Why are cuts being made?


In addition to lamenting the lack of transparency around the cuts, Scott Clark questions the reasoning for the Harper government’s budget cuts.

First, did the government cut spending because there was a fiscal crisis as there was in 1995? Apparently not, because there is no fiscal crisis. The government’s own numbers, provided in budget 2012, show that without the $5.2 billion in cuts, the deficit would still be eliminated over the medium term. The debt burden would fall, as would spending, as a share of GDP. Canada would continue to have the best fiscal performance in the G-7.

Second, did the government cut spending because they believed that the deficit contained a structural component that would not be eliminated without cuts? This has been a view of the PBO and 3dpolicy for some time, but it is a view that has been repeatedly rejected by the government. The government has continually shown medium-term forecasts in which the deficit disappears entirely as a result of economic growth.


Why are cuts being made?

  1. Ahhh that’s the question isn’t it…..there is no rational reason to make these cuts.

    Canada is a very wealthy country….but if we really needed money there are lots of things we could do. Tax unions, tax churches, eliminate the Senate…..things that would produce real money, not just eliminating some park rangers, or scientific reports.

    In fact that just makes the unemployment numbers worse.

  2. So cuts are unnecessary unless there is a fiscal crisis? There is no other reason to cut? No cuts until bankruptcy is on the horizon? Spoken like a true socialist. Government must never get smaller, only bigger. Once money is spent, it must always be spent.

    How about cutting because money is not effectively spent? How about cuts for programs that are not a government priority? How about cuts because the money could be spent better by taxpayers themselves? How about cuts for programs utilized by only few Canadians? How about cuts because a government department is inefficient? How about cuts to achieve higher productivity? How about cuts because money doesn’t grow on trees?

    • Um…what bankruptcy is on the horizon? This is Canada, not Greece, in
      spite of Cons trying to claim it is….when you’re not claiming we’re ‘the envy of the world’ that is. Heh.

      Cuts are to be made when the economy is booming, when people can easily
      find other jobs….not when times are tough and it just adds to the
      unemployment rolls.

      In fact programs should be culled on a regular basis…just not when it would make things worse.

    • “How about cuts because money doesn’t grow on trees?”

      How about we grow more trees?

      • I can’t believe you got 6 likes for such a meaningless and pointless comment.

        Why don’t we all earn a million dollars? Why don’t we all have our own jet planes?

        • Or why don’t we grow more trees?

          Growing an economy isn’t rocket science ya know.

    • Sunset laws for programs and services that are clearly obsolete, or in the interests of demonstrable efficiency where service levels can be otherwise sustained, would be difficult to challenge by the opposition. Sadly, such criteria don’t appear to apply in many cuts. They look, instead, to be the product of the Cons’ own little ideologically driven “hit list”.

      If this government were sincerely interested in frugality, they wouldn’t be funneling cash into projects like Clement’s riding slush fund or a jet fighter that has yet to prove that it will ever be air worthy or Peter McKay’s little make-believe training exercises or Bev Oda’s diva tastes or a ridiculously bloated cabinet and PMO or…

      • Sorry, but what you call “programs and services that are clearly obsolete” and what you disparagingly call “the Cons’ own little ideologically driven “hit list””, those two are the same.

        That’s the whole point of democracy. People don’t agree on what’s good and what’s bad. So we have a vote. You guys just don’t respect democracy, so you play this silly game where your preferences are “good” and your opponents’ preferences are “ideology”. And then you peddle this nonsense as if it makes any logical sense.

        • S’cuse me? Harper’s opponents are the ones who “don’t respect democracy”? That’s rich.

          Anybody who can make that bald-faced assertion in defense of the Harper regime is demonstrably politically illiterate.

          • Regime? You’re a laugh, that’s for sure.

          • And you’re odd, if you find accurate language usage amusing. Aside from the use of socialism in the example below, the word fits by any of its conventional definitions:

            1. a government, especially an authoritarian one: ideological opponents of the regime

            2. a : mode of rule or management b : a form of government (a socialist regime) c : a government in power d : a period of rule

            A new word for your vocabulary. Use it.

          • Are you for real? You are quite the combination of arrogance, idiocy, stupidity, hubris and just plain craziness. You’re perfect for Wherry’s blog.

          • You exhausted your entire vocabulary on me. I’m flattered ;-)

    • Yes reaction to budget cuts in a free market society is an indicator of a “true socialist”. You are obviously a genius with a keen understanding of the political spectrum.

  3. Who cares what two influence peddlers, and former bureaucrats, think about Fed budget? Pigs at the trough are complaining that their filet mignon and lobster dinner is inadequate.

    Cost of government is getting more expensive even tho the Government is cutting services – Canadians are paying more $$$ for fewer services – and why is that occurring? Pols have to cut some services because public service salaries and pensions are expensive and we don’t have enough $$$ to pay for our lavish Government.

  4. The program cuts, combined with revenue reduction, are part of the Conservative’s ongoing plan to reduce the size of government for years to come, whether they are in office or out by tying the hands of future governments as much as possible. This is good or bad, depending on your point of view.

    It would seem that certain things fall outside that long-term plan. Whether as part of some over-arching ideological plan, or due to pragmatic “necessity” as part of the sausage-making that is politics–or because they are making it up as they go–is a good question.

  5. Canada’s elite managed to convince decision-makers that if they kept more of their income, they could create more wealth for everyone and this illusion must come to an end. This group controlled $1.78 trillion dollars of financial wealth, 67% of the total financial wealth of Canadian households in 2009 and continues to grow, while we pay the price. We do not need to cut government spending, we simply need to make those hoarding the cash to start sharing.

Sign in to comment.