Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Has Stephen Harper Been Looting the Canadian Treasury?

Nobel Prize winning economist, George Akerlof, once accused George W. Bush of "looting", finding no other term for what amounted to the worst fiscal policy in 200 years.

Bush had raided Social Security, launched expensive wars that he had to borrow money to finance, and jeopardized the future of programs like Medicare.

A perverse logic that if he went on a massive spending spree, while reducing revenue by granting unheard of tax cuts for the wealthy, he would drain the treasury, meaning that Congress would not be able to pass any additional spending bills.

Unless they were for war, of course.

Like Stephen Harper, Bush had been left with an enormous surplus, but blew the bank long before the economic downturn. In Bush's case he actually helped to expediate the crisis.

It's hard not to see a pattern here. While Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty are promising more "bad news" and an "austerity budget" in the not too distant future, it's time to look at this government's spending habits.

- 130 million dollars on television ads

- 45 million dollars on signs

- millions to private religious schools, which included hundreds of thousands on an indoor soccer field, that is closed to the public.

- 100,000 to make a spending announcement in Cambridge Ontario because MP Gary Goodyear was in trouble over an alleged adoption scheme.

- 15 billion dollars to build more prisons while Canada's crime rate is the lowest in history.

- 100 million spent on opinion polls, while completely ignoring the "opinions" or wishes of Canadians.

- Billions in tax "incentives" to the tar sands.

- 50 billion in corporate tax cuts.

- 1 billion for the G-20 that resulted in the worst human rights abuses in this country. The bill included almost 100,000 dollars spent at mini-bars.

- 30 million dollars to change our census, despite the fact that no one wanted it changed.

- 50 million poured into Tony Clement's riding to help his re-election bid.

- Hundreds of thousands on first class travel, because heaven forbid they should be forced to fly economy.

- 19 billion for fighter jets that Americans are concerned may have safety issues. And though promising Canadians service contracts, we learn that Canadian firms can bid on them with no guarantees.

- 650 million dollars in loans to an American firm, Pratt Whitney. The latest 300 million granted in a single day, even though no payments had been made on the 350 million "loaned" four years ago. Pratt Whitney had a profit last year of more than four billion dollars.

- The most expensive photo-ops known to man.

- Two million dollars so that Harper can tape his own film to give to the media.

- Millions to bribe provinces to accept the HST (Harper Sales Tax)

- 50 million dollars to Afghan President, Hamid Karzai's brother.

- Unprecedented use of military jets, while instructing the crew to not release the names of people travelling with Harper. As of November 2009, there were 1,900 such flights.

- 130 million to settle a frivolous lawsuit without any attempt to fight it.

- Suing the Canadian people, by suing the Canadian Wheat Board and Elections Canada, on behalf of the Conservative Party.

- Almost one million dollars in tax credits claimed by Conservative candidates, in the "in and out" election financing scheme.

- 300 million for an election in 2008, breaking his own election laws.

- Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted when Harper prorogued Parliament.

The list goes on.

These are enormous sums of money, taken from us with little in exchange. What value did Canadian tax payers get for this transfer of funds?

Are we better off, knowing that Harper's caucus can travel in style? Are we better off realizing that Harper can fly his friends around in our military jets, that may help with party fundraising, but does little for out of work Canadians.

Are we happier with his HST? Are we smiling, living vicariously through the orgy at the mini-bars? Can we ignore expensive medial bills if it means we have fighter jets to keep us safe from the Russians and prisons to keep us safe from who knows what? Did I mention that our crime rate is the lowest in our history?

This is looting on a massive scale. Absolutely massive.

And yet the Harper government is blaming us for expecting too much.

How selfish are we that we want perks like healthcare and education? That we want to live in a just society? That we want clean air and clean water and a climate bill that actually fights global warming? That we want our veterans and seniors rewarded for their service to our country? That we want to end poverty and homelessness?

It's time to pull the plug on this government. We can no longer afford them.


  1. I wish there was a way to get this published widely in "mainstream" media.

  2. We're on a road to nowhere! The list of spending is atrocious and nowhere worse than that of the spending in Tony Clements riding. The list of areas in this vast riding from Port Severn north to Parry sound who received pork barrel gifts is as long TC's nose. I am building a cottage on an island in Southern Georgian Bay and have always been appalled at the injection of cash in my neighbouring community of Port Severn( not shown on the list) and the building of a couple of hundred feet of four lane road work complete with landscaped median on a dead end road leading to the Municipal office( Taxation Office), The "Action Plan" sign is accounted for. I don't see any reference for infrastructure funding being applied to The Gibson First Nations that is occupying land in the middle of this Riding. I do however understand why such a gift has been handed to this particular ministers riding because I see where the gangsters get their "bang for the buck". Consider the summer inhabitants who use this infrastruture in Muskoka La-La land. The list of millionaires paying attention is longer than Stevie and Tonies noses put together.

  3. Do not forget all that he has done to create a consumer credit bubble which will leave a lasting scar on the country when it pops.

    Think of the introduction of 40 year no down payment house loans, the rapidly expanding leverage ratios of our banks with the belief that 'competition' will self correct these issues.

    The damage that this credit bubble will have on our economy is beyond calculation. Scary to think, however, is the complete ineptness of our political, business and media elites.

  4. You're absolutely right Peter. And the 150 billion dollar bank bailout so they could continue to offer low interest rates, putting us further into debt.

    They also used 8 billion of that taxpayer gift to give bonuses to their executives.

  5. And here we are in 2015, and everything you've mentioned in this post continues to this day. Not much has changed - just more frivolous spending, the healthcare agreement with the provinces is expired, Senate scandals abound, and partisan ads that we all pay for, that they hope will get them re-elected. When will the people wake up?