Friday, May 13, 2011

Making The World Safe For The Wealthy

The pledge was pretty straightforward. This, after all, was the government of the "steady" hand. The Conservative platform proclaimed that: "Through accelerated reductions in government spending, a re-elected Stephen Harper government will eliminate the deficit by 2014-15.”

Yet, when asked on Wednesday about keeping that pledge, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that "the budget will account for commitments made during the campaign, including setting money aside to strike a deal with Quebec over sales taxes." So, no, the budget won't be balanced by 2015.

That news should surprise no one. The numbers never added up in the first place. What is surprising is just how quickly the Conservatives broke that pledge, which was their key argument for "stability." But, all huffing and puffing aside, this election was never about the deficit. It was about rewarding the Conservative base. It was always about rewarding the Conservative base. And that meant -- not to put too fine a point on it -- making the world safe for the wealthy.

If you treat those people well, Stephen Harper argued, they will create jobs for the less fortunate. We have thirty years of data which disprove that contention. Yet a good number of the less fortunate voted against their own economic self interest. And so the saga continues. It began when Ronald Reagan first agreed to act as a shill for General Electric. Stephen Harper has learned from a master.

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