We must not forget that federal national deficits are significant. The sky does not fall if Canada fails to balance the budget in a particular year, but there must be discipline on wasteful spending that helps little in the long run.
While the annual deficit and accumulated national debt, do not look like present problems (debt-to-GDP ratio 30.5 percent and falling), it doesn’t mean we won’t have future trouble. Trudeau should not be running deficits when the economy is sufficiently growing. When will the next emergency come? Now is the time to get ready, by paying down debt, and ensuring that when we spend, that it is wise and helpful. There will always be more projects and plans, than available resources.
What if NAFTA collapses, or the cumulative consequences of the “culture of no” paralyzes the economy. It doesn’t take much, for good times to go bad.
Everyone knows that Canada should run surpluses now, to guard against when there is no choice but to run deficits. That’s what Harper did, and saved Canada much economic and social pain from the international disaster of 2008, and he balanced the budget as soon as possible. Chretien benefitted from a booming USA economy, and eventually ran surpluses and made payments on the national debt. However, Trudeau broke his election promise on national finances, exactly like Harper predicted he would.
Trudeau is choosing a dangerous course, that burdens the next generation with debt-service cost, without creating structural assets to boost a higher quality of life. What of lasting value do we have for this year’s deficit spending? It’s about value for money; where is it? The government can’t tell us.