David Frum, writing in the National Post, gushes with praise for the Harper government. "Canada," he writes, "can fairly claim to be the best governed country in the world." The occasion for Frum's accolades was the release of the Conservatives' 2012 budget -- which cut government spending, gave almost 20,000 civil servants their walking papers and raised the Canadian retirement age from 65 to 67.
One should remember that Frum famously wrote speeches for George W. Bush -- most particularly the one which labelled Iraq as a premier member of the "axis of evil." He has also claimed that the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau was "a very bad man." He took another swipe at Trudeau yesterday. Compared to Trudeau, he wrote, Harper is the very soul of common sense:
Trudeau’s budgeting was notorious for its recklessness. Harper’s budgeting is impeccable in its caution. By 2015-2016, Canada will have reduced both spending and debt to pre-recession levels. Nobody else on earth will be able to say anything like that.
What's reckless in the Harper government's economic projections:
A less dramatic economic policy can support growth and boost revenues. Here’s a trade that a lot of other countries would gratefully accept: Jim Flaherty’s plan allows spending to rise by 11.65% over 5 years. Over those same five years, revenues are expected to surge by 26%.
Frum's confidence in Canadian fiscal policy sounds a lot like his certitude that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- a claim that Frum and Stephen Harper eagerly supported. Frum has since become a pariah in the Republican establishment, turning on those who used to help pay his bills.
He completely ignores the fact that on the same day the budget was released, the Director of Elections Canada appeared before a parliamentary committee to report that, during our last election, there were complaints of fraud in 200 of Canada's 308 ridings.
Clearly, Mr. Frum suffers from a severe case of misplaced admiration.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.