Using the metaphor of the household budget is a page out of Maggie
Thatcher's book. It makes for very persuasive rhetoric, but the analogy
doesn't hold. Managing an economy and a government is infinitely more
complex than substituting margarine for butter.
If we substitute multinational corporation for household, perhaps the
metaphor is more appropriate to the crowd Harris is courting. Borrow
(avoid using your own cash at all costs), invest in speculative ventures
(but be careful: locate insider traders if possible, pay graft as
necessary), divest immediately when returns are in, pour a little glass of
Dom, light up a Cuban and plan the next venture.
But seriously, the gravest economic problem facing Ontario is the
declining tax base. Media pundits point out how the provincial debt
soared under Rae's govt. What is ignored is that since the consolidation
of Free Trade with the US an estimated 100,000 manufacturing jobs have
been lost in Ontario causing both a decline in the tax base and an
increase in demand for social assistance. Coupled with fluctuating
interest rates, this has caused the new debt "crisis."
Putting aside the consequences to the tax base of the 30% tax cut, which
will deliver real benefits only to those with salaries of $50,000+ (and
will reward mandarins such as the president of the Bank of Montreal an
estimated annual tax saving of $100,000), massive "jobshedding" at the
federal, provincial and municipal levels will only contribute to the
downward economic spiral as the tax base erodes even further.
Someone please tell me that I'm wrong, but the mini-budget is a recipe for
economic disaster. What is the UK after a decade and a half of slash and
burn economics but an economic basketcase? And why did our federal debt
grow exponentially under the budget cutting hands of Mulroney and friends?
Where is HISTORY in the midst of all this? (For instance, why don't I
mention that Mulroney and Thatcher governed in an era when international
capital was "going global"? Better yet, why don't the media mention
NAFTA, economic globalization, etc. when discussing Rae, as if NDPers are
somehow congenitally unable to manage an economy).
What precedent do we have for believing for one instance that Harris & Co.
will do anything but line their own pockets, and those of their buddies,
while allowing international corporations to operate with impunity?
NAFTA and one of the greatest capital flights of recent history, is
purportedly hiding out in Canada. Has anybody looked to see if he is
hiding in Mike's house?