Although Ezra Levant warns that Harper's budget will do nothing to stimulate the Canadian economy, he suggests in an article in today's National Post that we ought to accept our Prime Minister's decision.
For one thing, Levant argues, our budgetary over-reaction to the recession was marginally less expensive than were the budgetary over-reactions of most other Western countries. Rather than complaining, then, we should count ourselves lucky that we don't live in the United States!
What's more, those GST cuts are still "pouring" $12-billion a year back into our pockets.
Gee. How generous of the Prime Minister to "pour" money that individual citizens earned back into their own pockets. Yes, the GST cut was a decent start but it was certainly not enough to earn our eternal gratitude. And it was absolutely not sufficient to keep me quiet about the budget's massive flaws.
But what of us crotchety hard-liners demanding a return to principle rather than the pragmatic dreck we were presented with?
"That grumbling is a good thing. With all three opposition parties and much of the media to the left of the government, conservative dissenters provide at least some counterweight to those demanding even more spending."Leftist politicians and commentators couldn't care less what capitalists are bitching about. We're the enemy, remember? The evil and unfeeling children of Margaret Thatcher. What this budget represents is not an opportunity to throw some meat to the hungry Liberal lions to keep them at bay for a few more years. What it represents is a chink in Harper's commitment to the laissez-faire ideology. It represents a willingness to be whatever the opposition wants him to be in order to preserve his power.
Yes, a lot of conservatives are upset about this budget. As far as I'm concerned, the biggest problem is attitudinal: the Tory budget does not represent any real change of approach in terms of financial policy when compared to Liberal budgets of the recent past. The assumption still seems to be that the government has every right to seize our money, that we should thank our lucky stars for every little tax cut that our magnanimous rulers choose to bestow upon us. Mr. Levant's piece fits perfectly within this paradigm.
Until conservatives and Canadian citizens at large stand up and demand an adjustment to the state's basic disposition towards taxation and government spending, there will be no real change to the fundamentally welfarist structure of our social and political institutions.
Not until the massive debts that we have irresponsibly incurred catch up to us, anyway.