Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ontario back in a surplus

It took them a good three years, but the Ontario Liberals have finally undone the damage inflicted by the Tories and their $5.6 billion deficit. Sooner than expected, too!

Now they can get to work fixing the damage the Tories did to Ontario's social safety net. I wish them as much success with that as with the elimination of the deficit.

For anyone who forgets the story of what happened, basically, the Tories cooked the books in 2003 to make it seem like Ontario was in a surplus. When the Liberals won, they opened up the books and found a huge deficit. The Tories basically lied, and then had the nerve to blame the deficit on the newly-elected Liberals (who hadn't even presented a budget yet).

This is what I think happened - in one of the biggest political dirty tricks ever, the Tories figured they could cook the books, with one of two outcomes. The first would be they'd win on their "sound" economic record (by hiding, of course, a $5.6 billion dirty little secret) and the second would be that they'd lose and the Liberals would find a nasty surprise waiting to cripple them and all of their promises. The latter happened, and their game worked pretty well for a while there, with McGuinty pulling in approval ratings in the teens as he was forced to make some unfortunate and painful but nevertheless necessary decisions to fix the Tories' mess. But he seems to have bounced back, which gives me hope that the voters of Ontario are smart enough to realize it wasn't McGuinty's fault, and he and his government have done an admirable job of coping with the knee-capping the Tories gave them. Here's hoping.

7 Comments:

At 8/29/2006 9:01 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

lying ,raise taxes,electricity,booze,smokes,health premium,wow truly incredible.

 
At 8/29/2006 9:39 p.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

Uhm... yeah, a brilliant come back.

 
At 8/30/2006 3:26 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

two words...
election year
a few more words...
dont trust anything mcguinty says

 
At 8/30/2006 10:55 a.m., Blogger jdave34 said...

So Dalton McGuinty pulls a budget surplus out of his ass, and OH MY GOD, there just happens to be an election coming. What are the odds?

This 'surplus' reminds me of his no tax hike pledge and his promise to help autistic kids.

Dalton McGuinty is the slimiest, sleaziest, lying-est politician I've seen come down the pike in a long time. But what should we expect from a man born into a family of political whores who have never had to live and work in the real world?

The sooner the McGuintys are out of Canadian politics, the better off we'll all be. Canada needs fewer, not more, career politicans who see the public trough as a birthright. The next honest buck a McGuinty makes will be the first.

 
At 9/09/2006 8:36 p.m., Blogger Miles Lunn said...

I am glad they balanced the budget. As for restoring the damage to the social safety net, I think a balance needs to be found here. A social safety net is important, but if too generous such as it is in Sweden, it can ultimately reduce incentives to succeed. A cradle to grave society is not desirable. A social safety net should be there to help those who cannot help themselves.

 
At 9/15/2006 2:51 p.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

Personally, I don't buy that "incentive to succeed" truism. It's a favourite of the libertarian right, and it makes sense on the surface - but only on the surface. Even a small bit of critical examination shows that it doesn't make sense at all. The incentive to succeed is in the wealth that can be attained - even if that wealth is shaved by the government.

 
At 9/16/2006 3:25 p.m., Blogger Miles Lunn said...

I am thinking more in terms of the low-income people who are on welfare. If being on welfare is better than getting a low paying job, they have no incentive to get a low-paying job. We need to find ways to encourage abled bodies to work rather than stay on welfare. Ideas such as allowing each dollar made to be only clawed back by 50 cents rather than the full dollar would encourage more to leave the welfare rolls.

 

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