Efficiencies. That's the word Doug Ford is using instead of "cuts." That's because he -- or his party -- have learned something from the last time around. Linda McQuaig writes:
Former Conservative leader Tim Hudak went into the last Ontario election humming the familiar right-wing refrain about government waste and inefficiency. But he made things specific: he said he'd eliminate 100,000 public sector jobs, thereby cutting government spending by $2 billion, allowing him to lower corporate taxes.
The private sector, brimming with confidence, would then create one million jobs, Hudak claimed. Wherever he spoke, he stood in front of a billboard proclaiming his "Million Jobs Plan."
But as the economist Jim Stanford soon pointed out, Hudak had made some math errors, including multiplying by eight when he shouldn't have multiplied at all.
Ford claims he will not eliminate one public sector job. But, when you plan to reduce spending by $6 billion, it's obvious that people who work in healthcare and education will lose jobs. And the folks on welfare will also get less money. Mike Harris showed Ontarians how that was done:
It's worth recalling that Harris took a meat cleaver to welfare benefits -- cutting them by 21.6 per cent in 1995.
The Liberals, who've held power for 15 years, initially restored a small amount of what Harris took away, but have allowed inflation to eat that. (They've promised to do more, if re-elected.)
But today, a single Torontonian on welfare receives $721 a month -- enough to live a marginal, near-homeless existence. Indeed, as social policy analyst John Stapleton notes, today's welfare rate, in real dollars, is actually lower than the incredibly low rate put in place by Mike Harris.
Doug claims he stands like a rock with the little guy. But, if you're on welfare, he doesn't have your back. He's got a target on it.
However, if you're a corporation -- corporations seem to be people these days -- Ford will cut your taxes. He's all about Orwellian language, avoiding the press and avoiding the numbers.
Because the numbers prove he's a fraud.