Monday, November 30, 2009

I Was Right, I Was Right, I Was Right ... Damn, I Was Right. Sigh.

I've been posting a lot on Stephen Harper and neo-Conservatism, suggesting that balancing the budget or even repairing the economy, was not part of Harper's agenda. It was strictly dismantling the 'Welfare State' and paving the way for the corporate elite to make even more money.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was hoping I was wrong, but knew that I wasn't. If you followed Stephen Harper at all, you'd know what his ultimate goal was.

In fact, back in the day when his Reformers were first trying to sell themselves as a grassroots party, they lost the support of many seniors when they learned that they wanted to end the Old Age Security, Canada Pension and Public Healthcare.

We are now a majority away from losing everything we fought so hard to accomplish.

The left have got to get their act together, unite or stop fighting each other. Otherwise, they will be complicit in our demise.

I take little comfort in knowing that economist Eugene Lang, also sees through Harper's agenda. Now we just have to get Canadians to wake up before it's too late.

Big-spender Harper true to his neoconservative roots
Running big deficits while squeezing revenue is a way of reaching goal of smaller government

A new conventional wisdom has emerged. The Harper government has been labelled moderate, centrist – even "liberal." This characterization is due entirely to the large fiscal deficits that have emerged on the Harper watch – $56 billion next year alone – deficits the government admits with a shrug will extend for several years.

No self-respecting conservative government could tolerate such profligacy, or so goes the critique. The Harperites have lost their way, abandoned their guiding philosophy, sold out to those soft-headed, big government political parties for which deficits are regarded as a normal part of governing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Harper government has, in fact, remained very true to its ideology. But that ideology is not "conservative." Rather, it is "neoconservative," and this makes a big difference on the question of deficits and fiscal policy.

For neoconservatives – the denomination that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s – balanced budgets are not a first-order priority. The overriding objective is to cut taxes; balancing the books comes a distant second or even third on the to-do list. Most neoconservative governments have never gotten around to balancing the budget ....

...So don't be fooled. There is nothing "liberal" about the Harper government's fiscal and economic policy. They remain true to their ideological roots, and can walk proudly in the footsteps of trailblazers like Ronald Reagan.

(Eugene Lang, a former senior economist at Finance Canada, is co-founder of Canada 2020: Canada's Progressive Centre and vice-president of Bluesky Strategy Group. Philip DeMont, an economist, veteran financial journalist and former Ontario government adviser, is co-author (with Eugene Lang) of Turning Point: Moving Beyond Neoconservatism.)

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