Why do people just automatically think that Conservatives, right-wingers, are better at economics? How did they earn such undeserved plaudits?
Because it seems to me, based on evidence of recent years, that what’s most notable about the economic record of conservative governments is the size of their deficits.
Bill Clinton turned Bush Sr.’s $300 billion dollar deficit into a $200 billion surplus, only to have Junior Bush tax-cut and “war against terror” into the biggest deficit in the country’s history.
Ontario’s much-maligned NDP government managed to get to a balanced operating budget in recessionary times, only to have the Harris PC’s turn boom times into the biggest provincial deficit ever. Ontario was brought into the black by McGinty’s Liberals.
And federally? Well, yes, there again, the biggest deficit to date was accrued by the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. It was the Liberals, again, who brought Canadians into their current position of budgetary surpluses.
Until… Federal government runs a $157M deficit in April, May (CBC News, July 2008).
So the Conservatives came in with about a $13 billion surplus, and they have squandered it all.
Leaving us with less nothing in reserve to get through the looming economic downturn.
Cost of Conservative tax cuts and spending: $13 billion and change.
Cost of nevertheless having the reputation of being “best for the economy”: Priceless.