Today's economy

Canadian politics just got turned upside down

By Kevin Press, BrighterLife.ca

Comments (170)

Fundamental to our understanding of democratic politics across the developed world is that conservative parties stand for relatively low levels of government spending, while those on the left of the political spectrum are prone to higher spending. A new study, released yesterday by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), blows a hole through that conventional wisdom.

Canadian politics just got turned upside down“When you look at the behaviours of various parties over long periods of time in different governments, the pattern is that there is no pattern,” said MEI’s president and chief executive officer, Michel Kelly-Gagnon in an interview with me yesterday. “The parties that are supposed to be more in favour of big government end up spending less than we might expect. And the parties that are supposed to be fiscally conservative sometimes end up being spendthrifts.”

MEI’s study examined government spending in Canada, Quebec and the U.S., dating back to the Pierre Trudeau, Robert Bourassa and Richard Nixon administrations respectively. “In all three cases,” reads the report, “it is actually left-wing governments that most reduced the relative size of government.”

MEI reports government size as the ratio of public spending to gross domestic product.

Under Liberal Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, that ratio fell by 32.5%. The current government, under the leadership of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, drove the ratio up after the financial crisis. It has since reduced the size of government to roughly where it was when the Conservatives took office in 2006.

In the U.S., Republican President George Bush grew the ratio more than any other, by 39%. Democratic President Bill Clinton shrank it by 14.3%.

Is this simply a matter of parties running for office from the left or right, as the cliché goes, and then governing from the centre? Partly, said Kelly-Gagnon. “Parties, when they form governments, regardless of their declared ideology, have to be responsive to the economic environment.”

Context matters, Kelly-Gagnon told me. Clinton’s numbers look great because he enjoyed strong gross domestic product growth during his presidency. Harper had a financial crisis to deal with, and he therefore had to implement a level of stimulus spending that ran contrary to his party’s small government plans.

Public spending as a share of GDP of government

Quebec

United States

The report draws two conclusions. First, our perceptions about left- and right-wing political ideology don’t reflect the realities of the last four decades. The data tell a far more nuanced story. Second, we’re far better positioned to debate the role (and size) of government in a non-partisan fashion than we might have expected. The fact that actual decision-making hasn’t been as tied down by ideology as we may have thought means we can be more pragmatic about, for example, the austerity-stimulus debate that continues to rage around the developed world.

It’s worth a try, anyway.

More on government spending:


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Peter on

When you say that under Clinton it went down,I believe the congress was held by conservatives.under bush they were liberals.does that even factor in your study

Evan on

This study is garbage. The denominator is an inherently volatile number that does not make for a viable ratio. Take for instance the most recent years, the reduction in the rate of GDP growth is partially to blame for the increase in the data. This does not normalize for business cycles and is therefore a pile of junk used to promote an agenda.

    marysue5252 on

    The GDP/GNP and other Friedmanical “measurements” of economics is seriously flawed. An oil spill happens and the GDP goes up! How does that make any sense? Giving $35 billion of our tax dollars to skanks like the Koch Bros. to help them extract OUR resources–how does that make economic sense? There is NO such thing as a profit magically out of thin air. A profit is wrenched from the labour of others, the wages of others and the planet we all have to share with one another and other species. Capitalism does not create wealth–it only destroys the wealth that was already there long before the first idiot human jumped out of the trees to abuse mother nature’s bounty.

      Russ on

      Marysue5252, Capitalism does not create wealth it only destroys wealth that was already there?

      I can’t let that one go by. Take Henry Ford for example, he used capital to buy raw resources such as iron to make steel to make into cars (which until dug up and melted out of the rock, was just potential wealth) and he paid his workers $5 a day which in those days was above average pay.

      You are also using a computer to communicate over a telecommunication network that all got there because someone used capital to make it a reality. If we only had government we would still be living in caves with only moonlight to see at night.

      The best system has a good balance between private enterprise which rewards innovation and hard work with profit and government as the regulator which benefits when wealth is produced. What we now have is way out of balance with governments in Canada taking 43% of everyones pay and massive debts that have been allowed to accumulate, it is unsustainable and will eventually lead to a collapse when socialism will die by 2032 according to Martin Armstrong’s pi cycle model. see armstrongeconomics.com

Roberto on

Number one: why is this article choosing to isolate the province of Quebec? Is it considered another ‘country’? I wish the author could have shown how Ontario (the provincial ‘engine’ of Canada) has fared over the last several decades. That would be more relevant.

Secondly, maybe I am reading the Canadian charts incorrectly, (and I agree that the fiscal restraint via public spending is not completely conservative-owned), but does it not indicate that generally, the conservatives trend lower by average? Let’s remember that the regime ruling from 93-06 downloaded much of its carrying costs to provinces; looks great on the books, but is a blatant skewing of the facts. Secondly, after the crash of 2008, the conservative government was not aligned with the common leftist thought that one had to spend its’ way out of a recession/crisis…our banking system was safe and secure compared to the US system (interestingly, our superior banking legislation was enacted by the liberals back in the day). In fact, what spurred this spike in spending was the threat from the left COALITION (which consisted of the Liberal Party, the NDP socialist party and the Separatist Party Quebecois) to overthrow the government if their demands were not met. This led to the proroguing of government in order to stave off the stupidity, but thus having the hand FORCED to implement the spending initiatives tabled from the leftists. Otherwise, picture a country run by an ideological group that includes a party that wants to break away from Canada.

Let’s also remember that the former US administration signed the banker bailout just as they were packing their desks up for the New Hope; had this not been done, the following morning in the markets would have been subject to a rude awakening as China was poised to do some cashing in. Remember, right now, China is sitting on some $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds. So, to a great degree, that administration also had its’ hands tied. Let’s also remember that the crash was heavily due to the Clinton’s deregulation act he signed, coupled with his loosening of housing rules in 1995 by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighbourhoods (sub-prime). The writing was on the wall, and it was only a matter of time.

All that being said, the current Canadian administration is not showing as much spending restraint as I would feel comfortable in supporting, but they are far from spendthrifts. Regardless, the budget is on track to being balanced in a few short years, and for the most part, Canada has not been heavily subject to much of what has been happening in the States or Europe (although the demand for resources and the pressure on the dollar counters that argument, though slight). However, with the US being mired in unsustainable spending and historically high debt (which will lead to default, inevitably), as well as its’ re-positioning on the world stage as a ‘has-been’ leader under the current administration, Canada will be exposed to a devastating reality that will take us to new lows.

Eric on

As some commentators have pointed out, the lack of context in this report makes its conclusions open to question, though not necessarily wrong. For instance, it ignores whether government got value for spending. If the U.S. government implemented ‘single-payer’ medicare and brought health spending down from the U.S. 15% of GDP to the Canadian 9% (with equivalent or greater outcomes), that would be counted as Big Government, even if it saved Americans money.

On the other hand, it is true that Conservative/Republican governments are keener on wasteful spending like Big Wars and Big Militaries, while cutting health, housing and education spending.

Finally, it’s laughable to characterize the Liberals, PQ and Dems as “left” — this is true only in comparison to the determinedly right-moving Cons, Quebec ‘Liberals’ and Republicans/Tea Party.

Bob Flint on

I would like to turn all politicians upside-down, and shake all my hard earned money from their greedy pockets.

We have no insight, or control to where, & how my money is spent, electing one crook that lies less than the latter is not a solution.

I gladly pay for service, but this system of PUBLIC SERVANTS does not do what it is told by those that pay for the service.

Will Doyle on

The headline should read. “Conservative myths just got turned upside down”. Conservatives as fiscally prudent politicians has been one of the great lies of modern history.

    al on

    @doyle , looking at you , yes yes yes.

    E. Turner on

    Utter nonsense!

    Countries all over the world envy us our Conservative Government and offer to swop their current leaders for our Prime Minister.

    I offered them either Pauline Marois or Justin Trudeau. There were no takers!

      Larry Steven McKone on

      …AND THAT WOULD BE WHY COUNTRIES ALL OVER Europe AND HERE IN Canada continue to elect left of center parties. Because we envy the American system…SIGH! What does one even say to a comment like that. The truth is left of center policies always seem to balance budgets, slow corruption, and take care of the poor and middle class first, believing as we should the rich are capable of taking care of themselves, that’s how they got rich in the first place. Not through hard work as they would have us believe.

    Roberto on

    In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected, the GDP was $2.79 trillion, and the debt was 32.6% of GDP. In the last full year of Ronald Regan’s tenure in 1988, GDP was $5.1 trillion, and the debt was 51% of GDP.

    So notice that the GDP increased by a whopping 82% over just 8 years under Reagan. That is a huge leap. Under Obama between 2008 and 2010, it increased only about 3%.

    In 1995 under Clinton, GDP was $7.4 trillion and debt was 67.1% In 2001, GDP was $10.2 trillion and debt was 56.5%. By 2005, under George Bush, GDP was $12.64 trillion and debt had grown to 62.8%.

    By the end of 2013, the debt was at 101.6% of GDP.

    Here’s a record of GDP GRWOTH over the last several decades:
    1978-87: 3.15%
    1988-97: 3.05%
    1998-2007: 2.99%
    2008-2013: 0.73%

    Note that Reagan inherited a dismal economy, much like Obama. However, Reagan’s policies helped the nation roar out of recession in a very short period of time, not the near decade that Obama has had; even so, look where we are at given the time in office to correct the issue: worse than ever.

    These are the real numbers, not the spin that the media has been mandated to deliver. The PERCENTAGE OF DEBT to GDP are the figures we need to be VERY CONCERNED about. Ask any serious non-partisan economist, or anyone that runs a household on a budget.

    Oh well; stupid is as stupid does, and you can’t fix stupid.

Rob Gillespie on

Of course, Ayn Rand pointed all this out in the 1960s… Nice that somebody in the academic world and the media has finally caught up. The Liberals have always regarded themselves as the Natural Governing Party in Canada. The Conservatives could always be counted upon to oppose whatever they did while they were consigned to opposition, but once they get in power it turns out they just as much as the liberals want to dictate all kinds of aspects of Canadians’ lives (as opposed to leaving them alone, as you might expect if you paid attention to what they claim their principles are). And their hilarious rush – every time – to dive headlong into the the corruption cesspool the Liberals have been fouling for the (usually) last 20 years really demonstrates where they are at. I really thank the people at the Montreal Economic Institute for publishing this study. I hope Canadians take some real food for thought from it.

David on

When a political party holds a dinner for $30 a plate and thereby listen to the average man and what he feels is important then I would gain confidence in our political system.
When dinners are hosted at $500 and more,it is obvious that only the wealthy are listened to

    al on

    Yes no doubt about , preaching to the choir, I recall the debt under Reagan doubled nearly, same under Bush ,george, not exactly prudent conservative idea, now to say that the economy would fail if not done after the fact is looking in the rear view mirror. Where and who benefited the most ?

David Scott on

It must also be acknowledged that a major reason that the Liberal Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin (who had been Chretien’s Minister of Finance) were able to balance their budgets and attain surpluses was that Chretien’s government download the costs of a number of social programs onto the provincial governments. Overall, the cost of government to Canadian taxpayers remained the same; it was simply another level of government that was made to foot the bill.

    Raympnd L Ingrey on

    What you say David is true as it is with all western governments
    Today there was a release of which students had best education and all of the top 5 came from Asia
    That is a direct link to the amount of money spent on education in Asia against the amount western governments have cut back.
    We here in the west are so tied to the idea that everything has to be for profit and the above shows the price we are paying to balance the books so that a few people can become wealthy.

      Russ Browne on

      Raymond, Communism failed and now the west’s socialism is going to fail. It is not the fault of businesses that produce wealth, it is the fault of western politicians that started borrowing money and putting us all into debt. 70% of western governments debts are from compounding interest, this is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world and it is not going to end nicely. Taxation keeps taking from the productive to give to the unproductive and the bankers (interest payments), this is the main problem.

      al on

      russ browne may be our readers and fellow citizens need to note well that the transfer will cause huge problems, tell us what your projection might happen when the productive resent the financiers, called investors, start to accumulate more . Why wouldn’t the investments in new industry,or product & services, not benefit the worker?

      josephbc69 on

      Hello! I very much like your comments, however it looks as if you were cut off. Is there more?

      Please send them to me, jefasciani@shaw.ca, w/thanks! J

      al on

      @russ Browne , so true , having seen banking a little , way before computerization, It appears that the investors in Banks rule , like the debt that the ordinary get into, and encourage this debt, some extremely huge three or four times beyond the annual income of the person. Even if the new strategy is to give a low rate , as we know at 1% p.a. then 2% is a 100% mark up. Many people live in either a debt ridden life, or just hope that the payments never get paid. By the way women are the best repayers, men do get independent , leave or go under the table.

LAWRENCE LOTT on

Trudeau actually did not increase the debt or the deficit. Government spending did not increase that much under his government. What caused the debt to increase so much was the huge increase in interest rates during that time when Canada Savings Bonds hit 191/2%.

    E. Turner on

    Pierre E. Trudeau was a catastrophe for our country. He was a theoretician, and caused havoc with our economy. His son, who is now leader of the Opposition, is just as disastrous as he was, with the added insult to injury, like his dad, of having had no hands on experience whatsoever in economy, administration, foreign affairs etc….

    We have been blessed with an outstanding Conservative government and an outstanding Prime Minister in Mr. Harper.

      Philip Coss on

      Thomas Mulcair is the leader of the opposition. Everybody is allowed their own opinion but they are not allowed their own facts.

erni laboss on

chicken farmers raise chickens- beef farmers raise beef- politicians raise taxpayers–simple

ScottinBC on

The author forgot to mention the Chretien gov’t unloading costs onto the provinces and that Harper was FORCED to spend by the NDP & Liberals during the minority government years. This site has no credibility for factual information.

    josephbc69 on

    To maninthetub:

    I find it very hard to understand what you mean when you state that Bush 43 “had a good heart.”

    Is it because the illegal, unConstitutional wars he created and the millions he had killed, maimed, and displaced were acts of kindness from his ‘good heart’?

    Perhaps it was his crimes against humanity, as defined by the same US in its War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, 1945?

    Or was it the illegal capture, imprisonment, and sometimes murder of people from many countries [including US citizens w/o benefit of a trial!], put into prisons and camps where they were tortured to extract what?

    Before you simply start in on me, please keep this to civil discourse, as per the style and substance of the articles I write for and post on the Internet. You may want to read my last major researched essay, “The Ghost of George Carver is Haunting Bush 43″ before you reply [http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Ghost_of_Carver.htm is a good place to start]

    All best,
    Joseph E Fasciani, 70
    Victoria/Esquimalt, BC

    Russ Browne on

    Politicians are by and large a bunch of crooks that steal from the people. 70% of western countries debts are from compounding interest, than money has not helped the poor and old. According to the author of Tax Me I’m Canadian almost 200 billion dollars of the 700 billion federal debt has been outright wasted. Government cannot be trusted, they are the enemy of the productive and must be watched closely.

      josephbc69 on

      Russ, you are 150% correct! Perhaps 10% of all politicians are there for the people they are supposedly representing; the rest are money-seeking opportunists and/or ideologues.

      beverly on

      Posters commenting that government can’t be trusted seem to be implying that business can be trusted.
      Take a look at how loyal big business has been to the worker in North America – how easy it is to be fired without cause, or be denied a job despite various laws preventing discrimination. This comes from someone who has owned a small business; I’m from a family who owned one as well.
      Many large businesses are suffering from Enron syndrome. Emphasis on stars at the top rather than the people who actually produce something. This is, in large part, what resulted in the Great Recession. Speculation, rather than real production made the market vulnerable when people called in their virtual dollars.
      Over-investment in private interests only creates imbalance, just as over-investment in supposed social ideology of communism. It’s actually not socialism anymore than extreme capitalism is.
      The extremes only produce oligarchy (few holding all the power ) or dictatorship (one person with all the power). Ideologies involving left and right are all about the extremes. Balance suggests the need for social and corporate interests. Endless debates about left and right serve only to distract us.

      Russ Browne on

      Beverly, Yes I agree with you, Martin Armstrong’s work shows the best economies have been when there is a balance between government regulation and private initiative, yin/yang of civilizations. Right now western governments in league with bankers have driven the west into massive debt, a very dangerous experiment, the largest transfer of wealth in history, this is not going to end well. It is Marxist inspired economics which history has proven does not work. Communism died and now its brother Socialism is going to die too, right now according to Armstrong the USA is holding up the whole economy, after 2015 things will start to get rough for the US again, 2008 crisis take II.

    Russ Browne on

    LOL!!!! You forgot to add that we should feel sorry for Justin because he had his birthday on Christ-mas!

Barry on

“MEI’s study examined government spending in Canada, Quebec and the U.S., dating back to the Pierre Trudeau”

wow! Canada and Quebec lol

who’s the brilliant one there?/

Knuk on

All spending is not equal. Clinton was forced to reform welfare. W Bush was forced to defend against terrorism. Good on ‘em both. Of greater concern is corruption. Adscam is fading in the public mind — Liberal. The Ontario Power Plant Scandal is current — Liberal.
Of course, ACCUSATIONS of corruption are the purview of the Liberals, but convictions seem to militate against basing conclusions on accusations.
It may be the next right course is to change party names. Conservatives seem to believe the personal accountability; liberals seems to believe in governmental oversight. I propose Adults and Juveniles as the nouveau nomenclature.

Tom J. on

Interesting article. Would have been handy if you linked to the report itself, so those who are interested could read it.

TJ Radcliffe on

This is not news. Anyone paying attention has known this for a least a decade, and I’ve read previous research on the question. So far from “blowing a hole in Canadian politics” it is a useful and valuable reaffirmation of something we already knew based on the data we already had and the analysis that has already been done.

But it bears repeating, because the truth has a very hard time getting through ideology-addled heads, as wittness the commenters above who are unable to grasp that balance of power in the US system is far more delicate than “congress spends”–every expenditure has to be signed by the President, and many are asked for by the President (or imposed autocratically by the President by going to war and then demanding Congress patriotically pay for it…)

I’m sure in another generation or so the truth that centre-ist and centre-left parties are better stewards of government expenditure than right-wing parties will be well enough known that we won’t have ideology-addled righties telling us transparent lies, but it’s going to be a long time before we get there.

    John Farnham (@opit) on

    “ideology-addled righties ” There’s a chap who is unclear on the concept. We have no ‘left wing’ in Canada ( if I started to add up anarchist and communist MPs how high a number would I get ? ). What we have is Authoritarianism which is historically based not just on the imperial/feudal model but the power of control of money and thereby politicians ; with the ability to derail legislation ( the Senate ) as a scarce needed backup. Canada was run by the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company in the beginning and not much has changed since.

Allen Snowdon on

One big difference between Canadians and Americans when it comes to politics:
We are nowhere near polarized ideologically than our American counterparts for starters, but whether or not our personal choice of leader is elected we gather together and generally support whoever controls Parliament.
With this culture of cooperation things usually work well as this article illustrates.
Have a nice day :)

Shalom on

It is very likely that the “Public Spending” on the above graphs include interest payments on public debt. Since the size of these interest payments are the results of accumulated debts and the level of interest rates they do not reflect the performance of the corresponding government, and should be deducted from the figure of “Public Spending”. For example, the Mulroney government ran mostly balanced operational budgets, but it still showed deficits due to interest on the debts accumulated during Trudeau high-spending years.

David D Harper on

harpalong cussaday: Though not quite “over the hill” yet, it does help to be up the hill to gain some perspective, and from where I stand, it looks as if we can blame Ronald Reagan for a lot of our current world fracturing. It was he, after all, who deregulated everything he could, most importantly the banking system, which led to the near-collapse of the global economy thanks to those mega-millionaires he introduced to the world. (Who heard of a billionaire prior to his reign?) His introduction of the War on Drugs and tax-reduction mantra that has reduced government income to the point where no social safety net is any longer affordable, along with his obeisance to the military-industrial complex – which former Pres Eisenhower had specifically warned the world against – and his host of covert and subversive activities that paved the way for current governments, have not only put the future of the US as a global power at risk, has also put the rest of the world in reduced straits and in global peril, now that corporate and individual greed have been given total carte blanche to destroy the environment and those societal institutions that used to work for the benefit of all of humanity. Yes, indeed: God bless America …they’ll need Someone’s blessing to bring them back from the eve of destruction they’ve led the rest of us to!

    josephbc69 on

    Dear David D Harper:

    I’m 71 in February, 2014, and agree w/all you’ve so smartly written here. Plato is said to have remarked that “the first requirement of a philosopher is that he have a good memory.” Having unfairly dismissed one-half of humankind, he went on to allegedly say a good deal else, including –but not limited to!– “money shall not breed money,” as a universal dictum. Canada –and all the world’s nations– could far better manage its affairs if it were not beholden to the banksters, the arch-criminals of all time and humanity.

    As a nation, Canada is not stupid when compared to the others, yet we sometimes act as if we lost crucial parts of our brain. We would not be in the fiscal –and thus, political– state we’re in IF the Bank of Canada were doing its job as set out in its mission charter: to ensure the nation has a stable supply of LOW interest-bearing currency. Canada became as great as it has in such a short order because this was the case until “…1974. That year, with inflation at a 20-year high, the Government of Canada abandoned this method of financing in favor of borrowing from private banks at market rates on the reasoning that paying interest on its debt was less harmful to Canadians than high inflation – a policy now followed by most advanced economies.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Canada]

    In our pathetic, beleaguered state today, we can all see how well THAT worked out, at least in favour of the Big Five Banks and their ilk.

    Canada –and humankind in general– cannot develop humane policies nor develop relevant, pragmatic social solutions until it gets its financial house in order. This must start with restoring the Bank of Canada to the role it was created for, and to do so in perpetuity.

      Joe on

      Thank you Joseph, my hero of the day! I am 24 and I hear you loud and clear. Our Canadian Bank, “owned by the people”, is not managed by the people. Like my good friend said, in 1974 the Bank of Canada abandoned we the people, for monetarism! A significant sovereign right is the management of our own money supply and banking policies, I couldn’t stress this enough. Hell, look at the U.S and their government with the private federal reserve enacted in 1913, the third of it’s kind in the U.S history, look how prosperous they are now. U.S dollar is worth pennies now when compared to history.

      josephbc69 on

      Hello, David!

      I just made a momentous discovery re friend Hsing Lee [see above], and I extend you the same invitation, any time. I’m very active politically and still write as much as I can get in between working to survive, etc.

      You’re always welcome, and note my phone & email address above.
      All best, always,
      Joseph & Dakota Bear[ly]

      PS: Keep up your very good thoughts and work!

hsing lee on

umm… ok I HAVE to bring this up too, by way of keeping things fair and egalitarian.

it’s quite clear to me that these color code blocks i’m seeing beside posts are intended to represent some sort of perceived intellectual value and validity and insight to the writer’s statements.

like the shallow minded low value statements of little use to anyone are the low end of the spectrum. red and infrared which scans only the surface.

and mine is ultraviolet, the high end of the spectrum, that can see through things.

but this is a form of bias in and of itself.

my statement is no more valid or invalid or valuable than others. it may have more value to some, and less to others, and none at all to some, and perception of its value is based entirely on one’s own beliefs, morally relative to my own.

i have to question the use of this color thing as having the potential to unfairly influence a reader’s opinion, one way or another. and that’s coming from someone your inference engine is giving the highest rating to,.

    josephbc69 on

    Yo Hsing Lee, many warm greetings, old friend! I regret that my life became so fragmented, then I went through way too many second-hand computers, but my iMac seems to be a stable item that has become nearly a full-time friendly monster. It’s grand seeing you here, a site I discovered by accident, and I caught yr name when I went to respond to David Harper’s comments re the Bank of Canada.

    Anyhow, here’s my current email address, please send me yrs: jefasciani@shaw.ca.

    All best, always, and feel free to stop by and visit, stay the night, etc.
    Joseph, 776-440-3840, Esquimalt

hsing lee on

i think these numbers are more demonstrative of personal beliefs and ideology than they are of the mission statement of a political party.

the Right wing, which is primarily and predominantly Christian, believes in the concept of Dominion by divine right.

They believe that it’s not only morally justifiable, but their duty as christians, to give favor, and thus government contracts, to christians who, in GHW Bush’s own words, they see as tighter, righter and better hands.

to them, that IS reducing big government because the money goes to right wng christian doing gods work, and not to poor people and atheists.

it’s a function of their core beliefs.

amirlach on

Bill Clinton owes much of his fiscal success to the Republican Congress and Newt Gingrich. It is Congress that controls the purse strings.

Another big myth is that Obama “inherited” a massive debt from G W Bush. He inherited it in part from himself.

“Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases. For FY 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.
And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period: ” http://bsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/a-real-eye-opener-bush-debt-vs-obama-debt/

Now what part of the above graph showing Harpers terms in office were during times he had a minority Govt? When he had to compromise with the Canadian Left on spending?

What about Ralph Klien’s record?

And seriously? Liberals in Quebec are Right Wing?

suzanne on

I apologize if I have been rude this morning. My mother passed early today and I think I’m in shock. I can’t stop being busy. And this distracts me. But I am snappish and tired. Please accept my bad manners. That being said, I do believe what I said to be true, but I could have put it more politely.

Stan Hudson on

Canadians commenting on any aspects of the world in general outside their own little fairyland is sort of non-sensical…

    suzanne on

    I think I recognize you from Sodahead! Is that you, Old Salt? LOL! Canadians have been loyal and gracious allies of the U.S. for years, and our soldiers are still in Afghanistan, thank you very much. And there were no wmd so the whole thing was about oil. Which I have no doubt our gut toting reactionist cousins will waste no time in taking from us. Thanks, Alberta.

cecilhenry on

These numbers don’t add up as usual.

Governments take 50% of the wage earners salary.

These parasites have only continued to grow and increase what they take from taxpayers.

So 15% is ridiculous.

FTWR………………

Tedd on

If you found anything surprising in this study, you have not been paying close enough attention.

Michael on

The comments supporting Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are ludicrous.

These two fools cut taxes and at the same time increased spending to insane levels on things like the military like there was no tomorrow. Both set astronomical records for spending, for deficits and for accumulated debt.

That will happen when you boost military spending to $700 billion a year (more than the next ten countries’ military spending in total), and when you start wars that cost trillions of dollars. Sorry, but even a child understands that.

Clinton, despite all of his many flaws, was the only one to balance the budget.

Obama? Well, he has been a disappointment but let’s face it, he was given the keys to a burning house.

    suzanne on

    Yes, President Clinton knew about budgets. He was a smart guy, and likeable. But he had to go and lie about that stupid intern and lost his credibility. Man, did he get bad advice from his people that day.

Michael on

It’s even worse in Canada with the current Conservative government. They took a $13 billion surplus left to them by the Liberals and turned it into a $33 billion deficit within 18 months – and that was BEFORE the 2008/09 recession even began – and it subsequently rose even higher, to $55 billion a couple of years later.

Plus, this government has been obsessed with replicating (failed) American policies here, including huge and expensive failures like their “Tough on Crime” legislation that will not make our streets safer unless you think that means that teenagers growing six pot plants should receive mandatory sentences.

In short, the Conservatives are a fiscal disaster. The previous Liberal governments had EIGHT surplus budgets in a row … the only government to have even one surplus in the last 50 years.

    john s. boone on

    As I have stated before , the only reason that the Liberals had a “surplus” was because the Liberals stole $40,000,000,000 from the workers EI fund. Without this theft from the working people of Canada the Liberals would look as bad as the Conservatives. Both these guys are liars and thieves. Neither have the welfare of working class Canadians in mind. Their only worry is t please their masters at Big Business and Big Banks. They are not worried about those who do not fill their coffers. They do not care about you. They do not care about me.

      Michael on

      I won’t argue with your final point. But did you know the Conservatives have also raided the EI pot? They learned from the Liberals on that. Also, their Tough on Crime agenda is going to be a bigger long-term burden for the provinces than anything Trudeau, Mulroney or Chretien ever did. Many billions of dollars there for what has been empirically shown to be a failed, bankrupting policy in the U.S.

      You know, it’s one thing to make a mistake but it’s quite another to copy someone else’s after they’ve learned the hard way.

      There is nothing worse than a government driven by ideology and the one we have now is the most ideologically-driven we’ve ever had.

      suzanne on

      Can you provide a respectable source to back up those figures? And I don’t mean Fox News.

      suzanne on

      Right, John! Thanks for reminding me. You were going to share the reputable source where those figures came from….

    suzanne on

    Thank you! You do your homework.

      john s. boone on

      @ suz.
      Well suz, think back to when Paul Martin and Shillelagh Copps were in Creirtians cabinet and Martin RAIDED the UI fund. That was shortly before Ms. Copps changed the name to Employment Insurance. She told us that that would cure all our unemployment problems.
      Oh yes and then she slashed benefits by 40%. You do remember all this don’t you? Or was that before your time?
      And least we forget, that was the same PAUL MARTIN who when bought up CANADA STEAMSHIP LINE and moved it off shore to AVOID paying income tax on his earnings. And he made sure his family gained from this little move. Oh yes , the Liberals are MUCH better than the Conservatives. Sure they are!! They are SLICK!!!

GPS on

Ideological squabbling aside, I see two main patterns in the data: 1) The public spending lines of all three governments have nominally similar shapes. The magnitudes of the peaks are different, but the oscillations occur at similar times. 2) The pattern of left and right wing governments is also nominally similar in all three jurisdictions. Why is this?

One explanation of the first observation is that the economy (the denominator of the public spending line) is a largely international phenomenon that is not much affected by any one government. An explanation for the second pattern is that social trends, perhaps influenced by economy or other world events, affects how people view the world and how swing voters who control election outcomes vote. These are speculative hypotheses based on limited data. I wonder how they (or other hypotheses) would hold up on a larger, more diverse data set?

Also, many (but not all) of the long term changes in direction of public spending occur while a government is in office. This suggests the causal relationship is one of governments reacting to the economy or social trends rather than governments controlling the economy. If the latter, would these changes not occur shortly after a change in government?

    anselmo on

    No, so long as the purpose of government is to be a kind of egalitarian babysitter!

      suzanne on

      An egalitarian babysitter? Check this:

      Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning “equal”)—or, rarely, equalitarianism—is a trend of thought that favors equality for particular categories of, or for all, living entities. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Cultural theory of risk holds egalitarianism as defined by (1) a negative attitude towards rules and principles, and (2) a positive attitude towards group decision-making, with fatalism termed as its opposite. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term has two distinct definitions in modern English. It is defined either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people or the decentralisation of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.

      Sometimes a dictionary is useful. :)

Anonymous1 on

I’m sick to death of the “left-wing”- “right-wing” ideaology! Our current state of play (economic and political disfunction) has been brought about by too many politicians and economists swallowing the garbage that is taught in poli-sci at university. If our civilization is to move forward we need to realize that ONLY centralist policies serve the majority of our population. When we go to the polls we shouldn’t be voting “me first!” I want X party to win because they are going to a) give me the biggest tax break or b) lock-in my cushy job for another 4 years. We need to be bigger people! Please, please give us a decent centralist party that is going to look after both the welfare of our nation, and it’s people AND stimulate the economy! We recently lost our own small business thanks to the “conservative” policies of the supposedly business friendly federal conservatives/ bc libs. We went from a small business employing people with decent wages and working conditions, giving to charity, and being involved in our local community, to a business going nowhere but to the wall. Why? Greed, pure and simple – not ours either – the supposedly “conservative” tax grab. The changes to HST killed our industry and us with it. Sure, the big boys will survive, but small operators like us failed in their droves. A left-wing government would have said – you’re a greedy capitalist business who only exists to make a profit – your downfall is of no concern to us! A right-wing government did say – we’re doing what’s right for business (but in fact totally wrong for our small business and many others like us – but great for BIG companies who I’m sure had less admin to deal with in BC and sufficient funds to ride out the storm). A centralist government would have realized that by bringing in a new tax burden which would actually stop consumers in their tracks from investing in our products (who wants to pay an additional 7% on a product worth a million dollars?!?!? – yes we were home builders) they would not only kill businesses such as ours, but that in the future, we would no longer employ people, nor pay taxes into the system! Stop the left-right name calling and mud-slinging and give us a government that looks after ALL of us – not just the target voter pool!

    anselmo on

    “…a government that looks after all of us…” Well that is the fundamental problem, isn’t it? Once an entire society buys into the idea that the purpose of government is to take care of everyone, you end up with a politics reducable to nothing but the question of who gets the biggest slice of the pie. There is way too much intrusion of government in the lives of people. It is everywhere, from disgruntled librarian ‘conscience-of-humanity’ types worried about everyone’s peanut allergies to this simpering social convention which says it is an abrogation of free speech to assert anything that anyone else might find offensive. Freedom is dying here! Stop seeing yourselves as subjects of an overseas monarch, and you will begin to take responsibility for yourselves!

      marysue shaw on

      Gawd! What twaddle some write here. We, the citizens, (the non-rich ones with hearts, souls and brains and without offshore tax havens) want a government that is caring of the environment we all live in and has a Canadian focus—not letting the American superrich pillage our land and resources, or abuse our citizens. Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau almost had it right. They had a Canadian economic vision.

      We the non-greedy Canadians pay taxes for the benefits of all Canadian citizens, so that all can have a decent education, full healthcare, decent trains, roads, etc.–all of it Canadian owned and operated. None of our resources should be going to other countries, especially not raw. We should be manufacturing everything ourselves, as we did in the 50s and we had darn near zero unemployment. Instead of aiming for the impossibility of economic growth forever on our finite planet, we should be conserving our non-renewable resources for the future, and conserving the environment of the renewable resources, instead of senselessly destroying our future health and wealth by destroying everything in sight, as we are doing now.

      suzanne on

      Aha! I knew it! Imagine saying Canada is like a frozen Honduras when the Americans allowed their youth to be sent off to the slaughter, and treated disgracefully if they made it back….for years and years…..did you know that 7,000 bridges in the States are structurally unsound? And people lose their homes if they get really sick and have an extended hospital stay? And the HMO’s are more concerned with profit in the hospitals than patient care? And Americans never used to have bad teeth, but now too many do, and show up on the Jerry Springer show. Which is a horrible show, and reminds me of the Romans throwing people to the lions for amusement just before the fall….

      suzanne on

      A, what do you think a government is for? We pay them taxes, and they take care of infrastructure. Not gay marriage, or abortion, or how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but things like hospitals, schools, roads, things for the people. That why we pay them taxes. Now, I know there has to be accountability financially, and it’s hard for us to keep a finger that until after the last party leaves and we get all the bad news about the $750,000 buy outs for their cronies and so forth and a person way above my pay grade can figure out how that should go. But a country is only as strong as it’s weakest link. If the rich throw the poor to the dogs and say they should look after themselves, you end up with the French revolution, the poor rising up against those who have too much and don’t share. While people starved Marie Antoinnette said “let them have cake”. Then it was off with her head. It’s not right that we don’t look after our own, and believe me by look after I’m talking basic needs…people on social assistance here, well I just don’t know how they manage. As a hard working and decently paid health worker, we still don’t have a lot left over sometimes so I don’t know how on earth people on food stamps could be maligned and lectured in supermarket lineups about how they should spend it….there was actually a thread where some lady was saying “let me starve.” But this same woman was a staunch Christian who didn’t believe in abortion. So if a lady gets married, has a family, her husband passes, she needs help – can we really in good conscience think it’s right not to put out a hand? Isn’t that basic Christian charity? And you know what? Your government in the last administration not only didn’t look after a thing, but stole you blind and laughed all the way to the bank. What intrusion is government in the lives of people on a daily basis? I mean if you don’t pay your taxes the IRS might come knocking, or if you assault someone the cops might come but otherwise how? And really I think the only people who are worried about peanut allergies are those who have to carry epipens, unless it’s the mother of a child with that allergy, which would be scary. What disgruntled librarian “conscience of humanity” did you meet? Maybe she was just having a bad day, and doesn’t really represent all Canadians. And do I strike you as a person who is bound by simpering social conventions? I think it’s rude to say offensive things to people, but you can get away with it legally if you don’t threaten their lives. LOL. And strangely, I hear people on Sodahead very worried about losing their freedom just because they have to register their guns. I mean so what? Hide the others if they don’t like them, simple. And finally my dear boy, Canadians do not have need of your instructions about how to stop seeing ourselves, because you don’t know us until you know us one at a time, same as us you. We haven’t been subjects of the English monarchy for years now, but we still like the queen. I thought Helen Mirren did a good job in that movie. The Queen’s staunch and old school – man she’s 85 or something. And by the way? I take responsiblity for myself, I work full time, own my own home, look after my aging father (and mother before she passed) and don’t really have a reputation as a wimp. You know? I’m being super reasonable here in hopes that we can talk about stuff that’s going on rather than flamethrowing.

anselmo on

I mean, three years ago the Nunavut \Housing people lost about $100 million in Ottawa funds. Vanished. AG won’t touch it though, too politically sensitive etc. Ridiculous.

    suzanne on

    True and agreed.

    RockyRacoon on

    What makes you think the AG isn’t covering for their own minister? If it was on the Natives this government would have them in court in a NEW YORK MINUTE.
    RR

anselmo on

Yes that is always a curiosity to me: Why do Canadians tolerate government corruption? It’s rampant. Canada strikes me as a kind of Frozen Honduras

    suzanne on

    Canada is not a frozen Honduras and people should look to their own government’s corruption and their own countries shortfalls before insulting us. We have been too tolerant for too long and the less civilized mistake that tolerance for weakness. But strength will not be gained through the Harper administration.

    Laura on

    Is it your opinion that corruption is a uniquely Canadian or central American Issue? America would not have had the Prime Rate mortgage meltdown if they had our Canadian laws, restrictions and banking systems. Can anyone even invent something more corrupt than giving people mortgages they can not afford, selling these mortgages to third parties, and then, putting the rates up sky high so people can not manage their payments?
    Corruption exists on both sides of our border. Perhaps you should visit Canada- all of it- to see for yourself how decent people are across this great land.
    From the land where the NRA pushes it’s way into public policy, the last country who can claim a lack of corruption is the USA. Guns create wealth beyond description in the USA. THe NRA is running the USA- not the elected officials.

    ladybloggerist on

    It is a shame that finance is central to right or left. My vote goes to whatever party will deal with big issues that are central to what the majority of canadians want or believe need to change in our country. My wish is that our votes included more decisions by the voters.

Jacks on

Let’s just ignore the 2008 global financial melt down triggered by the United States that led every gov’t around the world to dramatically increase gov’t spending through stimulus. There is no pattern because gov’ts have to act accordingly. Who even cares about the content if there are little reasons given to explain why there ‘is no pattern’. ‘Democracy’ today is nothing more then an illusion.

Elaine Paquette on

There are so many holes in this article that it would make the Titanic sea worthy after hitting the iceberg! my goodness this article is comparing apples to oranges.. like many who have stated.. the military spending drove up spending.. while liberals like Chretien unloaded the costs to the provinces and municipalities! this article shows you how twisted the left has become! no more common sense it seems!

    suzanne on

    Canadians have enough problems with our own politics without being one side or the other and infighting. Reminds me of the Irish in the troubles. My family is from there originally. The British were able to occupy Ireland for alot longer than they would have had the country not divided itself in ridiculous religious factions and fought against each other. It didn’t strengthen them, and they still have the cheek to have a martyr complex.

Alex former Quebecois on

Mister the author of this report. Please. Puting the Quebec Liberal Party to the right… wow. That’s cute ignorance. The Quebec Liberal Party would compete with the federal NDP for the vote of the left if they ran in the same jurisdiction. Just because the Quebec Liberal Party is not as far to the left as the PQ doesn’t make it a right-wing party.

Chris Thompson on

lets be fair here to the Conservatives. When you say “Squandered the surplus”, maybe you should elaborate what they squandered it on. Heres a tip–they reduced your taxes (remember the 7% GST?). A large surplus reflects that they were taking too much of our money–so they stopped doing it. With respect to the fact that goverment spending spiked in 2009, I wonder why? Could it have been that the opposition parties banded together and forced the minority conservative government to spend all that money on stimulus (which they didn”t want to) lest they be overthrown? It kills me when some people are so blinded by ideology they revise history

    Ottawa on

    Oh please. Harper applied fiscal stimulus by cutting the GST at the height of the housing bubble in the US. Somehow his economics expertise allowed him to believe that Canada had decoupled from the US and would not experience the Great Recession. Canada was responsibly repaying debt which shows Canadians were not being overtaxed – they were paying down their debt. Paying down debt was the adult thing to do but beyond the Harper government.

      suzanne on

      Very true and well put.

    julibee on

    Yes – they reduced my taxes and I can hardly figure out what to do with my extra $20 per month. Now if I were earning $250,000 per year I would be saving a lot more. Once again our government takes care of the rich then justifies cuts to social and research programs because we can’t afford them. Case in point: they recently pulled us out of an international research program (and we are the only country in the world that pulled out), because it was too expensive. It cost us $360,000 per year. The Harper government spends more than that on coffee for meetings.

      suzanne on

      That’s a fact! And now there’s a scandal about big payouts for his cronies…people are stepping down or being forced out if they don’t go along with this criminal rape of the canadian tax dollar.

Don Coleman on

The lefty who wrote this biased article is pretty transparent to this over-taxed baby-boomer here in Vancouver.

Clinton cut the size of government?? Um, Bill Clinton DID cut the number of government workers. They were called MILITARY PERSONNEL!!! Something to do with the end of the Cold War. Duh!!
…..and yeah, George Bush II did oversee the largest growth in US Gov’t bureaucracy since FDR……it was called HOMELAND SECURITY……and it was brought about by 3000+ murdered Americans on September 11, 2001.

What a crock this article is…….left-wing governments roll back the numbers of their Public Sector Union campaign contributors!!! Yeah sure…..and someday pigs will fly.

Hey, here’s a thought……Obama is a lefty. Does racking-up annual $1 trillion deficits by his government look like he’s running a tight ship?? The Obama regime is backrupting the USA. Period. Full Stop.

    John S. Boone on

    @ Don Coleman on May 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm, well Don since your premise is wrong then it follows that your conclusion is wrong; Obama is NOT a lefty . There was not 100,000 red shirted revolutionaries parading down Pennsylvania Av. when Obama was installed. There were 100,000 of middle class Americans and a few working class Americans who were happy to see Obama elected but anyone on the LEFT was well aware of what Obama was all about. He was and is a stooge to big money, big business and bigger banks. Now Obama may be a lot of things but a “lefty ” aint one of them , eh.

    Mickey on

    I’ve noticed a long trend with conservative governments across Canada for the last forty years. The promise of paying down the debt and deficit so we can afford to pay for all our social programs. Yet every time they get in they make cuts to our social programs, cuts to the regulatory infrastructure that oversees compliance and safety, AND cut’s to the corporate tax rate which has reduced revenue making it harder to cut the deficit and debt.

    And my taxes on my piddling income goes up.
    Thanks Conservatives.
    Thanks, but no thanks.

      al on

      Mickey too right, as it seems Conservatives promise bout have a different definition than the voter of promises, a reasonable person draws the conclusion if promises are made , beware. Like Mulroney’s famous comment that free trade would not benefit
      Canada, well history shows it does benefit Canadian corporations that can increase the number of buyers for there entities. Too bad mandates to do what is our flavor of the day is what the in politic party espouses is ok .None seem to differ as this may be the principle to adhere to garner the most donations from the elites that control the private sector. Quid pro Quo , that will be the logical reason most voters bother not to vote.

    suzanne on

    I can always recognize an Obama hater by the caps locks! LOL! Racism is an ugly thing…

      john s. boone on

      @suzanne on June 13

      So suz, tell me how seeing Obombya for what he is, a stooge of big money and big business, translates into racism? Answer for me , what has Obombya done in his time in the Whitehouse? Gitmo is still in operation. Drone strikes have increased to the point of killing some innocent person every day. And then there’s that little thing about government surveillance of phone and internet use. But according to the like of you to criticize Obombya is RACISM!!! What election promises did he keep? Beside the one to increase troops in Afghanistan and Iraq? None that I’m aware of. Typical liberal mind set; blindly follow this trumped tool of the powers that be and label anyone who thinks in any way different a racist.

      And you should really check out the truth about JFK. I do not know if you lived through his reign but I did. I even remember what I was doing when I heard he was dead. I remember THE BAY OF PIGS. I remember the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. And I remember that unfortunate incident in South East Asia, VIETNAM . There are other things that your golden boy did but those I have ,mentioned should show even the most die hard fanatic that their heroes are are NOT all they are stacked up to be.

      suzanne on

      I’m sorry, I’m probably just jaded from Sodahead, where people are always calling the President by some disrespectful name and showing no respect for the office of the Commander in Chief and posting pictures of his wife along with insulting comments, what the fook am I supposed to think? No one did that to President Bush or his wife (who I liked alot) or President Regan and that puppet Nancy and their morning astrologer, but they did pick on Hilary Clinton quite harshly and she is a committed and brilliant servant of her country. She’s not perfect, but I couldn’t do her job. Could you? And it just strikes that why those three? Well, they are all Democrats, but it seems that President Obama and the First Lady get spoken of with a level of contempt and loathing that they haven’t earned. And so, maybe that’s why.

      john s. boone on

      @suzanne
      No one called Reagan and GWB names or ridiculed them you say ; well I did . And everyone I know who was a “lefty ” at the time did . Reagan was fair game for anyone who could sit and tie their shoes at the same time. Reagan was a clown and no one I know made any bones about telling everyone what they thought about him. We knew he was a draft dodger. We knew him for what he was and we called him names and ridiculed him in every way possible.

      And GWB, well there is a piece of work. This is the same guy who everyone on the left called the GREAT CHICKEN HAWK. We called him old OLD YELLOW BACK. We called him the GREAT DRAFT DODGER and the DESERTER. and those were the nice things said about him. And now we on the left have turned our guns on OBOMBYA. And he deserves every thing he gets. He is the one who broke his promises. He is the one who hoodwinked the people. He is the one ordering the MURDER of innocent people. He is the one who can close GITMO in a second. He is the one playing he part of SLICK WILLY. He deserves every thing he gets. He is the WEAK LEADER.

      suzanne on

      John there was alot to think about so I’m answering twice. This is my perception, and that’s all it is, but here we are….
      Gitmo is still in operation but do you think it operates the same way. Maybe not, but maybe so…don’t know. When the Jihadists took down the Twin Towers in New York and killed thousands of innocent American citizens, and then managed to get caught, I guess they probably knew that if it was the other way around, and Americans were in a prison in Iraq, they would die slowly and painfully and never be seen again. The thought of torture horrifies me but so does the beheading on video of terrified captured soldiers and journalist by these dirtbags. This drone strike thing? I have to plead the fifth – I’ve heard people talk but I didn’t know really even what a drone was (is that a unmanned stealth aircraft that it used in the army or what? I’m not being funny I could use the info. And hasn’t the CIA and the FBI been running programs on random calls and emails that pick up certain words or phrases, then they might listen? When J. Edgar Hoover was head of the FBI, he had personal dossiers on everyone. And used them. And wore women’s clothing for fun alone, which is good because no one would have wanted to see that. And it seems to me that one little thing has been forgotten. President Obama got rid of that piece of filth Osama bin Laden who orchestrated and engineered 9-11. On the increased troops, I don’t know the numbers so you’re probably right. Now I’m being very reasonable and polite but I DON’T have a “typical liberal mind set” because I am a Humanitarian. It’s like a Libertarian with a few alterations. Trust me, I blindly follow no one and nothing. I think I explained the racism thing and if I was wrong about you I apologize.

      I was just a little girl when President Kennedy got shot but I remember it rocked the nation and many were griefstricken. Do you still really think that Lee Harvey Oswald did it? I have my doubts. I think he was a patsy, and didn’t live very long to tell anybody anything. So when the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis happened, did you feel that President Kennedy was too aggressive, or not enough?

      But you know you have my complete agreement and sympathy about Vietnam. I knew a man who came back from there (my older brother’s best friend) and he was a special ops guy. Just a little guy but I saw him render about four BIG bouncers helpless really fast once and realized he was highly trained. But he had constant nightmares, and migraines and he ended up taking his own life. As a small child when President Kennedy was assassinated I was horrified because my mother was, and everyone we knew was. Just crying and full of disbelief and so I guess I saw him as the epitome of a charismatic and brave American man through a child’s eyes. Only when I grew up did I hear the stories of his many sexual conquests including the beautiful Marilyn Monroe but back then we didn’t blame a man for that really….and no one would have thought it appropriate to try to impeach him for his adventures. It was just my perception, that’s all. But you couldn’t help but love him and Jackie Kennedy – they seems like a ray of hope for many I think. But my hero? No. My hero was my grandfather who served in the Second World War and was captain of a regiment (one of many) who liberated the Dutch from Nazi occupation. He won commendations for bravery and his men loved him but he never talked about the war so I think he was fairly traumatized. And I have another hero – my father John Whitton Faulds, fighter pilot in the RCAF, who died when I was very little in a whiteout in his F86.

      I hope that gives you a better understanding of me, and apologize if I offended you unintentionally. – Sue

Eric on

I hate misleading graphics — without the zero line — that exaggerate the point.

    suzanne on

    So those are misreading graphics just because you don’t like them? At least our poster had hard information to back up her thread.

      Eric on

      No need to get on a high horse, Suzanne. The data is probably correct, but the presentation exaggerates the differences.

      The description of “left” parties (federal Liberals and Parti québecois) is also inaccurate, IMO, but that at least is somewhat subjective.

Laurence Lyons on

What about the Conservative spending priorities—Military spending benefits primarily corporate profits and US conservative priorities. Left leaning government spending can have a broader perspective that benefits society.

    Sean S. on

    Your statement is completely false and obviously biased by your own ideology!

    Take Liberal campaign spending in the mid 1990’s before Parliament passed political financing laws: the liberals were receiving, on average, $25,000 donations from big conglomerates like Bell Canada, CanWest Media and Bombardier. Also, lets not forget the millions of dollars in subsidies the latter received from the federal government when Chretien was PM.

    The NDP are no better, they get millions per year from Unions and organised labour groups. Same wolf just wearing sheeps clothing. If you look at the Conservative rise to power in 2006 most of their funding came from grassroots supporters sending small to medium sized donations. They were also more effective at getting their messages out at the local level. If you want to point the finger at a party that supports corporate cronisism, you should be doing the same with left wing governments.

    While it is generally true that Left wing governments favor large social programs and often implement sweeping social reforms, they do so even when the government is unable to pay for them. This was particularily true when Pierre Trudeau was in power and why we now have defecit financing. In Ontario, the McGuinty Government has increased the size of the provincial debt to almost that of the Federal one. Yet, when faced with the facts and necessary reforms and cuts are needed, they become so pig headed and dedicated to their ideology that they would rather drive the government further into debt then to capitulate and lose their base for the benefit of the country as a whole.

    So, please, do not make such blanket statements without first looking at the facts.

      lolno on

      The bias is yours, buddy. His post was about government spending priorities and you tried to distract from that by complaining about fundraising and debt.

      Matthew on

      “The NDP are no better, they get millions per year from Unions and organised labour groups.”

      Uh, no they don’t. The Liberal cuts to corporate political donations in 2003 and the Conservative cuts in 2006 applied to all corporate bodies, including unions and professional associations, on top of businesses.

      ” If you look at the Conservative rise to power in 2006 most of their funding came from grassroots supporters sending small to medium sized donations.”

      And there was a reason for that. There’s a massive loophole in the rules for campaign finance that allows donations below $200, if they are made to the local riding association and not the party as a whole, to be made ANONYMOUSLY. Someone who diligently donates to all 308 ridings in this fashion can blow their personal donation limit out of the water every year. Instead of the $1500 limit, they can donate 308 x $200, or $61600 a year … and no one will ever know. Elections Canada wants this loophole closed, and so do the NDP and the Liberals. The Conservatives, who get between 40-50% of their donations via this fashion every year … do not.

      Just sayin' on

      Oooh, Sean S.— what’s that smell?

      “Somebody’s” pants are on fire!

      Sean S. on

      I’m a liar am I, funny, the numbers quoted by the Library of Parliament seem to back me up: http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Pages/PartyContribution.aspx

      If you look at corporate donations vs. individual donations the Liberals out paced the Conservative/Reform Party by 2-1. If you look at union contributions, the NDP eclipsed all other parties by about 5-1 and this was as of 2003, the year that the amount corporations could donate was cut. To add further proof, the six major banks in Canada donated twice as much to Liberal campaigns then they did to PC or Reform campaigns.

      Why do the Liberals and NDP want the loophole closed? Simply because the Conservatives garner more individual donations than the other parties do. The pattern of corporate and union donations trends in favour of the Liberals and NDP; not the Conservatives. You’re telling me now these same people make 308 separate donations across Canada, all of which go to the Conservatives? It doesn’t make any sense.

      suzanne on

      Sounds like of “Bushian to me”. And it’s hardly fair to ask people to hold back until they have all the facts when no one else does.

      Robert Moriyama on

      The Conservatives completely ignore campaign spending limits by running attack ads for years before the next scheduled election (using contributions that generate a 75% tax credit for the donors…). Then they spend millions on feel-good, zero-value “Economic Action Plan” advertising, year after year, while real unemployment and underemployment numbers either stagnate or grow worse. There’s always money for pork barrel projects in Conservative ridings, but precious little for Toronto or Ontario as a whole, which generates a large part of the money being squandered. Yay, Harper!

Dawb on

It says “Public spending”? Does that include money spent that did not go to benefit the public such as the “$100 million was paid to a variety of communications agencies in the form of fees and commissions and said the program was basically designed to generate commissions for these companies rather than to produce any benefit for Canadians” under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien? or other such “programs?

    suzanne on

    Do you have a credible source to back this interesting story? I will gladly apologize if you do. Please I’d love to see where you got that jumbled version of events (timeline way off, too). But please I humbly ask you to prove me wrong.

anatman29 on

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the behavior of governments since the 1970s. People slavishly follow the so-called conventional wisdom because it is promulgated by a media ownership with vested interests in the fortunes of “conservative” governments including in Canada the Liberal Party which is far more often right than left. The electoral fortunes of parties play out according to what would be expected when the electorate allows third-party agencies, such as the media, to do their thinking for them.

    Barry Brisson on

    Left vs right is a silly paradigm and always will be. Media and indoctrinated academics continue to use it. If I’m far right, then I’m a Nazi and if I’m far left, then I’m a communist. Dumb. I’m just small government and all for personal responsibility. Keep it simple and recognize the truth around the correlations between prosperity and limited government and poverty and big government.

      marysue5252 on

      Barry Brisson wrote on May 4 that “If I’m far right, then I’m a Nazi and if I’m far left, then I’m a communist” which is not really what left and right mean. You can hardly call Stalin’s government communist, nor the present Chinese government, either. The present lot of Conselfservatives do present with fascist features, but so did Stalin and whatever the heck is going on in China these days.

      You say you’re for “personal responsibility”, which you probably think means that the rich worked for their money and the poor didn’t. Frankly, I don’t know how a 3 year-old could even apply for a job, but you probably don’t see the poor as people like you, except for circumstances. You probably see them as merely undeserving, period. Even if you don’t think that way, people are incredibly complicated–and some have brain damage, which makes life not only difficult for them sometimes, but definitely for the rest of us. This includes psychopaths who lack conscience. Yet many of the top people (mostly men) of powerful corporations today evince psychopathic traits and their actions prove it.

      The corporate-side over-rewards their psycho CEOs, yet begrudge an abandoned single mom a liveable wage for her and her kids! They vote for government’s like Harper with all the compassion and sentience of a stone.

      We expect our governments to even things out and protect us from the psychopaths and the obsessively greedy, instead of allowing them to run and ruin our country. The distance between wages–esp. the top and the bottom paid–is grotesque! There is no way anyone is “worth” even half a million dollars a year, never mind a million bucks–except maybe a paramedic in Vancouver or New York City.

      There is a correlation between future prosperity and wise, frugal environmental practices, which includes saving and planning for the future. Ethical governments, free of corporate influence, ensure that all children have equal opportunities and access to equal heath and education. The country and inhabitants prosper then. But with big multinational corporate influence and money to buy both politicians and media, we’re seeing vast environmental destruction and global warming and vastly increased poverty, contrasting with increasing super-wealthy–obscene, even! We are heading into the New Feudalism and a dead planet. Think things all the way through, Barry. Friedman was always dead wrong. Wealth cannot be created–only taken from someone else– from the labour of others, from the property of others, from the paycheques of others and from the environment we all are supposed to share, nurture and protect equally.

      tony nicholson on

      How about sensible small government? Not just small government because it sounds good. Right now in the
      USA the government is the smallest it has been for some time and the result is a drop in education standards and
      an infrastructure that will need another new deal to even get it back to what it was.

      browneruss on

      Waiting for a “New Deal”? There is not going to be a new deal this time, the new deal has been going on for 80 years with government going deeper and deeper into debt. The system is going to crash and burn as economist Martin Armstrong says, we are in for some serious problems now, between 2016 and 2020 the train-wreck is likely to happen. Go to armstrongeconomics.com and read all about it.

    suzanne on

    The Liberal party is more right than left. The NDP is our left. And the Green Party. And the Parti Quebecois. And the Conservatives are now just corporate raiders and elitists. My aunt is Conservative because she is rich but stingy and won’t even pay her utility bills. It’s hard to keep shut when she rants on and on about how she can’t afford this or that. She doesn’t even tip! It’s embarrassing. I’d rather be comfortable and socially responsible than Ebeneezer Scrooge, thanks!

      Eric on

      I agree that the Liberals aren’t left, but these days it’s hard to discern serious differences between Liberal and NDP policy — both centrist at best. Even the Green leader — the furthest left MP — voted for the initial intervention in Libya. But unlike the Libs and NDP, she had the good sense to vote against continuing to bomb when the intervention’s fraudulence and disastrous consequences emerged.

Northcott on

It also doesn’t account that during Mr. Harper’s term, he’d squandered the surplus generated by the prior government before the recession had hit, putting us back into deficit before any stimulus plan was enacted. And while he’s shrunk the size of government by questionable methods (paying over $50 million to close the very important ELA research station which cost $2 million/year to run), he hired an additional 800 people to work for the Government’s PR department to control the ‘spin’ of news and muzzle the research done by government scientists. He’s a clear and present example of a self-proclaimed conservative who holds no conservative ideals and has bungled the fiscal side of things.

    Sean S. on

    Hiring 800 people does not account for the drop in the surplus and growth in the Canadian Civil Service that you’re espousing. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Second, the surpluses that grew out the 1990’s were due to a 25-40% reduction of the Canadian Civil Service by the Liberal Government coupled with the upswing in the economy in 1995 that led to the largest growth in the economy since WWII.

    Had the Liberals still been in power in 2008, there would not have been a surplus either due to Canada’s involvement as a combat force in Afghanistan (which was approved and implemented by the Liberals before they lost office in 2006) and the consequent global recession that followed. Look at the facts, not your own personal ideology.

    Liberal administrations in both countries (with the exception of the current one in the US) have had the priveledge of being in power during relatively good economic times. However, they’re equally responsible for the current state of the economy as their colleagues on the right: Bush for getting the US involved in two wars that cost the US treasury billions/month and grew the defecit by $3 Trillion; and Clinton for implementing an economic policy that advocated mortgage speculation and deffered borowing practices advocated by mortgage giants Fannie May and Freddie Mac.

    As the article states, ideology is one thing; the reality of running a government, managing an economy and ensuring the stability of your country is another. All around good read.

      Ottawa on

      Had the Liberals been in power in 2008 they would not have cut the GST thereby creating a structural deficit. Canada would have been in a stronger position to weather the Great Recession.

      John S. Boone on

      How would they do that, they had already raided the UI fund for $40,000,000,000 .

      Jason on

      Sean S — How can you argue that Liberal leaders all just happened to preside over good times? That’s nonsensical. So you’re arguing that all Liberal leaders just accidentally happen to have good financial time periods to govern in? Bull. That’s not an accident– that’s a matter of how the government is being managed among other things. You can’t have it both ways and blame the liberals for times when the conservatives are in power, plus say their own times in power were based on luck or circumstance. That’s really not very logical at all. It’s like there’s a faulty logic circuit in there somewhere that is defaulting to the liberals always being at fault regardless of facts. You make some interesting arguments elsewhere but here not so much.

      Sean on

      Jason,

      I should clarify my statement more clearly. No I’m not saying all Liberal leaders can trace their success to being in power during good times, however, Chrétien certainly can. His austerity measures coupled with the biggest growth in the global economy since WWII, in the mid-1990’s, certainly helped him grow the large surpluses he accumulated while in power.

      The same goes for Clinton, whom i was a huge fan of, who was the most pro-free trade Democrat in the history of that party and exemplified true centrist economic policies (and surpluses that wouldn’t have been possible if Reagan had not made the adjustments he needed to in the 1980’s). However, comparing these two men and their economic situation to that of Harper’s, who came in at the end of growth and beginning of recession in the global economy, is unfair. Chretien had three consecutive Majority governments and Clinton had a term and a half where he held both houses of Congress. Harper had a minority government that forced his hand into spending, needlessly, on a stimulus package that did nothing to spur a recovery and whom, later, attempted to use against him to win an election.

      For the most part, I think Chrétien needed to do what he did but you can’t turn around and say Harper has mismanaged the economy and has a worse economic record. The variables and situation are completely different now than they were.

      However, looking at OECD and G-7/8 economies, Canada is in the top three and has had to do little to no austerity cuts compared to the Europeans; at last check their civil service cuts were in the range of 40-60% while Canada was around 13%; most of which came in the form of gold-plated early retirement packages for senior civil servants.

      Michael on

      Actually, no. A good example is the Mulroney government, which took power just after an upswing in the economy began. They sold off many federal assets, privatized services, laid off civil servants and shed Crown corporations and STILL ballooned the already large Trudeau Liberal deficit even further.

      The fact is, the Chretien Liberal government took power in the midst of a recession in 1993 and they were still able to balance the budget – eight times in a row with a balanced or surplus budget, in fact. You’d have to go back quite a few decades to find any Canadian government who had done that.

      And it is true the Liberals took us to Afghanistan but it was the Conservatives who changed the mission to a much more aggressive one. You could say that not only was much more money spent than the Liberals would likely have spent but it is certain we would not have had so many casualties in a war now seen to have been a fool’s errand.

      Last point: Stephen Harper has only cut the civil service back to the levels it was before he grew it by about 14,000 people soon after taking office. He has also spent three times the Liberals ever did on advertising (mostly partisan propaganda) and there is a recent Auditor General report citing a missing $3.1 billion dollars.

      suzanne on

      Chretien held out on the Afghanistan thing as long as he could, but was pushed out by the American’s best friend, Stephen holy Harper. I have studied the figures of economies under liberal and conservative regimes in both Canada and the US and this thread is accurate. If people can’t digest facts, they start making things up. If you disagree with the thread, please support it with facts and not conspiracy theorist propaganda.

      al on

      Yup the people want to choose , then the redrawing of the districts represented occurs, both countries do this redistricting. Perhaps the first past the post scheme is adaptable : free votes no districts, some countries do this . Also proportional representation can be attempted. Problem seems to be the vested interests in the present system will lose benefit, money, if the influence is changed . The donations to party politics are usually from wealthy interests , result corporate welfare , paid by the taxpayers. Check out the B.C. govt claiming that The BC hydro must pay a dividend to the taxpayers , the gov’t, of 500 million per year and growing, as the rates increase. Seems a shell game to get around tax increases by increases in hydro bills, it is not tax they claim.double speak , dare no one state the ” Emperor wears no clothes”. Oops .

    Paul Gordon on

    Chretien created a great slush fund by cutting back all transfer payments to provinces which in turn downloaded costs back to municipalities. Liberals looked good but the one taxpayer got kicked while Chretien looked the best.

      Bob on

      This article does not provide an accurate analysis of spending or the consequences of each event. PM Harper has kept Canada’s economy ticking while others have failed in the global recession. Canada will truly suffer if young Trudeau the drama teacher becomes PM. He will do far more damage than his old man, or the Chretien / Martin team ever did.

      Russ Browne on

      If young Trudeau gets in it will be just as the economy goes seriously into the tank making 2008 look like the warm-up act ( see Martin Armstrong pi cycle peak in late 2015) , perhaps it will be justice for justin (who knows nothing about how to run a business) to take control of the train just before it crashes into the bottom of the mountain since it was his father P.E.T who started Canada on the debt snowball when he turned our debt into a private (bankers) debt from it being a public debt (bank of Canada) before Trudeaumania

Ann Peacock on

Why is the province of Quebec shown, along with countries? Other than that, informative article!

    Kevin Press on

    Thanks Ann. The study examined those three governments (the U.S., Canada and Quebec). Presumably the Montreal Economic Institute saw value in reviewing a provincial government as well as two federal governments.

      Alan G. on

      As a low information voter, you should know Quebec is a PROVINCE in the DOMINION of Canada! QC is not a country…and most of Montreal know this.

      Michael on

      I guess Alan G. is unaware that provinces have governments as well as federal states like Canada and the U.S.

    anselmo on

    Re. sovereignty, quebec, etc. Canada is essentially a British colony, de jure and de facto.

      suzanne on

      I know they only teach U.S. history and creationism down South these days, but you are a little off on your timeline, honey. LOL!

    traveler on

    Because it’s a country. But I agree with you: we should have one big USA in N-America instead of 2 countries. Why have a Canada if one is already willing to suppress Quebec? Nope, just a big USA. If you reduce, reduce all the way!

      zeebeesee on

      No – Canada is not interested in bailing out the US.

      JimmyCanuck on

      Actually, there are three countries in NA. All you want is our fresh water, oil and gas…..and our great looking women. Sorry, not interested in joining the US, a sinking ship.

      al on

      @ Johnnycanuck: a continental country without Quebec , the U.S> doesn’t really want a third language kerfuffle, as in espanol, Castellano really, all the revisionist back track ,etc. Does the U.S. want the Rest of Canada, ROC; may be , maybe not.

    ed on

    I love how the Liberal party is considered Left in Canada and Right in Quebec.

      Kevin Fxr on

      When you extinguish the basic tenets of Liberalism from the Liberal party, you can be pretty well anything the daily poll results say you should be. Examining the parties at both Provincial and Federal levels it’s pretty hard to see any Liberals left under the banner of liberal. Left is more suitable although absolutely diverse of Liberal independent rights of the individual, [A woman’s right to choose vs the common good] spelled out in the Constitution, The BNA and the Charter, while stirring up the common pot.

      What ever it takes to grab power is the norm. Principles and Integrity are now limited, to what you say in self promotion at election time, but never take seriously, once the brass ring is in hand. The party executive [Big Money shills] call the shots while elected officials good or bad are simply their puppets. Leaving the media to paint it’s pictures, with the best actors, demonstrating adherence to their Politically Corrected choices, as primary leadership potentials.

      People need to start peeking inside the package, before making their choices. The products in the packages today are in no way similar to what were in there years ago. The media is, at the end of the day, paid by advertisers. Advertising has a purpose and that is to convince you to buy things, even if you don’t need or want them.

Leigh on

The US picture shown doesn’t tell the whole story as the presidents have more limited power than Canadian Prime Ministers. This is particularly significant during the second term of Bush Jr in which the Democrats controlled the House, forcing spending up.

    mo shariff on

    don’t forget military spending makes up a lot of the expenditure , left leaning government’s tend to spend on social programs

      RockyRacoon on

      Harper is running the largest deficit in Canadian History at 700 billion and counting. It is probably much higher than that, of that I have little doubt. What is more he had no idea the economy was imploding and had to be dragged kicking and screaming back to the H of C to deal with and put forward a New Budget. Then he lied about a bailout saying it was just an accounting maneuver. So the taxpayers are on the hook. U see even in begrudgingly giving the left its due they still have to distort that fact that all conservative governments run up deficits giving private corporations huge subsidies while cutting needed sectors vital to the working class like hospitals and schools. Those people should be in jail for crimes against humanity.

      Joe Doyle on

      The Canadian deficit is only $25 billion, or 1.4% of GDP. Very manageable in a country full of oil reserves. Canada has led the G20 ever since Harper took power. He is an economist, and his success shows it. Spending was up due to the global meltdown, but Canada has regained far more jobs than it lost during the recent resecession.

      Matt on

      I think Rocky Raccoon meant public debt. And our debt is actually just over 600 billion. Deficit is the yearly amount. Which is still ridiculous. It has rose 150 billion since the Conservatives started up. Again, this was during a recession, raccoon. Same idea when the Liberals raised the debt from 380 billion to 560 billion in the 90’s. Don’t hear whining about that. Because the Liberals dropped the debt to under 500 billion before they were out. And it took them nine years to recover from a fairly minor recession in comparison to this. Give your head a shake, man and be thankful this isn’t Greece, Cyprus or any number of European countries right now. Oh, and Harper doesn’t run the debt (or deficit as you like to call it), it’s been building up for decades and some of the biggest debt run ups were the Trudeau/Turner/Mulroney era.

      Graham W on

      Hey Mo, it’s governments, not government’s. Read shoots and leaves! Habari Rafiki mzee!

      browneruss on

      Clinton brought the deficit down by moving the debt into shorter term bonds which makes the government more vulnerable, just as putting your mortgage into a short term to save interest makes you vulnerable to increases in rates.

      According to economist Martin Armstrong as well as a leaked report from the US Federal Reserve (private bankers in charge of the money supply), Europe, Japan, USA and Canada are all headed for bankruptcy by about 2018.

      In Armstrong’s view Karl Marx is the most influential economist of our time, the idea that government can intervene in the economy, borrow money without any intention of ever paying anything back is unsustainable but politicians and their owners (bankers) will not do what is right, i.e. stop borrowing so the whole system is going to CRASH and BURN. The DEBT is a monster that is being allowed to compound with the inevitable end result in it consuming everything. Government Debt is not like a mortgage, its never gets paid down and is allowed to grow, it is really theft from our children and their children. Government is the enemy of the people in his view in line with Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ book.

      “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
      Thomas Paine

      Armstrong’s key points of reform are:

      1. Illegal for politicians to borrow money. All bond payments should be stopped and local spending credits issued instead.

      2. Only 1 term allowed for ALL POLITICIANS to stop an elite class that sees themselves as above (by voting themselves high salaries, benefits and pensions) the taxpayers that pay for them. Bankers should be prohibited from funding politicians. Thomas Jefferson warned that once bankers get control of the money supply it would lead to disaster with our children being thrown out of their homes.

      3. Eliminate Income Tax which dampens capital formation required to expand business and hire more people or even for people to save for a house. There is a correlation between income tax and the huge debts that have accumulated since its introduction a hundred years ago.

      There also needs to be caps put on how much tax government (all three levels combined) can take from the productive members of society.

      Raympnd L Ingrey on

      Just to put some of Joe Doyles comments straight.
      We do have a Conservative government lead by Harper today but the fact that Canada did not suffer like many nation was because of the previous liberal government who despite pressure from the conservatives would not loosen banking regulation and the improve ability of Banks to screw the public which happened in the USA and elsewhere.
      Just to keep the record straight, Canada did not allow the Banks to scam the people to the same extent as others.
      The current knuckle dragging republicans who in my mind are a racist bunch anyway who try to stop Obama at every turn are the one who in the USA are guilty of supporting the Banks to rip off the public

    suzanne on

    The Democrats controlled the house? Well they sure don’t now, President Obama has been blocked and harassed at every turn. And President Clinton was a good President, I can’t believe the right wing media got rid of him on a sexual morals issue. How ridiculous. John F. Kennedy was a good president but he cut quite a swath with the ladies, and no one disrespected his office hounding him with some silly girl’s panties. They had more respect. Finally the Conservatives shot him. And President Bush was a liar who should have been impeached for dragging the nation into a long, horrible war that destroyed it’s economy. He lied about much more important things than sex. And he kept lying. And his cronies got rich. Now he paints badly and does nothing for his country.

      James G. on

      I was unaware that anyone got rid of Bill Clinton. Served out his term and is still around. Yes there was an attempt at impeaching him but that was for lying under oath. he avoided impeachment but did lose his license to practice law.

      halejon on

      Yeah, they tried and sure thought they got him with that scandal but his popularity amazingly went up as it unfolded. Apparently you are not alone in thinking that being a good boy is irrelevant to your ability to lead a nation.

      Will on

      “Finally the Conservatives shot him” (JFK)

      Amazing. You finally solved Who Shot JFK!

      Is this truly the historical revisionism in the alternative reality of the left? “The Conservatives” shot JFK?? I may not have been alive then, but if I recall correctly, Lee Harvey Oswald was a major communist sympathiser, even to the point of having spent several years in the USSR.

      But I think you’re going to say he was just a patsy for Stephen Harper? I believe he was just a toddler at the time. Maybe he IS the antichrist as the left has been saying. I really need to think about this now, re-evaluate everything I once believed, holy smokes!

      UncleBenny on

      James G: Impeachment is the bringing of charges, similar to an indictment in a court of law. Clinton WAS impeached; however, he was not convicted and therefore not removed from office.

    al on

    So if the dems could write the policy or enact law, why didn’t they stop the horrendous Military costs?
    Ok could it be the dems want the jobs created by the military system also the destruction that results overseas that the dems are indifferent to. Notcie the adversary system such as Yemen ,etc. is promoted. The Warriors of the U.S. will most likely do war, yes.

    Greg on

    More half truths and outright lies. I don’t know why I read this crap.

    browneruss on

    What is not stated in this article is that it has been Liberal government that have increased the debts the most, FDR’s new deal got the debt ball rolling big time in the USA, Trudeau and Chritien increased Canada’s debt dramatically which started the compounding debt snowball rolling and they changed the debt from being a public debt (bank of Canada) to a private debt.

    Government is the enemy of the people, they steal from the productive members of society for themselves and to bribe the electorate. Debt is theft from present and future taxpayers.

    “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
    Thomas Paine

      al on

      Well I was told inflation is the answer if the question is how are debts to be repaid, as long as the investors keep backing bonds as a safe harbor, the banks included. Massive inflation is a way out of huge obligations, as the Reichmark in the 1930’s. Or as the Russians in the 1920’s became the Soviet union and reneged on the huge debt/bond owed . Inflation is the policy of U.S. ,Canada And Australia probably the UK also. As long as inflation is available to do this . Deflation is a fear. Rapid deflation well is a horror, at least this is what I’ve been told, is it all hooey?

      john s. boone on

      It is understood that governments should spend during bad times and pay off the the debt during good times.

      russ on

      Martin Armstrong predicted this world-wide debt crisis back in the 1980’s so he deserves to be listened to now, he says core economies like the USA NEVER experience hyper-inflation, what we can expect is massive deflation as governments start to default on their theft (debt) and start chasing peoples money (as we already saw happen in Cyprus – bail in) , so people will hide their money, velocity of money will implode and the 47% of Americans that get a government check will not get one anymore, leading to massive social unrest, revolution and even civil war as there are still great religious differences between the north and the south. The USA being modern Rome… the core economy will drag the rest of the world down with it. Career politicians must be banned… ie no more than one term at all levels of government allowed. Direct democracy for the taxpayers is required to determine tax levels and salary levels of all government employees. Happy Days are here again!!!

    regan flint on

    Ummm… BUSH Jr. started with a huge surplus and used a credit card to pay for 2 wars and you are blaming American Democrates? Nice change in history!

      walrus on

      Conservatives stabilize the government. Liberals enjoy the stability and reap the rewards, watching the economy get better while safely spending more. They hand the government over to the conservatives with further fixed entitlements which make the conservatives look like liberals.

      Scott Klein on

      There was never a surplus in the Clinton administration. It never happened. If you review the data from the US Treasury you’ll see that the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion. In no year did the national debt go down under Clinton, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit. So why do people say that Clinton had a surplus? As is usually the case in claims such as this, it has to do with Washington doublespeak and political smoke and mirrors. Understanding what happened requires understanding two concepts of what makes up the national debt. The US national debt is made up of public debt and intragovernmental holdings. The public debt is debt held by the public, normally including things such as treasury bills, savings bonds, and other instruments the public can purchase from the government. Intragovernmental holdings, on the other hand, is when the government borrows money from itself – mostly borrowing money from social security. What Clinton did do was pay down the public debt (this is what is commonly reported as the surplus) but he paid down the public debt by borrowing far more money in the form of intragovernmental holdings (mostly Social Security). Thus overall debt in the US increased during the Clinton Administration.

    Kevin Fxr on

    The promotions of one party politics in the dragons and the dragon slayers exemplified as the left versus right, is an economic strategy played out in baby steps one social determinate, at a time, which favors left leaning politics The Left which can never be truly described as liberal inclusive or enriched by diversity, in a truer sense of what the word liberal really means. Promotions endorsed in a woman’s right to choose financial responsibility in the creation of a child, irrespective of the intent to create a child with both parties carrying that absolute responsibility. The resulting reality is seen in a reduction of natural born citizens. With economies dependent on growth and problems associated with a lack of growth tied to a lack of population growth, to do the jobs that enrich any economy. The idea that immigration is a fundamental to all of our needs, as the only solution. Now well entrenched in the thinking. We have to examine the use of the term multicultural diversity. We see a vastly different perspective of the world expressed ij daily news reports in different regions of the country that serve to promote the maintenance of a more manageable and divided cultural reality in Canada similar to the diversities that exist south of the boarder in north versus south religious beliefs and left coast versus right, in support of socialist [green] ideologies. multicultural diversity is not seen in a common and distinct culture, It rests most apparent in a creation of ghettos, where each culture stands alone in defense of their private turf. A defense of turf entitles a mindset to emerge in the media, when cultures clash, that demands the common culture change to accommodate other cultures which refuse to change and meld with the common culture, that we are claiming to represent within the term multicultural heritage. A heritage that is now under attack. When you place all the illogical promotions most invested in, by the creation of PC media, we can only sum up the possibility that votes are being imported to serve political influence. With the new comers who know nothing else but socialist and cast designations, being used as pawns to undermine the political process of rights entitled by a Constitution and not risks adverse “protections” enabling control of governments, in the continuous promotions of fears,

    A leper’s ideology now, vested in individual rights and freedom that once influenced us all. Turned on it’s head as a tool of oppression and enslavement. With the spoils to the victors.

    frederick johnsen on

    In the US it is often the Congress that increases the size of government, not the president, though usually the president does so post facto when he signs bills into law that create more government agencies…and then there is George W. Bush who was only conservative in name. He was in reality a big government liberal, much like Nixon.

    Rockenomics (@Rockenomics) on

    The study indeed does not tell the whole picture. In fact, it only tells a small portion of the story. The study does not include items that are classed as future liabilities. Since all of these governments work on a cash accounting basis, all unfunded liabilities are excluded. The parties on the left are predominantly known for social spending which occurs mostly in the future and is hence an unfunded liability, whereas the parties on the right, with their military spending, have much shorter term contracts in place and funding is predominantly included in the current accounts.

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