereliction of duty of a generation of NeoConservative and NeoLiberal federal governments.
For the past 25 years, successive Conservative and Liberal governments, and finally today’s Conservative-Liberal coalition, have given tax cut after tax cut after tax cut to corporations and the wealthy.
The goal of these tax cuts was not only to further enrich those who already have far more than their fair share but also to deliberately and gradually cripple the fiscal and gubernatorial capacity of governments in general.
The NeoConservatives and NeoLiberals, under the guise of the Conservative and Liberal parties, are equally wed to the same sordid, elitist corporate agenda that demands above all things the total reduction of government and an end to the ability of governments to act in the best interests of all Canadians rather than just the interests of the corporate elite.
Flaherty and Prime Moron Stephen Harper may claim, falsely, that the ballooning deficit is proof that the Harper-Ignatieff coalition is doing all it can reasonably do to help the hundreds of thousands of workers who have been dumped on the scrap heap in the current economic crisis.
While there is a very small measure of truth to this claim, the real and dominant reason why the deficit has soared to a record $50 billion – and may well rise much higher – is the never-ending series of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
As global hotel heiress Leona Helmsley – who left $10 billion to her dogs – opined, only “little people” should have to pay taxes.
And, in Canada, the Conservatives and Liberals have both totally bought in to Helmsley’s perverted thinking.
In 1950, corporate taxes provided fully 50 percent of all government revenues in Canada. Today they provide less than 10 percent. And the wealthy have gotten off just as easily.
It is now incumbent that all right-thinking Canadians phone and/or e-mail their federal MPs and demand that corporations and the wealthy finally be forced to carry their fair share of the tax burden – for the first time ever.
If the Harper-Ignatieff coalition is not forced now to do this, ordinary Canadians face a future of higher and higher taxes, less and less corporate regulation and less and less government spending on social programs and the social safety net. And that will only serve to further impoverish the poor and the middle class.
About that $50-billion federal deficit
By Henry McRandall