Saturday, September 03, 2011

Math Matters

If there has been one consistent criticism of Tim  Hudak -- from both the left and the right -- it is that his numbers don't add up. He's not the first politician to face that criticism. But, after three decades of neo conservative policies  -- which have been nothing if not math challenged -- one would think Mr. Hudak would follow the old carpenter's rule: measure twice and cut once.

One suspects that Mr. Hudak is neither a good mathematician  nor a good carpenter. John Robson,  in today's Ottawa Sun -- who you would think would be on Mr. Hudak's side -- gives the Tory leader no quarter:

Hudak promises "change to put more money in the pockets of hardworking Ontario families" and it is not hard, in principle, to see how taxes could be cut. But he also pledges "change that guarantees the service Ontarians need, like health and education." That sounds like more spending and certainly can't mean cuts. But now let's do some math he won't be performing in public.

Between them, health, education - including post-secondary and job training - consume $77.9 billion, or 68.5%, of Ontario's $113.7 billion in program spending. So what gets the chop? Children's and social services? Boooooooo! But then over 80% of spending is untouchable and, Tories being tough on crime, justice isn't a promising target either. So is it all coming out of other? (You can't cut interest and there's a very real danger rates will rise, putting the squeeze on better plans than Hudak has.)

When those on the right have serious doubts about what Mr. Hudak is selling, you know he's in trouble. And the campaign hasn't started yet.

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