You’ve been hearing the Liberals and NDP attack Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for weeks now, saying that the Conservatives are in a deficit situation already, that the Conservatives spend too much.
Which is funny. I agree that the Conservatives spend too much, that government should be smaller -- but both the Liberals and NDP have been calling for higher government spending since Stephen Harper took power.
During the recession in 2008 they claimed the deficits were not high enough and called for more spending, now they denounce those deficits and still call for more spending.
So now Harper is hitting back.
He’s right: After attacking the Harper Conservatives for deficit spending, while also calling for more spending, Trudeau has now said that if he and the Liberals take power they will run deficits so that they can “invest” in Canadians.
I told you about Trudeau’s infrastructure plan last week. About two thirds of the planned $60 billion in spending over 10 years is social spending. He calls new social program spending on things like day care, social infrastructure.
It’s part of why he says deficits are acceptable.
But while the Liberals have said they will run a deficit, the NDP has said they won’t. So it was interesting on Sunday to see the Liberals and the Conservatives both come out with their own studies claiming that the NDP will rack up lots of red ink to pay for their promises.
The Liberals claim the NDP shortfall would amount to $5 billion in the first year and $28 billion over four years. The Conservatives put those figures a bit higher, $8 billion in the first year and $34 billion of unfunded promises over four years.
Did you hear that? 125 unfunded election promises?
So what is Mulcair saying about this? He’s saying he just has different spending priorities.
It’s not actually true, that vaunted NDP track record. I can point to Ontario, I can point to BC, I point to what is happening in Alberta and I will take this on, this idea of NDP fiscal prudence later on in the campaign but for now, let’s look at what Mulcair would do.
He would cancel income splitting for families. He is philosophically opposed to it but he wants you to believe he won’t take it away from seniors because somehow it is good for seniors but not the rest of us.
He would raise corporate tax rates higher even though he admitted he doesn’t know what the federal corporate tax rate is -- he just thinks it should be higher.
He would hike capital gains taxes, so if you have invested for your retirement, you could take an extra tax hit because he thinks money needs to be taxed at every turn. And of course, he is not a fan of tax free savings accounts because your money isn’t really yours; to a socialist, it is the government’s money until they let you keep it.
The NDP and Liberals want you to think Stephen Harper’s deficits are bad. I admit, I’m not a fan of them but Justin Trudeau now admits a Liberal government would run several years more of deficits and the NDP will either run deficits or hikes taxes so high as to kill the economy, which will eventually lead to deficits.
Act accordingly when it comes time to vote.
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