Every year it's been the same thing
The same thing again this year
This week the Conservative government predicated proudly that in 2015 Finance Minister James Flaherty will finally give us a balanced budget.
Flaherty hasn’t been able to balance a single federal budget for the past eight years that he’s been in the job, and it’s increasingly obvious that he won’t be able to balance this year’s budget on Feb. 11.
That’s despite what he had promised us in previous years.
Back in the days of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, the Liberals racked up a record nine consecutive balanced budgets.
It must be discouraging for Flaherty to rack up deficits like that year after year. Every year, we end up having to cover Flaherty’s deficits which end up as part of the federal debt...
And every year Flaherty ends up with another deficit, he says "wait ‘til next year and you'll see."
Now Flaherty is saying that 2015 is the year he’ll finally have a surplus. No more deficits after that, he promises. Oh yeah? We’ve heard that before.
Federal budget deficits don’t just disappear after Flaherty announces them. They turn into red ink that gets added to the national debt that just keeps growing year after year. The federal debt is more than $600 billion, and Flaherty is personally responsible for $123 billion of that.
And optimists that we are, every year we hope that Flaherty will finally come up with a surplus budget, but he never does.
It is not that Flaherty deliberately lies to us. No, he wishes with all his heart that he could finally balance the federal budget.
Unfortunately Flaherty has a long history of deficit budgets.
Even before Flaherty became Harper’s finance minister, for four consecutive years he was Ontario Premier Mike Harris’ finance minister.
And in every one of those years, Flaherty produced a provincial deficit budget in Ontario. You’d think Harper would have figured it out before he chose Flaherty as his finance minister.